PNC restructures communications to include marketing

The financial services company’s marketing team was previously a part of retail.

PNC completed its acquisition of BBVA U.S.A. last year. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

PITTSBURGH: The PNC Financial Services Group has restructured its communications function to absorb marketing. 

Marketing, led by EVP and CMO David Thuma, previously sat under the retail function. Thuma, who is set to retire at the end of the year, is reporting to Amanda Rosseter, who joined PNC as its comms leader in August 2021. PNC is searching for a new CMO. 

The impetus for the reorganization was in May, when PNC head of retail banking and chief customer officer Karen Larrimer announced her retirement. Alex Overstrom, PNC's head of small business and deputy head of retail banking, assumed responsibility for leading its retail banking line of business.

“Our CEO, Bill Demchak, took that opportunity to understand marketing and comms and how it could support the business,” said Rosseter. “He decided to move marketing from underneath retail and map it under comms about four months ago.”

The bank promoted Rosseter from chief communications officer to chief communications and brand officer. She is responsible for earned and paid media, social and digital, employee communications, corporate responsibility, advertising, direct marketing, content and product brand. Rosseter is reporting to Gregory Jordan, EVP, general counsel and chief administrative officer of PNC Financial Services Group.

The expansion of Rosseter’s role was timed to concur with the acquisition of BBVA U.S.A., which converted 2.6 million customers, 9,000 employees and 600 branches in seven states from BBVA to PNC Bank. The deal, completed in 11 months, made PNC a coast-to-coast organization in the country’s 30 largest markets.

“I was brought in to develop and execute a strategy within comms that elevates the brand on a national scale and allows us to tell our story in a different way,” said Rosseter. BBVA’s comms and marketing teams have been fully integrated into PNC, she said. 

Since the bank expanded Rosseter's position in June, she has transitioned into the role and added branding responsibilities. She kicked off the full-scale communications and branding restructuring after Labor Day, dedicating the last few months to planning and reorganizing. 

“We have dug into the way that marketing is operating and we found some incredible talent and synergies with comms,” said Rosseter. “There are efficiencies we are finding in marrying those teams together and making sure we are working toward the same strategy to support the business. Combining these ensures that we can truly 360 what we are doing.” 

Rosseter’s team has about 250 marketing and communications professionals. Teneo is PNC’s agency partner. 

Since the restructuring took place, there has been a 25% to 40% increase across PNC businesses in coverage and media presence, said Rosseter.

By combining marketing and comms, the team has a line of sight and can amplify plans on strategic content, priorities, sponsorships and other issues happening across regions. The company can also make sure announcements are tightly connected across campaigns, or PNC can create a campaign that is connected to comms, Rosseter said.

Before the reorganization, PNC saw the power of the integrated team when it launched its Low Cash Mode digital offering in April 2021. The product helps Virtual Wallet customers avoid overdraft fees through account transparency and control to manage through low-cash moments or mistimed payments.

In that campaign, PNC saw its first material increase in national brand awareness in a decade, Rosseter said.

“The whole goal of this is to stand up a cohesive strategy across marketing and comms that better serves the business now that we are bigger,” said Rosseter. “We have a lot more people to service, and we are based on this main street model.”

She added that PNC has corporate offices in every location where it operates. 

“Our customers are our neighbors, and we operate in a way that allows us to be fully connected with what is happening in each one of these areas and communities,” said Rosseter. “Within marcomms, that is a great way to think about how we can leverage the strength of these two organizations as one.”

PNC Financial Services Group is a bank holding company and financial services corporation based in Pittsburgh. PNC Bank is its banking subsidiary. The company beat analyst expectations in its fiscal Q3, which ended on September 30, with revenue up 6.8% year-over-year to $5.5 billion and net income increasing 10% to $1.6 billion. 

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