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November/December 2017 Issue: Front Page > Member Education

Member Education
Get Your Game On For 2018

The roar of the crowd at a football game, leaves falling to the ground, the smell of pumpkin pie in the oven and that dreaded feeling you have knowing it's time to work on a marketing plan and budget for next year....ahh, the wonderful season of fall.

Football Equipment and Chalk Board Play Strategy Just like a football team hits the field with a game plan, it is vital that your credit union start now and make a plan for 2018. Planning now will help you win the game of marketing with your members in 2018 and beyond. Basically, it's the difference between a touchdown and a fumble. Plan equals touchdown...no plan equals fumble. Can't get any simpler than that. And as credit unions, we want a lot of touchdowns.

We Know Your Budget Is Tight
In this uncertain economy, it's more important than ever to have a plan. Planning is by far the best way to get the most bang out of your budget. During a time when budgets have been cut, and then cut again, you have to work even harder to find a way to get your message out to members and ultimately build the best relationship with them as possible. According to businessdirectory.com, "the marketing strategy is the foundation of the marketing plan." Simply put, the strategy combines all your marketing goals into one comprehensive plan. We know you are thinking, "Well duh, I already knew that."

But, did you know that according to the Fundamental Aspect of Marketing, "modern consumers, business buyers, staff and suppliers too, are today more interested than ever before in corporate integrity, which is defined by the organization's ethics and philosophy"? Notice the word philosophy...sounds familiar to you right?

Focus On People Helping People
To make a plan you first have to know a few key things. And first and foremost you have to know that as a credit union whose philosophy is "people helping people" you are in the business of helping members. Our point is that we hope this year you will make it a priority in your marketing efforts to focus on what you do best – service to members.

If there was ever a time to promote service, it's now. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain increased loyalty. "Looking at the market landscape right now, there is a tremendous opportunity for credit unions to strengthen their core value position and get new customers by pointing out the unique difference in the way they've serviced their members over the past several years," says Chris Cottle, vice president of Corporate Marketing Allegiance.

Rise Above The Competition
A football legend once said, "When you find your opponent’s weak spot, hammer it." - John Heisman

Right now credit unions have the opportunity to do what they do best and show members the benefits and advantages of belonging to a financial institution they can trust. In 2018, make sure that your marketing strategy helps you develop an even better relationship. Trust, confidence... people naturally identify with these and as a credit union it's time to "hammer" that into your advertising efforts.

But a note of caution... don't set out to slam your competition in your advertising. Focus on what you do best and that will always pay off. Take this great advice from football coach Lou Holtz, "If you burn your neighbor's house down, it doesn't make your house look any better.”

Keep It Simple
Your plan does not have to be an elaborate work of many pages. Less is better if it means you will follow the plan.

Remember...It's never finished
You've attached the budget and made copies for the board... done, right? Nope! A marketing plan is always in action, it is not written in stone. You must be flexible and willing to change it or modify it. The best marketing plans have coffee stains, rips, tears and pages attached to the end.

Start With Goals
At the beginning of your plan make sure to include your goals. That way you'll know that everything in the rest of your plan should be an effort to help you meet these goals.

Divide and Conquer
Just like a football game has four quarters, divide the year into quarters and work on one at a time. Then you can go back and put the whole thing together.

Include A Budget
Your budget should include everything you want for the year. From newsletters and direct mail to coffee mugs and pens, at least get a reasonable estimate of how much these things will cost. If you have a specific budget you have to work within, planning ahead will help you get more out of the money you have.

Remember, if you have a tight budget, it's what you do with it that counts. Another football great once said "The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have." - Vince Lombardi

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your marketing plan, we would be happy to help get your credit union "in the game" for 2018.

This article was submitted by Creative Marketing, LLC. For more information, contact Lisa Vincent or Amy Potter at: lisa@createmarketing.com or amy@createmarketing.com or call 1 (800) 333-5285 x.2

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