How to lead.
How to market.
How to… fill in the blank with just about any action needed in business and there is a book, blog, podcast, or whitepaper to help you learn more. But there’s one resource consistently missing and badly needed. How to client.
If you’ve hired an agency in the past with not-so-great results, there’s a good chance that you didn’t know how to client. It’s rare that an agency will take the time to share best practices on how to get the most out of the relationship before diving into the creative process, which will last for a little while but not for the long term.
If you’ve been burned in the past, or you are considering a credit union marketing agency, here are three things to keep in mind to help you find the right fit for the long term and get the results your credit union needs.
- What should your credit union look for in an agency partner? A survey from Setup found that most clients really don’t care about things like proximity, size of the agency or awards when choosing the right partner. Most clients were more interested in looking for chemistry, transparency, good communication and creativity. Most agency clients surveyed said they wished their marketing agencies would be more strategic partners and had a better understanding of their business. It doesn’t matter how creative the agency is or how nice the team is if the ideas are not based in strategy by first gaining perspective; there’s a good chance you won’t see the results you’re hoping for in the long term.
- Building a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship is crucial. No credit union (or any business for that matter) wants to agency hop. As part of the survey mentioned above, both clients and agency principals mentioned the same things when it came to improving their agency relationships. A successful, long-term relationship between you and your credit union marketing agency means high levels of quality communication rooted in transparency. It sounds easy enough, but transparency requires a certain level of vulnerability from both parties, which isn’t easy to achieve. Once you’ve conquered communication and transparency, sharing goals and KPIs that are mutually agreed upon is the only way to ensure proper measurement of success and identifying what isn’t working when those goals are not met. Whatever marketing firm you choose, it should set clear expectations and be completely transparent and candid about what they do well and what they don’t do well.
- Expecting harmony is a recipe for disaster. Harmony is a very uncomfortable status for personality types who naturally avoid confrontation. Don’t fear tension. Your credit union marketing agency shouldn’t be striving to be your best friend, as that leads to fear of confrontation and upsetting the relationship. Your credit union hired a marketing firm to help you solve a problem within your credit union. However, when you allow for those tough conversations, uncomfortable questions and fresh ideas that challenge the way you’ve always done things, it will result in a trusted, mutually beneficial, long-term relationship. Allow your agency to challenge you to find that unmet need that led to their hiring in the first place.
After working with credit unions for almost 15 years, the Your Marketing Co. team has seen the patterns that lead to success and developed a time-tested formula for breaking through the obstacles holding you back from growth. It’s not easy, but the payoff is becoming a high-performing, best-practice credit union that becomes an asset to your members and community. Want to learn more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.