“We’re spending money, but there’s nothing to show for it.” If you’ve said that about your credit union marketing, you’re not alone. You may have increased your budget. You may have tried something new. I even know of one large credit union that eliminated its entire marketing budget and didn’t see any change in its numbers.
So what’s the secret? There isn’t one. But we commonly see these 3 fatal flaws in credit union marketing that can hold you back from success.
- Not identifying and speaking to your ideal member. If the response to “who is your ideal member” is “anyone who needs a loan” you’re going to struggle to grow. Unless you’re selling ice cream or tacos, you’re not going to please everybody. When crafting your credit union marketing plan and message and choosing placements, you must know your ideal member inside and out. By understanding the demographics and characteristics of your ideal potential member, you’ll be able to target your marketing efforts, gain new members and earn more new loans. The more specific you are, the more success your credit union will enjoy.
- Peddling product instead of problem-solving. From ad copy to web copy, too many credit union marketing messages put the immediate focus on themselves rather than solving the problems of their ideal member. However, prospects want to know what value they can gain immediately—not that your credit union has loans. Your marketing goal should be to appeal to the emotions of your ideal member, so they’ll want to know more, and only when the conversation continues should you start sharing your products. Show you care, show you understand their concerns, and then demonstrate how your credit union can solve them. To quote a credit union CEO we work with: “No one goes to Home Depot because they want to buy a drill. They go to Home Depot and buy a drill because they need a hole.”
- Ignoring the leads you already have. I can’t tell you how often we troubleshoot ads that are outperforming, yet the credit union’s loan and membership growth is stagnant. When we’ve started digging into the data, we often find lingering applications and messages that have not been responded to, and approved loans left unfunded. Twice in recent months, we’ve found a backlog of approved loans that have gone unfunded due to lack of response or a severely delayed response. I always tell our outsourced marketing clients that they’re flushing their credit union marketing dollars down the toilet if they don’t take care of the prospects who are bellied up to the bar and ready to do business with them. There is no point in scaling up marketing efforts if current members are unhappy and new leads can’t be served. You’ll just end up with a sea of negative reviews and your credit union’s reputation will fall apart.
How about a bonus fatal marketing mistake we see in credit union marketing plans?
Know why you are doing what you are doing. Develop a plan with goals. Credit union marketers are quick to want to run Facebook ads or publish blog posts, but they aren’t ready to manage them. To manage the process, credit unions must have an analytics infrastructure in place to track the performance of your paid campaigns and the outcome of your content strategy. Make sure you know what your analytics goals are and that you’re tracking them properly. Our digital content leader spends her entire day diving into the data, making adjustments, and watching the trends. If you set it and forget it, you’re immediately setting yourself up for failure.
If you find yourself struggling to measure ROI, or meet your credit union’s strategic objectives, let’s talk. We’re huge fans of gaining crazy amounts of perspective to dig to the root of your credit union’s growth problem before providing solutions. Getting the help you need to identify and forge your credit union’s path to growth is more attainable than you think.