After visiting with different credit union and bank marketing executives and discussing their challenges, it’s clear many are facing the same frustrations. Not enough time in the day. Overloaded with data. Can’t keep up with industry changes.

And as a former credit union marketing executive who spent 20 years in the financial marketing trenches, I get it.

Here are the three words every financial marketing executive today needs to know and own when it comes to their marketing strategies:


The more you can automate, the more you can grow. It’s that simple.

In the past, marketing automation simply meant scheduling social media posts a few weeks in advance or sending a couple of emails after a consumer opened an account. It freed a few hours in your work week but produced little else in terms of ROI.

Today, however, increased behavioral analysis means marketing automation can directly impact sales. According to Active Campaign, marketing automation is now used for three primary functions: generating new leads, engaging with your current consumer base and closing a deal—all without adding a single hour to your workday.

Tools like Constant Contact, Active Campaign and Marquis help you reach your consumer right where they are exactly when they want to be reached, therefore maximizing your time and ensuring you don’t waste precious hours on fruitless marketing rabbit trails.

Automation also allows for greater personalization. According to the Econsultancy 2017 Conversion Rate Optimization Report, 93% of companies see a higher conversion rate when they personalize their marketing materials to the consumer. A study from The University of Texas showed that personalized marketing makes consumers feel more in control and less bombarded by information overload, therefore making them more likely to act.


You don’t need to do everything. In fact, you can’t.

If you have marketing staff that report directly to you, delegation ensures your team will feel empowered to do their jobs well. They’ll be more likely to take ownership of the projects you give them, and you’ll build a culture of accountability.

As author Stephen Covey says, “Accountability breeds response-ability.”

If you’re a smaller credit union or bank and are the one-person marketing department, consider an internship program. Hire college students to do things like social media to free you up to think more strategically.


Credit union and bank marketers today must have a seat at the C-Suite table. Every new product and service your credit union or bank develops needs to have a marketers’ eye. The better representation marketing has on the leadership team, the better chance your marketing efforts have of succeeding.

Kristin Lemkau, chief marketing officer at JPMorgan Chase, argues that financial marketers must be involved early in the product development process because it’s their unique understanding of the complete consumer journey that will ultimately make those products and services successful.

I often encourage my team to ask themselves, “What are the three most important things I must get done today?” If you’re a financial marketer, then automation, delegation and representation are now at the top of your list. These three things will give you the time you need to focus strategically and the platform you need to market effectively.