There’s nothing more painful than failure, especially when it comes to marketing. All of that time and money gone faster than beans through a cowboy. You allocated enough in your marketing budget. You adjusted your strategy. You had some fun ideas, but still, nothing. What went wrong?
Before you stress, here’s some good news. Perhaps you DID have a sufficient budget. Maybe your strategy was spot on. And your “fun” ideas could have been exactly what was needed. There’s a good chance you made one (or more) of the three most common mistakes I see in credit union marketing.
- Checking on the “roots.” What in the world does that mean? Who puts a new plant in the dirt and then pulls it up every few days to see how the roots are growing? Not too many people. But I see this happen time and time again with the execution of marketing A great strategy is implemented, but instead of giving it time to show results, the post-mortems begin almost as fast as the campaign was launched. And if results aren’t showing up quickly enough, we start fiddling with the strategy or creative. That’s the same as pulling it up by the roots and replanting it over and over again.
Consider this: Would you rather your strategy fail in six weeks or succeed in twelve?
Sounds like a no-brainer in this context, but if the answer is that you want it to succeed in twelve months, then be patient and give your strategy and creative time to bear fruit. I’m not saying to stay the course when you’re truly failing. Establishing interim benchmarks along the way is smart, but resist the temptation to pull the entire strategy or idea out by the roots and constantly fiddle with it – all you’re doing is killing the plant and your credit union’s chance for success.
- Right strategy, wrong tactics? Before you throw out your strategy, consider that the problem may be with your tactics. Many people wrongly assume when you talk about marketing you’re speaking tactically – e.g. Facebook posts, direct mail, billboards, brochures, etc.
Flashback to 2011 when Netflix made what could have been a do or die gaffe with its pricing structure. Some business experts ballparked the streaming service could have lost up to 30% of its recurring revenue because of how Netflix communicated the split subscriber pricing plans between DVD rentals and streaming.
Looking back we see that splitting the DVD rental business from the streaming download business made good business sense. The problem wasn’t with the strategy; the problem was with the tactics. The next time you aren’t satisfied with your results, ask this:
Is it really the strategy at fault, or does the problem lie with execution?
- Right strategy, wrong person. The implementation of a new strategy sometimes means hiring someone or bringing in a marketing consulting firm specifically tasked with the implementation of the strategy. Sometimes, we get the hiring wrong. Hiring is difficult, and we often just dump the whole idea – strategy and all – rather than go through the whole torturous process again. Next time you realize you’ve put the wrong person or firm in place to execute a strategy, don’t dump the strategy. Instead, find the right person or team to implement it.
Did I strike a nerve? Are you feeling like 2020 could have had a better outcome if you didn’t constantly pull your strategy out by the roots, used the wrong tactics, or hired the wrong person or team to handle your credit union’s marketing? The good news, it’s not too late to get it right for 2021.
Need to talk it out? Want to explore your options? Let’s talk! I love problem-solving. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise you won’t get a sales pitch – just perspective.