Be careful of the words you use in your marketing. Your members may have no idea what you’re trying to say! Recently a study done by of America found that 36% of first-time homebuyers wouldn’t open a HELOC because they didn’t understand what the product is. And even those who did understand what a HELOC is were foggy on what it could be used for.
So how can you cut through the marketing clutter? Here are a few simple steps we follow when writing marketing messages for our clients:
1. Focus on solutions. This is what people are really looking for. And when there's demand, half of your marketing job is done. Products and services that have a high demand get noticed early and often. Give your target market what they want or what they're interested in looking at. Offer something that shouts "I'm a problem solver" or "I'm a solution" quickly, and your you’ll be a few steps ahead of your competition who are still advertising their “great rates and great service.”
2. Aim at your target market. Marketing that doesn't hit your intended target is nothing more than waste (as in "junk email"). When you do hit your target market with relevant content it’s classified as interesting, effective and very efficient. Give your target market something that interests them. If you're a senior citizen interested in classical music, a direct-mail piece about the newest music releases for the latest rock-and-roll bands won't do the job -- you're not part of the rock-and-roll music target market. Similarly, trying to reach Millennials with a direct mail piece about how easy your approval process is even though it makes them come into your branch is laughable.
3. Have a crystal-clear message. Graphics can get your marketing noticed, but don't let them overwhelm your marketing to the point where your message isn't being clearly understood. The famous advertising guru David Ogilvy once said, "I do not regard advertising as an entertainment or an art form but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don't want you to tell me that you find it creative. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product." Don’t bore people with overused stock photos of a woman dangling car keys out the window of a car with a vanilla message lacking a value proposition.
4. Offer added value – or something for free. This is another way to get noticed that's especially prevalent in content marketing circles today. Simply put, valuable information is offered as an incentive for additional contact and to make sure people know you ARE the expert in your field. This "hooks" a prospect, setting the stage for further communication. Here are a few examples of hooks:
Use our free mortgage loan calculator.
Download a free car-buying guide.
Use this free worksheet to compare rates and see how much you can save.
All these hooks offer something of value to an interested prospect. They'll all increase not only the attention your pieces get but your response rates as well.
5. Answer directly "What's in it for the prospect?" Holiday Inn Express advertised that their motels had the "number-one customer-rated showerhead." Have you ever been asked to rate a showerhead? Holiday Inn discovered this was important to their target market and communicated that message directly to them. You can listen and read all about the features of a Holiday Inn Express, but hearing about the number-one customer-rated showerhead speaks to something all visitors want. What's in it for them? A superior shower. Superior showers get noticed. How can you use that same idea to make your loan products or e-services stand out from the competition?
Standing out from the marketing clutter your competition is creating will always be a challenge for you. If you start with these five basic steps, you too can see double digit loan growth and tremendous ROA like our thirty clients.