In his book Launch, author Jeff Walker says, “The very nature of our communications and daily lives has changed radically in just a few short years…we live in a world where the ‘marketing fog’ grows thicker with each passing day.”

The reality is people are bombarded daily with marketing messages. Most consumers receive on average 3,500 marketing messages per day. All those messages lead to some pretty serious fog. And if you are a credit union or bank, that fog only gets worse because most people view banking as boring, tedious and a pain.

To successfully market your loans, checking accounts and deposit products you must cut through a thick fog. So how can you overcome the marketing fog? Here are four ways:

  • Tell stories—People hate marketing but they love a good story. Rather than “push” a used auto loan promotion via your rate tell stories about your members or customers who financed a used car for their college bound student. Tell a story about a family who used an unsecured loan from your institution to adopt their kids. Show pictures of real people using your real products. Stop marketing and start telling stories.
  • Give content—People hate sales pitches but they love relevant information. So give it to them. Show them how to calculate their debt ratio, how to save $50 a month or how to structure a budget. Today’s consumer craves information (not a sales pitch). So give it to them. Stop marketing and start giving content.
  • Personalize messages—People hate mass messages but they love personalization. As Seth Godin once said, “no one wants e-mail, but everyone wants me-mail.” As a financial institution, you now have tons of data on your members/customers (where they shop, how much money they make, what debt they carry, etc.). So use that big data to your advantage by crafting individualized communication. Stop marketing to the masses and start sending unique messages (like you are talking directly to them).
  • Leverage your brand—People hate marketing but they love good brands. In fact, great branding trumps good marketing. Think Apple, Starbucks and Amazon. In each of those cases they promote their brand above all else. The more you prioritize your brand and the less you emphasize your promotions the more success you will experience. Your branding messages are far more important than your marketing promotions. Stop marketing and start leveraging your brand.

If you have ever driven in an incredibly thick fog you know how hard that is. You can’t see everything around you and you lose sight of many details. When it comes to your marketing, consumers might be in such a fog with your messages. Get them out of that fog by telling stories, giving content, personalizing messages and leveraging your brand.