5 Cents

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Best friends taking selfie at city tour trip - Happy friendship

Put in my…5 cents…? What the what? It used to be 2 cents. When did inflation start affecting sayings? I am certainly more than willing to put in my 2, 5 or even 25 cents – not sure if my opinion is worth that but I’d throw some change in to give my say. Honestly, I usually throw my opinion in for free and without prompting.

I was in a team interview a few weeks ago with a potential new Relationship Development Leader, a millennial if you will, looking to join the YMC team. The interviewee said he would always put in his 5 cents. No one said anything, but I thought, “Am I the only that realized how crazy that sounded?” Is it my age?

Anyway, of course that sent me over the edge, and I started thinking, “Wow! How times have changed.” I get a bit obsessive over things and my mind runs in many directions quickly.

2 cents. 5 cents. When did this change happen? Was it discussed? Or, did someone have 5 cents in their pocket one day and thought, “Why not? I’ll put in my 5 cents.” What about, “Here’s a quarter call someone who cares?” Should we instead say, “Here’s my cell, text someone who cares?”

Credit Unions. We market to so many different demographics and ALL the ages. We talk a good game of driving our average age down, having products and solutions to capture various markets, and listening to our members’ needs. We spend time creating bundles to fully arm our members with financial tools, financial literacy, relationship pricing and so much more. Huge dollars are invested in new technologies, delivery channels, branch environments, staff development and employee benefits. We adjust our language for SEGs, for cultures, for underserved markets. I pride myself on always putting the member first – their experiences, interactions, and relationships. I pride myself on relevant automation and using it to deliver a member specific, perfectly timed communication.

5 cents. That’s all it took. Two words to make me stop in my tracks, obsess, write this blog. Two words that made me think – am I out of touch? Am I delivering the right message with the right language to the right member?

My point? I am actually not sure that I have one. But it is making me think and I like that. Pondering ideas. Pondering is like a one-person brainstorming event in my head.
Embrace pondering.

Strategic planning season. My 5 cents about it? (Since the value has obviously gone up.)
When we look to enter new markets or increase penetration among certain age demographics, we must also learn the lingo. The language we used years ago to craft our message might not be relevant today.

Two cents. $2 bills (which, by the way, my daughter tried to use at Five Below and was told they don’t accept them). CDs. DVDs. Cassettes. Dare I mention 8 tracks? Stick shift cars. MySpace. Hotmail. Earthlink. Dial up internet. Shoulder pads. Driving to get your own take-out meal. All of these things are irrelevant, outdated. Are our messages outdated?

Checking accounts. Do we really need them anymore? And who uses those anyway? Do they still teach children how to draft a check in high school? Unless you have kids and need to send random $10 stipends to the PTA or PTO.

Cash. I barely even know what that looks like anymore. But it is dirty, and I can Venmo easily enough. And, if I don’t have it, my kids can’t get it.

Waiting 7-10 days for your plastic, your spending power. DAYS? Who waits days for anything anymore? Target, Amazon – same day delivery. SAME DAY. That means under 24 hours. Crazy. Apple instantly delivers your new “card” to your digital wallet and then you have to go into the app to actually request a card to be sent to you. Plastic doesn’t need to be touchable anymore to be useable.

Perhaps we need to start turning our messaging. Do our members or potential members care about the nearest ATM to get cash? Will they in another 12 months? Do our members care about checking? My checking account is just a place that my direct deposit goes every two weeks. I don’t think about it – I have my bills on autopay and I take a look at the end of the month in case I have to adjust a payment or pay ANOTHER medical bill. Anyway, the point being my checking relationship is really defined by my debit (or charge) card. Physical plastic? That’s become my backup – I leave cards in the car just in case I run into a store that does not accept me tapping my phone as payment. The days of my losing my card are almost behind me – now, hopefully I don’t lose my phone.

One month left in 2019. One month of planning, drafting strategic goals, shoring up marketing plans. Are you doing anything different in 2020? Is your messaging changing?
Are you building foundations for the next 3, 5, 10 years when plastic is almost certainly gone? When cash is irrelevant? When your delivery channels have advanced lightyears in just moments.

If you aren’t already are you ready to embrace pondering? Brainstorm – project – plan. It’s time.

Let's Get Started!

Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
 
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
 
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Living life by his motto to “Do good even if the world is unfair,” Dexter would also advise his younger self, “It’s hard, but you’re doing good!” Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche

Copywriter

Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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