Selfies. You see teenagers and lovebirds everywhere taking pictures of themselves. While a little egocentric in nature, selfies do show a lot: about yourself. There is little of the outside world in a selfie: it’s pretty much just you.Selfie - 1

If you took a selfie of your credit union or bank, what would the picture show? Examining your market, your competitors and your community are critical growth steps for your financial institution. You need lots of research on your consumers and your competitors.

However, any examination of your strategic plan and marketing efforts should begin not with an external but rather internal view. A selfie.

You take a selfie by pointing the camera at yourself. How do you take a selfie of your credit union or bank? Here are some suggestions:

  • Survey your staff—Your internal review begins with your staff. The survey doesn’t have to be fancy. Just ask them some key questions (“Have I received recognition in the past 7 days,” “At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day,” etc.). Use a tool like survey monkey. If your encourage it, your staff can give you a brutal assessment of how things really are at your shop.
  • Review your marketing—One of the ways to improve your marketing is to conduct a marketing audit. While an external review of your marketing efforts may go counter to the whole “selfie” concept, the reality is you are too close to your marketing to see where it needs improvement. Any honest self-examination of your financial institution will involve a marketing audit.
  • Address team conflicts—Under some “selfie” smiles, there is internal conflict. That might be the same within your financial institution. Are there certain conflicts (personality, strategic disagreements, etc.) that are below the surface? Rather than let them simmer, address those conflicts in a head-on manner. Talk about the elephants in the room rather than ignore them.
  • Examine three-year growth patterns—The numbers don’t lie. So what do the numbers show about your credit union or bank? Are the numbers moving up or down? Or are they just stagnant when it comes to certain products (loans, checking, new members/customers, etc.)? Look for patterns with each of your key products.

Selfies are fun and entertaining. They are also revealing. So what does your selfie reveal about your credit union or bank?