Times are tough – that’s for sure.
Inflation rates are rising again, fueled by skyrocketing gas prices. Rate hikes don’t seem to end. And a recent report shows American household income actually dropped by 0.8% last year. These challenges aren’t only restricting consumers’ lifestyles; they’re restricting business capabilities as well.
Per usual, marketing budgets are a major casualty of economic difficulties. Harvard Business Review says 70% of Chief Marketing Officers don’t have enough money to accomplish their marketing goals.
Chances are, your credit union marketing budget is suffering too. Or maybe you’re planning on a credit union marketing budget slash this year.
But here’s some advice…don’t do it!
Putting credit union marketing on the back-burner hurts you in the long run. Here’s why:
- You’re Not Top of Mind: Cutting credit union marketing means sacrificing space in consumers’ minds, and by association, market share. Maybe new members aren’t flocking to you in droves during a downturn. It doesn’t mean they won’t do it when things get better. But they must remember you when that happens. If you spent the whole downturn butchering your credit union marketing efforts, people will forget you…and remember a competitor who valued marketing more.
- It Decreases Revenue: On a purely fiscal level, curtailing credit union marketing leads to revenue losses. Harvard Business Review recounts a story about Reckitt Benckiser, a company that invested in marketing its pricy products during the 2008 recession. It saw an 8% revenue increase while its competition suffered. It’s a story of cause and effect. You must take the risk and invest in marketing to grow during hard times.
- It’s Hard to Restart: Once you gut credit union marketing, it’s hard to hop back on the wagon. It’s hard to fit that blog or newsletter back into your schedule. It’s hard to log onto social media every day and raise brand awareness. Restarting your marketing department isn’t impossible, but you’ll face a steep challenge as you try adding things back to your workload. But you don’t have to do it alone. There are credit union marketing partners that can help you get back in business.
- You Don’t Provide Solutions: Every credit union wants to help its members, especially during a downturn. But that’s a tall order without marketing…because you have no way of telling your members about the solutions you offer. There’s a temptation to think marketing your loans or services is “dirty” during difficult times. It’s not. If you have the best loans and rates around, or if you can make consumers’ lives more affordable…shouldn’t you tell them? So, use credit union marketing to provide solutions to members.
- You’re Tackling the Wrong Problem: Even if you acknowledge all the above is true, let’s say you have an issue with your credit union marketing. The budget’s use is doubtful in good times, so why not cut it in bad? The problem here isn’t the budget size but how it’s used. Discover how to maximize your credit union marketing efficiency. Instill some focus and strategic direction into your efforts. Find out how to use your budget correctly, and it can give you the return you want.
So, it’s worth investing in credit union marketing…even during a downturn. Your institution will be better off at the end of the day.
Of course, you can possess the healthiest budget and still have employee bandwidth as an issue. Invest in On The Mark Strategies’ creative services team and reap the benefits of continued credit union marketing while maintaining current bandwidth levels.
Book a free consultation today!