Audit. The mere mentioning of the word makes most credit union and banking executives shudder. We have nightmares of examiners being in our offices for weeks or accounting firms digging through all our data.

However, a marketing audit is anything but a nightmare. It is actually a dream.

“We were extremely pleased with our marketing audit,” says Jay Curtis, president of First Credit Union of their recent audit. “It gave us great feedback on where we need to focus our energies to grow and better serve our members. Having a fresh set of eyes on all your materials is a great way to better your brand. I consider the marketing audit process key to our future success.”

Here are four ways a marketing audit helps:

  • Provides strategic suggestions—Marketing is a strategic function inside your financial institution. By reviewing your marketing plan, calendar and budget a successful marketing audit will come back with new strategic suggestions for success. It will also offer industry best practice ideas. Conducting a marketing audit helps you avoid getting stuck in a strategic rut of doing the same things over and over again.
  • Offers tactical growth ideas—There are many small steps you can take at your bank or credit union that will yield immediate positive impact in your marketing area. Because a marketing audit is going to review all of your materials (brochures, website, annual report, newsletters, direct mail, advertising, etc.) it will deliver ways to make each of those items more effective. Examples of tactical suggestions could include cutting the copy, shifting budget resources, dropping direct mail or dozens of other ideas. Conducting a marketing audit helps you improve your marketing’s impact.
  • Identifies brand gaps—Every financial institution has brand gaps. The brand gap is the tension between the operational nature of banking and the creative/strategic skills of branding. There are often gaps between key areas of the credit union or bank. For example, there can be gaps between branding and strategy, branding and staff or branding and operations. At one audit we conducted recently, their brand and marketing pieces were extremely unique and strong. However, their staff delivered terrible service. So there was a gap between their brand and their staff that they had to close. Conducting a marketing audit helps you close your brand gaps.
  • Improves your marketing—The marketing audit is not a “gotcha” audit, where it is looking for everything you are doing wrong in this key area. Rather, a marketing audit’s purpose is to make every aspect of your marketing better. If you want improved return on investment, better results with your promotions and more efficiencies in marketing then an audit provides all that and more. Conducting a marketing audit helps all aspects of your marketing.

Of course, the bottom line is that marketing audit produces results.

As Lori Perkins, vice president of marketing with Rock Valley Credit Union said, “Business is way up since our marketing audit. The marketing audit, looking back, made my job both better and stronger.

If you would like more information on how a marketing audit can help your credit union or bank, check out this video.