Credit Union Marketers’ Survival Guide to Coronavirus Fallout

As we move into the first global, disease-driven recession in modern times, the credit unions that survive will be those who reinvent their businesses for an uncertain future.

History is being made in 2020; it has not been an easy year, especially for those in marketing and business development. Most major global markets are facing an economic downturn with the UK and Japan being the most recent to report a decline in GDP for two consecutive quarters. Is the US next?

As economic uncertainty continues despite a roaring stock market, marketing budgets are being squeezed and cut, and advice for marketers varies widely among the experts. The prevailing cloudy and vague voice is that continuation of brand investment is the only way to weather the economic storm. However, those same voices are also getting louder on digital transformation, saying that those who emerge strongest from the crisis will be the credit unions that innovate their way out of it, instead of merely splashing their names across billboards.

I agree, but credit unions do have a responsibility to ensure their communities know they are there to help. My best advice for credit union marketing plans for 2021 is this: Be ready to dynamically adjust where your budget is spent and adapt your messaging. Credit union marketers must focus on where their members are now and what behaviors have changed. Responses cannot be one-size-fits-all, however, as the pandemic and reactions differ regionally.

Seek out media and agencies with flexible terms, so you can take some bets and be prepared to pivot if things change rapidly with the pandemic and resulting recession. For example, YMC has always written our contracts to allow clients to fire us with 60 days written notice. We love the long-term relationships we’ve had with many of our clients, some dating back more than 15 years, prior to YMC even existing. However, too many unknowns exist for credit unions to be tied into an overabundance of long-term contracts.

If you’re struggling with uncertainty about 2021, and when, where and how you’re spending your credit union’s marketing dollars are keeping you up at night, I have some good news. As a team that has partnered with strategically focused credit unions for more than a decade, we have crafted a unique time-tested action plan that brings clarity, breaks down barriers, leading to growth and the realization of your goals.

We have just three spots available to accept new clients. YMC would love for one of those to be your credit union, so you can watch your competitors scratch their heads and wonder, ‘how are they doing all of that?!?’ Email me: for a free 60-minute discovery consultation with the YMC team today!

Learn more about our unique time-tested process for Outsourced Marketing by filling out the form below.

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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