Is Your Credit Union Marketing Saying What You Think It’s Saying?

Sean Galli
Is Your Credit Union Marketing Saying What You Think It’s Saying?

Abbott and Costello showcased how easy it is to miscommunicate in their famous routine, “Who’s on First?” The bit shows two characters unable to understand each other, primarily because “Who” is both the beginning of a question and the name of the first baseman. Watch the clip below to see what I mean…

Your credit union marketing regularly gets caught in a “Who’s on First?” situation. You try to tell consumers one thing, but they hear something totally different. And unlike the comedy routine, there’s nothing funny about it when revenue is on the line.

Let’s go over the most common credit union marketing pitfalls and how to communicate more clearly.


  • Obsession with “Our” – Credit union marketing materials, especially about big changes, tend to make statements relating to “our vision” or “our values.” It all sounds very noble when writing it, but it might seem pithy to a member. Your members are always asking, “What’s in it for me?” Your vision or values might not address that. Focus on “your” instead. A core conversion is for you to have better services. A new name includes the wider community, growing your credit union and expanding your financial opportunities. 

  • Inaccurate Imagery – Yes, your credit union marketing imagery speaks…just not with words. The types of people in imagery sends a message about the “ideal member” you want. Do elderly people appear in your IRA ads? You’re excluding the people who actually need an IRA right now (younger members). Are your images lacking diversity? This is damaging since people of some ethnic backgrounds will ignore your marketing. Know your niches. Know your targets. Match your imagery to those demographics.


  • Double-Edged Words – Check your credit union marketing for “double-edged words.” These words include “join” and “members.” They’re double-edged because their implied exclusivity is both a draw and a deterrent. Placed in a context of belonging, these words are powerful marketing tools. But if you seem like a fancy country club, these words harm you. Use double-edged words only when appropriate. Replace “join” with “open an account” or “members” with “community” to increase inclusivity.

  • Asking Too Much – People don’t want to do more work. Your credit union marketing needs to tell them that’s ok. Asking people to “switch” breaks that rule, and it’s a message unlikely to attract new members. Completely severing a relationship with another financial institution sounds time-consuming and emotionally taxing. If switching sounds like the only way to become a member, you won’t see many new members. Tell potential members to add you to their portfolio or open a savings account to get great loan rates. Show them getting a foot in the door is easy.

  • Assuming– You know what they say about assuming…so don’t do it with your credit union marketing! Never believe people already understand the product you advertise. Many members have no idea what GAP means or what a CD does for them. And they ignore anything they don’t understand. Take the time to clarify your message – even with a brief explanation – to achieve product adoption wins.


Now, you’re empowered to clarify your credit union marketing messages and win new business. But even with these tips, creative work isn’t everyone’s forte. For extra help, recruit On The Mark Strategies’ creative team! You’ll get a wealth of expert knowledge you can use to communicate effectively.

Sean Galli
Marketing Coordinator