In a post earlier this year, I talked about “The Three Fs of Strategic Planning.” In that piece, I offered three ideas you should keep an eye on when doing strategic planning.

It’s the same way with marketing. There are several things you should DO and there are many things you should make sure you DON’T do.

So what are some of the Do’s and Don’ts of marketing? Below are four Do’s and three Don’ts of marketing.

Be sure you DO the following:

  • Cut the copy—It doesn’t matter what piece you are producing, just say it in fewer words. The attention spans of consumers today are less than goldfish. One trend identified recently is the concept of glanceable content. People are consumer more information than ever before, just in smaller bites. In other words, they are “glancing” at it. You can learn more about cutting the copy in this post. To increase your marketing’s effectiveness, reduce how much you are saying.
  • Invest in video—Marketing is no longer about brochures, direct mail pieces and newsletters. It is now about tools such as Vine and YouTube. The number one search engine for people under the age of 30 is not Google: it’s YouTube. Make sure your website has short testimonial clips, educational videos and interactive features. People are not reading; they are watching. To increase your marketing’s effectiveness, use more video.
  • Measure and report your results—“What’s the ROI of our marketing?” Do you ever get that question or something similar? If you do, you better be able to answer it. You should calculate the return every one of your promotions brings (even if it didn’t quite have the results you were seeking). When those budget battles erupt (and they do), the more data you can provide the better you’ll be. You can click here for a few free ROI worksheets to help get you started. To increase your marketing’s effectives, demonstrate how marketing is positively impacting the bottom line.
  • Get an outsider’s view of marketing—We are often too close to our own marketing to see ways to improve it. Sometimes we even have a few blind spots about our campaigns or pieces. As Jay Curtis, CEO of Frist Credit Union said recently, “The marketing audit gave us great feedback on where we need to focus our energies to grow and better serve our members. Having a fresh set of eyes on all your materials is a great way to better your brand.” You can click here to learn more about how a marketing audit can improve your financial institution. To increase your marketing’s effectiveness, get a second set of eyes on it.

Make sure you DON’T do the following:

  • Listen too much to non-marketers—While getting others involved is marketing is important, getting them OVER involved can lead to unnecessary headaches. Everyone thinks they are a marketer, but the reality is they are not the paid professionals. You are. Remember, your board is not your target audiences so if they are complaining they never see your ads, then that is probably a good thing. To increase your marketing’s effectiveness, use discretion when listening to others’ ideas.
  • Cut the marketing budget—This should go without saying, right? I’m often asked “how much should we spend on marketing?” My answer is always three words: “More, much more!” All kidding aside, if you cut the marketing to save expenses in the short run, you are only reducing your long-term growth objectives. If you are not hitting income goals, NOT investing in marketing so consumers can learn about your products or services probably isn’t going to have the ultimate desired effect you want on your bottom line. To increase your marketing’s effectiveness, spend more (wisely—not just because some blogger said so).
  • Promote the flavor of the month—The days of a traditional marketing calendar are long gone. Rather than pushing deposits in Q1, home improvement loans in Q2, auto loans in Q3 and holiday promotions in Q4 it’s much more effective to promote your brand 24/7. If your employees feel they are “pushing” products on consumers rather than matching needs your marketing is doomed. To increase your marketing’s effectiveness, it’s best to emphasize brand over product.

You won’t grow your credit union or bank without strong marketing. It can’t be done. Make sure you are on a growth path by following these do’s and don’ts.