During the past decade or so, financial institutions have been facing some of the most challenging times in their history. The world has become a much more open place, with competition coming from many sources that were of no great significance previously. Information is available freely and customers have become more demanding and less loyal. In such an environment, effective marketing management is essential for future success. However, what many prescribe as potential solutions tend to make a lot of sense on paper but are often much harder to implement in practice. In this paper we examine three areas in which banks have faced significant challenges and ascertain whether the suggestions made can actually be put into practice. We find that there is a huge gap between what theory tells us and what can actually be implemented in practice.