Budget -1 'We’re in prime budgeting season. Every credit union or bank marketer are sharpening their pencils and crunching their numbers. We budget for business development, give-a-ways, annual meetings, promotions, websites and more. There are GLs for every possible line item.

But are they the right items? As you prepare your 2015 marketing budget, consider the following five areas that need concentration. Even if you’re spending in these categories keep in mind that you might want to spend more in them. Each item will generate the greatest return on your budget.

Here are the five must haves for your 2015 marketing budget:


  • Additional technology product—Whether it’s a digital wallet, cross channel banking experiences, a more robust tablet/mobile app your product development needs to focus on technology. Look for ways to make lending and account opening easier and faster with technology tools.
  • Marketing audit—We all need feedback and an outsider’s perspective regarding our particular area of expertise. Marketing is no different. Marketing audits help maximize and grow your marketing results. A thorough marketing audit will give your financial institution strategic and tactical suggestions for immediate improvement.
  • Data tools—One of the latest trends in marketing is big data (CUNA noted it as a top trend in its E-Scan this year). While big data is certainly on the rise, it’s more important to use the data you have. You know tons of information about your customers or members (where they shop, how much they spend, what  their age is, etc.). One of the best strategic steps you can take is to get more from your current consumers. And the best way to do that is with your data.
  • Brand training—Everyone is in marketing. Even if you’ve spent significant time and money in developing a strong strategic brand with a great tagline and pinpointed target markets, that doesn’t matter if your staff does not live your brand. Too many marketing efforts fall short because the staff is not engaged in marketing. Stop doing generic sales training and rather spend more resources in training your front-line staff to your brand.
  • Digital marketing—Scrap direct mail and other traditional means of marketing. It's past time to invest your budget dollars in search engine optimization, Facebook ads, online video, e-mail marketing and similar  tools. Look at the percentage of your media buy: how much is traditional and how much is digital? The scales should already tip heavily to digital. If you want to make your digital marketing efforts soar, then check out CU Grow.

Those are a few suggestions. As you prepare your 2015 budget where are you spending more and where are you spending less?