As marketers we pride ourselves on how much we are doing.  Ask any marketing executive, manager or coordinator how life is going and the invariable answer is, “Busy; there are so many projects we are doing.” Yes, most marketers are overachievers—and proud of it.

Any good marketer tends to be a multi-tasking expert. And while anyone working in the marketing field must juggle many balls at once, we must be careful not have too many balls in the air at the same time.

John Jantsch, author of The Commitment Engine, says, “The ability, some might say the attempt, to multitask is a curse of sorts. While working on ten things at once may seem efficient, each of those things gets roughly 10 percent of our greatness while we’re doing it.”

This rush to multi tasking is not just a personality or project management thing either. It also affects the way we market our financial institutions. If we’re not careful we can also fall into the trap of “multi-tasking marketing.”

Look at your 2013 marketing plan and calendar. How many promotions are on it? How many products are you pushing throughout the year? Do you rush from debt consolidation loans in January to tax refund deposits in March to home improvement loans in May to summer loan promotions in June to back to school loans in August to new auto loans in October to Christmas loans in November? And wait—what about checking accounts, CDs, mortgages, and youth accounts? We have to throw those in somewhere. You get the idea. If we’re not careful we just throw everything up in the air and hope we can juggle it all.

So how do we avoid multi-task marketing? Here are two tips:

(1) Move to brand-based marketing. As we noted in the white paper Transitioning to Brand-Based Marketing, “Consumers know Apple. Consumer know McDonald’s. Consumers know Ford Motor Company. But how many can recall specific promotions or commercials of any one of those? An integration of both short-term promotions and brand-based marketing efforts is the more holistic approach towards building long-term credit union brand awareness, member interactivity and success.”

(2) Prioritize and focus your marketing. When it comes to their plans, marketers tend to add, add, add. Maybe it’s time we cut, cut, cut. Rather than have a list of 6, 8 or even 10 goals for the year it’s best to focus on what is most important strategically for your financial institutions. In all honesty, three to four major goals is ideal (with three being optimal). This requires laser like focus. The more focused your efforts are, the more effective the results are. Focus on your most profitable products rather than all your products. Develop a lead product that differentiates yourself in the market.

Multi-tasking marketing is an easy trap to fall into, but one we should avoid if we want better results.