Cue the Mission Impossible theme song. One of the blockbuster movies this summer is Mission Impossible: Fallout. If you haven’t seen it yet, get to a theatre near you for an absolute blast of a thrill ride movie.

But enough of the movie review. What does Mission Impossible have to do with a credit union or bank? Actually, quite a lot, especially when it comes to your marketing.

Whether in the classic TV show version or the movie franchise reboot, every Mission Impossible doesn’t just start with a catchy tune. It begins with the classic line, “Your mission….should you choose to accept it….” I get goose bumps every time I hear that line!

For the sake of this post I want to modify that line just a bit to say, “your MARKETING mission….should you choose to accept it….”

Here are three vital marketing missions to undertake at your financial institution:


  • Create a truly differentiated brand—Let’s continue to be honest: when it comes to most financial institutions and their marketing, it all looks the same! Doing a home equity loan promotion? Slap a picture of home needing repairs on a direct mail postcard. Promoting vacation loans? Show a family of four going to Disney. Marketing kids accounts? Here comes the piggy bank image. Give me a break! Rather than be just like every other financial institution, make yourself different. The most successful brands today are the ones that stand out. For example, check out how Credit Union of Texas has simplified their marketing messages and are using bright colors in their branding.


  • Perform a marketing audit—Let’s end with another honest thought: sometimes we’re scared to have someone review our marketing material. But the reality is we all need an unbiased third party to examine our efforts. It’s one of the best ways we can improve. Plus, a marketing audit will reveal brand gaps in your credit union or bank. For example, you may have the most creative marketing pieces and coolest brand in the world, but if your staff isn’t delivering on those promises then you have a brand gap. For an example of how a marketing audit improved Rio Grande Credit Union, check out this case study.


Just like Tom Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt and his team assume a great deal of risk with each mission, taking on the above assignments in your marketing takes risk as well. But in the end the hardest missions yield the greatest results.