Instead of Start… Stop. Just Stop.

It’s now July and time for a mid-year review. I’m willing to bet there are a quite a few to-dos left on your marketing plan that haven’t moved forward – or worse, haven’t seen the light of day. So, what’s keeping your community bank or credit union from achieving success?

Too many other commitments. Far too many distractions. Maybe you had a big project that needed to be broken down into smaller goals. Or perhaps there was a lack of marketing planning and strategy in the first place.

Before you turn your attention to adding projects to maximize growth, let’s focus on what you can stop doing. If you are under the gun, adding unsubstantiated tasks is a sure-fire way to feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck in the second half of 2018. You can slow down your momentum by piling on too much.

I bet your community bank or credit union could stand to stop doing the following:

Stop telling me about products.
In an effort to gain attention, you advertise to consumers about things like free rewards checking, remote deposit capture, great loan rates or higher yields on savings. Instead, start paying attention to how these tools work for your ideal consumer/member. Nowadays, people expect the very best from you (whether you have it or not).

Start seeing the people you serve. Ask yourself how your institution enhances financial success. Meaningful storytelling will deepen engagement.

Stop trying to be charming.
We often find ourselves pushing insincere claims of community, security and solvency. And with every financial institution doing it, we figure we should, too. However, it’s not very interesting.

You know what is interesting? Being interesting. It’s important that we distinguish ourselves with a brand attitude. After all, is anyone really buying into Wells Fargo’s claim of re-establishment following the massive fake-account scandal? As community financial institutions, we should show our community involvement (talk the talk … walk the walk).

Stop obsessing over data.
Make no mistake, we’re not suggesting you should have small, unchallenging goals. In fact, we encourage goals that get you out of your comfort zone. We also implore you to use your data to create more targeted marketing campaigns.

So, what do we mean? Measure what matters. Quite often it’s the journey that teaches us a lot about the destination. Look internally and ask the right questions. You might uncover significant objectives, disciplines or practices that are moving you forward or holding you back.

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Frank Allgood has more than 17 years of experience in every facet of public information and marketing communications. As Relationships & Results Leader for Your Marketing Co., he is responsible for strategic brand experiences and marketing initiatives for credit unions and community banks across the country. For branding or rebranding projects, call 864.326.8740 or email frank@yourmarketingco.com.