All successful marketing efforts initially begin with an inspection of the current tactics and assets in play. How could you effectively role out new tactics knowing that either A: you have some marketing out in the universe that you are not proud of (we like to call them the "marketing skeletons in your closet") or B: there is low-hanging fruit everywhere? In most cases when we start to inspect your marketing, we find both; things that need to be cleaned up or simply removed, and assets that have not been fully leveraged. While it's exciting and fun to jump into deploying new tactics and strategies, the inspection and clean-up always come first.
Before embarking on a new and exciting adventure, what do most people do before leaving? They do some planning. Some more than others, but all of them have at least a rough plan. In cylinder 2, we are going to tackle three things:
#1 A simple six-sentence marketing plan that fits on one sheet of paper;
#2 A month-to-month marketing calendar. This will provide you and the team the clarity and direction needed to execute with precision;
#3 A plan of who you are trying to attract to your credit union, also often referred to as member avatars.
No longer will you or the team be guessing on the strategy or what marketing activities are taking place when, everything will be well organized.
There are a lot of things that make your credit union unique. Are you fully leveraging them? How do you tell the story about your credit union? How do you explain the most asked question: how is a credit union different from a bank? The way you really stand out from the crowd is by having a clear brand and making sure it gets well executed. Branding & marketing is every experience and interaction a member or prospective member has with you. Consistency is key.
There is a running marketing joke that has been around for quite some time. It goes like this "50% of my marketing is working, the other 50% is not, if only I could figure out which 50% was working, things would be amazing. This is one of the #1 reasons No Joke Marketing was formed. Marketing is serious stuff. Get it right, and your credit union will thrive. Get it wrong, and you will constantly be playing catch-up or worse be shutting down your doors. In cylinder 4 we will set up systems and processes to track and gauge every marketing effort.
With a solid foundation in place, it is now time to roll out the tactics. The tactics will vary depending on the shape and size of your credit union as well as the goals you are trying to achieve. There is one rule of thumb that holds true: a variety of tactics need to be leveraged at all times. The average credit union is using between 7-10 marketing tactics at any one point in time. A No Joke credit union is not average and uses between 30-40 tactics at any one point in time. In no way is this a shotgun approach. It is done with laser precision.
As new tactics get rolled out, some will work well, others may need some tweaking and tuning up before they start to work and fire correctly. In cylinder 6 the focus is on keeping the engine running well and constantly tweaking, testing and improving. Marketing is not a set it and forget it. To keep the engine running well, it needs to be tweaked, optimized and maintained.
Your marketing engine will run well (very well) on 6 cylinders. Once your six cylinders are moving along and humming well, your credit union can look at deploying the final two cylinders to give your marketing some extra power. In cylinder 7, the focus is on deploying a lot more marketing tactics, and often tactics that are 1-2 years out from being mainstream. This allows you to capture market share before other credit unions and keeps you light years ahead of banks. Some examples would include: artificial intelligence, Chatbots and a live streaming video channel.
The final cylinder that really puts your marketing engine over the top is cylinder 8. Your marketing engine will have to be continuously refined, tweaked and optimized. Tactics will come and go and let's face it, there are only so many hours in the day. To free up some of your time, a lot of your marketing can be set up to run on auto-pilot. Social media posts can be scheduled far in advance, automated email campaigns can trigger throughout the year, text messages can be sent without you having to trigger the campaign. Much of your content marketing efforts and engagement with your members can be automated. This is the holy-grail that puts your marketing engine over the top.