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“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” — John Wanamaker
Marketing touches everything. Loans. Deposits. Branches. Digital. Strategy. Growth. Consumers. Businesses. You name anything in your credit union or community bank, and marketing is involved.
Marketing is so important, successful financial institutions monitor it on a regular basis to make sure it is operating at the highest potential level.
If you improve marketing, you improve the entire organization. And one of the best ways to improve marketing is to conduct a marketing assessment. This review lets you know what you’re doing well, what you are missing and where you can grow. A marketing assessment will also give you tactical and strategic suggestions for this key function.
So, what should you review when it comes to your marketing? Here are five items you must assess about your marketing:
Are you spending too much, too little or just the right amount when it comes to your marketing investment? Most boards and C-suite executives don’t have a clue how to answer that question. Many credit unions and banks will look at peer analysis to determine their marketing spend. That is the worst way to craft your budget. Many factors determine your marketing budget: type of financial institution, geographic location and strategic goals to name just a few. We put our clients through a customized formula to help them know what their marketing investment should target.
On a similar note, are you getting the return on investment (ROI) for each campaign you are conducting? For example, if you spent $10,000 on an auto loan campaign, did it yield over $100,000 in new loans? An in-depth marketing assessment can tell you how well your campaigns are performing. Marketing is not just about pretty graphics. Marketing is about the numbers.
How strongly does your brand resonate with consumers? Do your employees even know what your brand is? Is your brand truly unique? Every credit union and community bank has brand gaps. A key component of a marketing assessment is identifying where those gaps exist (both internally and externally). As Tara Springsteen, VP of Operations for UniWyo FCU said, “On The Mark Strategies taught us that our brand is not just our logo. It’s everything we do.”
The people component is a major part of a successful marketing assessment. Using the famous Jim Collins illustration: do you have the right people in the right seats on your (marketing) bus? When reviewing their marketing assessment results, several credit unions and community banks discovered they needed additional support. That didn’t necessarily mean a full-time employee. In fact, several found they could save marketing dollars through a creative marketing support team.
At the end of the day, your marketing isn’t about you; it’s about them - the consumers you are trying to reach. A thorough marketing assessment will review your website, mobile application, branches, call center and every other touch point to determine what the user experience is like. Your marketing and brand messages may be great, but you are losing potential business if it takes forever to get a loan.
As Lily Newfarmer, President and CEO of Tarrant County’s Credit Union said recently, “For years, we marketed by committee. That wasn’t working anymore. The marketing assessment was encouraging because it helped us know where to go next and how to get better. Now we’re ready for the next level.”
We often don’t know what we don’t know. And if you don’t know if your marketing is helping or hindering your growth, then it’s time to assess this critical area. Book a free consultation now to discuss how a marketing assessment will position you for future growth.