Marketing plays an essential role in any credit union strategic planning session. It's the marketing that gets your message to the masses, which in turn leads to grow your Financial Institution. Do you have an innovative new product or service? If nobody hears about it, nobody will care. That's failure, and it's not an option.
If you want your credit union to standout against the competition, make sure you incorporate these successful marketing techniques into your yearly credit union strategic plan.
1. Hire a Tech Specialist
It's not enough anymore to slip an ad insert into an envelope alongside your member's monthly statement and drop it in the mail. According to American Banker, as far back as 2013, nearly fifty percent of all banking customers had opted to receive paperless statements. Online banking is quick. It's convenient. And members can now perform nearly every banking task needed from the comfort of their laptop or mobile phone.
The marketing trends that are a part of your credit union strategic planning today must be tech-friendly or nobody will ever hear, see or experience them. This means hiring someone who's experienced in creating engaging Web content such as e-inserts, re-targeting campaigns, electronic surveys, electronic newsletters and more.
An what about email and social media? Make sure your marketing and sales strategic plan includes all the new avenue for touching your members and their friends and family. Social media is a great way to build rapport with member who no longer visit a branch in person anymore. Email remains the best way to convert leads digitally. Make sure you have expertise in both of these all-important areas!
2. Target the Right Sites
It's not all about Facebook anymore. The social media channels that your target audience frequents is dependent upon various factors that include age, race, and gender. According to the PEW Research Center, 72+ percent of all Americans regularly use social media. That's a huge audience for your message. But you'll gain more return on your marketing dollars if you understand who your members are and where they play.
You should know, for instance, that 18 to 29 year-olds are the ones using social networking sites the most, and that while Facebook is still tops, it hasn't actually shown significant growth in the number of users since 2012. Instagram, meanwhile, has grown 13 percent and Pinterest has grown 15 percent in the last four years. Check out our Blog: Is Your Credit Union Appealing to UnBanked Millennials?
It's essential to know where your audience is headed, not where it's been, and channel your digital advertising dollars accordingly.
TechCrunch estimates that by the year 2020, over six billion people will own smartphones, up from the almost 3 billion that used them in 2015. Talk about your vast, untapped marketplace. By incorporating a simple QR code into your marketing materials -- magnets, coffee mugs, t-shirts, signage and billboards -- you can instantly direct traffic to your credit union's website. Offer a coupon for specific services via an easy-to-access QR code that's read by a smartphone app, and you could draw in a whole new generation of credit union members.
There's also a lot of marketing and sales professionals who will tell you straight up that if your credit union isn't making videos for the purpose of educating and cross-selling to your members or potential new members you are already falling behind! Some stats indicate that by 2020 80% of content consumed on the internet will be video! Wow! Don't wait on this one folks... get busy with video NOW!
Few actions spell rapid growth like innovation. Something as simple as expanding your online banking hours, placing a digital assistant on your website to chat with anyone who logs on, or having someone available to service credit union members during off-hours and holidays are just a few savvy ideas that can push your credit union strategic planning over the finish line to success.
Getting out ahead is the only way to succeed when you exist in a competitive marketplace. Know your members. Know your community. And use the most strategic marketing methods out there to move them to conversion. Do this, and your credit union strategic planning session will yield incredible results.