There are all types of music: classical, hard rock, rap, grunge and country. And then there is jazz—a unique music style born in New Orleans. During the Credit Union National Association’s Marketing Management School (held in New Orleans), Hattie Bryant opened the week with a session on “All That Jazz.”

“Jazz actually teaches us quite a bit about marketing,” she noted. “Jazz tells a story; it tells us how to feel. It’s the same with marketing: it tells a story and it’s about feelings.”

So what does jazz teach us about marketing? Consider the following:

  • Jazz is a musical conversation—In today’s social media world, marketing is no longer about sending marketing messages. It’s about having conversations. When it comes to marketing, are you just making noise that consumers are tuning out or you really taking time to have conversations? Just like you want to listen to jazz music, you want to listen to your target audiences.
  • Jazz is in the moment—If you have ever listened to jazz music, you know you can get wrapped up in the song you’re hearing. When was the last time your members or customers got wrapped up in your marketing? Look for ways to give your targets an experience they will share with others. Just like jazz is in the moment, you need to provide consumers a “wow” experience.
  • Jazz is complex—Anyone who has ever tried to play jazz music knows it’s anything but easy. It’s hard to play. And marketing can be hard to execute successfully. Marketing is a strategic function inside your financial institution. So treat it that way. Marketing is no longer about brochures and newsletters; there is a great deal of sophistication and strategy involved. Just like jazz is complex, you want to ensure you are using smart marketing strategies.
  • Jazz is about feelings—Jazz music is extremely soulful and actually tells a story; it’s all about how it makes you feel. Marketing is certainly no different. When it comes to your marketing efforts are you telling your story and connecting with consumers on an emotional level? Just like jazz is about feelings, you need to make your branding efforts more emotional and you need to tell your financial institution’s story.

Do you want to make your marketing more successful? Then try making your marketing more like jazz music.