Two Seconds To Sell

Hand grasping a stopwatch on a white background

“Why should I join your credit union?”

Fair question. You probably have a laundry list of answers. Perhaps you lead with rate and service. Perhaps there is a specific niche you serve better than anyone else. Maybe you have a very unique product.

All well and good, but do you know how to communicate your value proposition in 2 seconds or less?

Extensive neuroscience studies, conducted by Mars (yes, the candy company), show that similar marketers now only have about two seconds to capture consumers’ attention in the digital realm. As a company that owns several candy brands (impulse buys for the most part), the marketing team in the Mars communications lab is trying to solve, 1) how to draw attention and 2) quickly create an emotional connection. The two together are the magic formula for triggering impulse purchases.

“You don’t go to the store with gum on your shopping list,” says Sorin Patilinet, part of the Mars marketing and communications team. “We want to reach as many people as possible to build this memory structure, which will be triggered at the point of purchase, especially since half of our categories are mostly impulse buys, like chocolate and gum.”

So credit union services don’t seem to be an impulse buy like gum or a pack of Skittles as you’re standing in line at the grocery store. Or are we?

I would argue that as you build your credit union marketing plan to acquire new members, you should operate under the same assumption as Mars and follow the same strategy. Most consumers are passive about their financial services provider. Every bit of research over the past decade continues to show that even as people have a strong dislike for their bank or credit union, they’re not apt to make a switch. (Consider the many follies of Wells Fargo and people continue to stay with them!)

If your marketing isn’t creating the ROI you were hoping for, consider the data from a Mars neuroscience study that is now in its fifth year. They analyzed more than 130 digital ads on various platforms and of various durations using facial coding that can detect attention and emotion of the person viewing the ad. Their findings so far?

“Marketers would be shocked if they knew how little active attention some of their executions are getting,” Patilinet said. “They think that people watch all the 15-seconds, and then they find out that in some cases, it’s only two seconds.”

All of that time, effort and marketing budget only to be ignored! No wonder you’re not seeing the return from your credit union marketing plan.

So what is Mars’s solution in their marketing? The same concept we follow at YMC.

  1. Capture the attention of the consumer. Talking about you (your rate, your product, your service, your new app) is not the answer. It’s talking to the consumer, engaging them by asking a question or a statement that punches them in the gut. For example, “Are you currently living paycheck to paycheck?”
  2. Follow that gut-punch by eliciting emotion. Perhaps the follow up is something like: “Does that leave you feeling stressed?”

Mars has proven that by building emotions, you can encode your distinctive value proposition into the consumer’s brain much faster.

I challenge you to walk out into your branch and evaluate your credit union marketing message. Does it lead by diving right into a product or rate? Does it emotionally connect with a consumer, highlight a problem and solve a problem? Most likely not in a way that connects with consumers. Most likely only in our mind only can we claim a job well done.

At Your Marketing Co., we are not only credit union marketing professionals; we are students. Constantly reading, learning, asking questions, gaining perspective… not only to better ourselves but to provide our 30+ credit union clients across the country with the best knowledge, ideas and solutions to their growth problems.

Are you trying hard to meet the goals of your credit union, but are falling short? Does it leave you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed? Maybe your strategy needs a reset…. We have limited space to accept new credit union clients into the YMC family in 2021. If you’re frustrated with your past results, curious about new ideas to serve your members and grow, and willing to try something new, email me and let’s talk.

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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


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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