Soap Operas and Credit Union Marketing

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. The best is yet to come.” 
― Zig Ziglar

We’re facing economic insecurity on a local and national level—there’s no denying it. With the recent GDP decline of 9.5% (-32.9% annualized), you may find yourself looking at the bottom line. You may even be thinking about how your credit union can regroup, scale back, and spend less.

But what if you could work our economy to your advantage?

Consider Proctor & Gamble’s strategy during the Great Depression. Other companies played it safe by cutting costs, pulling advertising, and weathering the financial storm. Not P&G. The economy was struggling, but people still needed to buy soap—so the leadership team made sure that their products were at the front of Americans’ minds. Instead of cutting their marketing and advertising budgets, P&G doubled down. Like a seasoned investor lowering their cost basis, they not only increased their budget, but also explored new avenues to reach their target market—most notably via the radio. Customers would have to buy soap from someone and P&G thought it might as well be from them.

From 1930 onward, P&G created daily radio shows aimed at homemakers who were likely to purchase their products. This approach was so successful that by 1939, the company was producing 21 radio shows to support its other brands. In 1950, P&G released the first televised “soap” opera, defining a genre that would endure for generations.

If not for the decisive actions of P&G’s Depression-era leadership, this story would have a different ending. But because of their strategic risk-taking, Procter & Gamble now ranks #71 on Forbes Global 2000 list and is worth $291 billion.

How can you apply this to your credit union? A few steps to get you started:

  • Brace yourselves. Meet with your team and agree to face any upcoming financial challenges instead of hiding from them.
  • Think of your ideal member. Much like P&G targeting their core market, really focus on your ideal member. They have to bank somewhere—it might as well be with you.
  • Try inventive marketing. Do something new. Is it guaranteed to work? No. But as the old saying goes, to see success, you must double your failure. One thing is certain—if you don’t try, you’ll never succeed.

Do you want to meet the goals of your credit union, but are falling short? Does it leave you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed? Maybe your credit union marketing strategy needs a reset.

As a team that has partnered with strategically focused credit unions for over 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.

Fill out the form below to learn how your credit union can set BHAGS for 2021 and achieve them!

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

Adam is a Relationship Development Leader at YMC with a diverse background in the financial industry. Having lead teams at several financial institutions, Adam got the opportunity to see how credit union marketing directly impacts the members it’s designed to serve. Got an idea you want to share with him? Contact him at

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