From the board room to the frontlines, every credit union and community bank will tell you they put people at the center of everything they do. Even when disappointment occurs, there is always the best of intentions to live up to this expectation. With this grandiose idea, the rabbit hole only widens with the introduction of marketing.
Customer satisfaction studies and segmentation data will give intelligence, but not the passion or the “why” when someone buys. Uninspiring marketing plans are crafted within the ill-fated confines of organizational brand standards. It all stems from a desire to put people first and wanting to share the “customer comes first” story – one that is told again and again and again.
Credit unions and community banks will often place their own advertising or hire a media conglomerate, such as local radio, TV or newspaper, to do it on their own networks (There’s no bias there, I’m sure.). When the marketing is ineffective, the finger points to the cost of advertising. Any change to the marketing message is challenged with, “Well, that’s not on brand.”
Any of this sound familiar?
HINT: It’s not about getting noticed. It’s not about doing what everyone else is doing, either. We admire brands because they are relatable and original.
Consumer data is always nice to have, but if the data tells you, for example, that your largest demographic is primarily white families, ages 25-65, in blue-collar occupations, does that mean it should be your target demographic? Perhaps your institution can serve another demo better. And is the fact that you are consumer-centric more important than helping this demo achieve their life pursuits?
RISK is a four-letter word. The greatest marketing risk of all is dull conformity. People don’t want to be mainstream or normal. For credit unions and community banks, this opens an opportunity for discovery, reinvention and innovation.
MARKETING CONSENSUS SRATEGY
How can your organization uncover untapped markets, unfulfilled needs and unspoken desires of today’s consumers? With a marketing audit, you can uncover what’s working, where there may be inefficiencies and provide a strategy or direction that will reignite the fire of your marketing message.
Frank Allgood has more than 17 years of experience in every facet of public information and marketing communications. As Relationships & Results Leader for Your Marketing Co., he is responsible for strategic brand experiences and marketing initiatives for credit unions and community banks across the country. For branding or rebranding projects, call 864.326.8740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.