Can Credit Unions Really Save Money By Doing This?

Picture this. You’re on a road trip in a beautiful convertible on a warm sunny summer afternoon. Your favorite jams are on the radio. You’re halfway to your destination with another few hours to go. That’s when it hits you. You start doing the math in your head and you realize you need to slow down on your spending or you’re not going to make it through all of your road trips with enough money!

You work through some ideas in your head to try and save a few bucks and you determine that shutting the engine off and just coasting for a bit will save some money. Seems reasonable, until it’s not.

That mistake is going to cost you more than if you had kept the car running. At some point, you’ll stop coasting and need to turn the car back on, and the fuel you are going to burn to regain speed is a lot more than you would have burned to maintain your speed.

“Hey Bo, I ain’t taking no road trip, and I have no idea what this has to do with my credit union.”

Turning off the car and coasting to save money is a common marketing mistake I see many credit unions make. If you use the road trip as an example, and you’re wondering how far you can indeed coast on your credit union marketing plan, there are four factors in answering that question.

  1. Speed
  2. Mass
  3. Friction
  4. Gravity

Anyone can coast downhill (booming economy); no one can coast uphill (poor economy).

A strategic credit union marketing plan is the fuel that energizes your credit union. Notice I used the word strategic… setting up a table with a fancy tablecloth and giving away treats isn’t strategic.

  1. The speed of credit union growth is determined by how heavily and strategically you have been marketing.
  2. Mass is determined by how long and how consistently you have been marketing that heavily and strategically.
  3. Friction is the inefficiencies created for your front-line staff at the credit union to consistently delight your members (and potential members.)
  4. Gravity is the resistance generated by your competitors. How strong or weak are they?

Any time I have seen a credit union (or any business) pause its marketing for a period of time, it ends in frustration. Remember the statement above: A strategic credit union marketing plan is your fuel.

It costs a lot of time (and additional marketing budget) to regain all that was lost during the time you attempted to coast. A former client who retired some years ago used to say, “You can’t cut your way to growth.”

Those words stuck with me, and her credit union’s growth proved that making sound investments with the resources you have will be full of rewards compared to those who cut and cut some more when things start going south, forcing them to cut some more. And more. And more.

When you’re done with stalling, let’s talk!

Quit delaying, let’s start the conversation today!

From strat plans to rebrands, YMC President and CEO, Bo, is passionate about helping financial institutions come up with a winning formula. If you’re ready to go beyond the SWOT, you can email him at

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