Don’t you love January? The start of a New Year. Fresh beginnings. The hope of achieving all our personal and professional goals. And of course, all the Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig commercials you can possibly see.

January also marks the onslaught of endless predictions, trends and forecasts—especially in the world of credit union and bank marketing. Articles like “10 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019,” “Three Branding Lessons for 2019” and “19 Thoughts for 2019” started flooding my inbox three weeks ago.

I must confess: I’ve written many similar pieces in the past myself (check out 2018 Marketing Trends: Three Ls from last year—which is still applies today by the way!)

But as we launch into 2019, rather than focus on trends I want to challenge financial marketers to focus on tasks.

In other words, let’s make 2019 a year of action. If you work for a credit union or bank marketing department, what should you actually be doing this year?

 

Here are the top five marketing tasks for 2019:

 

  • Use video

People aren’t reading anymore: they’re watching. So if you want effective marketing, then you must use more video in 2019.

According to the State of Video Advertising report, 96% of brands surveyed plan to increase their video advertising budgets. Ways your credit union or bank could use video include video e-mail (check out Bomb Bomb), video testimonials on your website, a branded video unique to your credit union or bank’s brand, video on your social media channels, and even a video annual report.

 

  • Cut your copy

As noted above, people are no longer reading. Then why does your marketing material still require consumers to read so much text?

Use bullets, listicles and scannable material. According to Slidely, these are the primary types of content shared online. Maybe even ditch your printed brochures because NO ONE IS READING THEM! I’ll stop here and listen to my own advice.

 

  • Conduct a marketing audit

This is so important it should probably be at the top of the list. If you want instant success and quick wins, then have someone else review your marketing material. As one of our clients said recently, “My CEO whispered to me right after your presentation that your marketing audit findings were ‘probably the best thing this credit union has ever done.’”

 

  • Make consumers the hero of your story

In his book Building a Story Brand, author Donald Miller eloquently explains that your marketing is about the consumer and not the company. Do an honest gut check: in your marketing are you talking more about features than benefits? If so, you need to change that approach immediately. Explain how your financial products and services benefits real people.

 

  • Redesign your website

Most well-known brands overhaul their websites at least every two years, and most news organizations redesign their websites every 12 to 18 months. It’s amazing how quickly your website can become stale. More people frequent your website and digital channels than visit a branch. So why invest so much in a branch and so little in a website?

As Shawn Temple, COO of Bossier FCU said recently, “Our hope was to design a website that stepped away from traditional credit union websites and instead delivered a cutting-edge online experience incorporating video tutorials, financial literacy resources, community events and easy-to-navigate information. The new website does exactly this.”

 

Stephen Covey famously says, “Begin with the end in mind.” As you begin 2019 in January, you want to end successfully in December. And if you use video, cut your copy, conduct a marketing audit, make consumers the hero of your story and redesign your website then you will have a most glorious 2019.