What is Credit Union Marketing’s REAL Job?

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What are your expectations for your credit union marketing team? If your credit union is like most organizations, marketing is taking on a more strategic role, moving from traditional roles such as brand and advertising to new areas, including market-entry strategies and market selection, according to a recent study from The CMO Report.

The study released in March found that traditional marketing responsibilities are still at the very top of the list with the brand being one of the leading functions (94.1%, up from 90% in February 2020.) Other primary responsibilities cited by at least 9 in 10 respondents were advertising (92.3%, up from 86%) and digital marketing (90.5%, up from 86%).

There was one interesting change in the report from 2020 to 2023, and that was revenue growth as a function of marketing. In fact, 41% of marketing professionals who responded to the survey included growth as an objective of their marketing position. This strikes me as odd because I have always believed that the main function of marketing is growth, including revenue.

Brand, advertising, digital marketing, yes, they all are a function of marketing and they should all drive growth. If it doesn’t, nothing else matters. If your brand is not recognized by your ideal members within the community, growth will be difficult. If your advertising message isn’t sealed with a strong value proposition, you will continue to be “the best kept secret.” If you don’t have a solid digital marketing strategy, employing the proper channels with constant review and adjustments, you’re losing to your competition.

The lack of understanding around the true function of marketing has never been clearer to me than when I’ve been asked to judge credit union marketing awards. Often “great creative” was handed an award despite the blank “goals and results” section. That is the most important part of marketing. It may look great and be fun, but if it didn’t accomplish anything, does it really deserve an award?

This isn’t me just being cranky.

As a credit union leader, the No. 1 expectation of your credit union marketing team should be growth. Granted, it can’t be the sole function of marketing, but it must be the focus. Understanding the goals, knowing your ideal credit union member, creating a strong message with a clear and unique value proposition, and knowing the right channels and platforms to use to meet those objectives are must-haves for your credit union marketing.

If your credit union marketing is lacking, or you just feel stuck where you are, perhaps Your Marketing Co.’s team can help? We’re just an email away.

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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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