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3 Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Marketing Plan

Article originally featured on CUInsight.com. 

When loans are down or you need deposits, and you need that business coming in the door ASAP, it’s easy to begin your marketing plan in “execution mode.”  One of my absolute favorite quotes I look at when I am preparing our marketing plans for our small credit union clients is this one by Alexander Graham Bell, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

When you don’t ask questions and take some time to look at things from all angles, you miss opportunities to address with your marketing efforts.  Here are some questions to ask before you begin putting your pen to paper on your marketing plan:

1. What are the needs of our members and potential members?  This is a great question to ask your tellers and member service representatives…the ones having the everyday conversations with members.  Then you can determine any pivoting your credit union needs to do by asking these follow-up questions:

  • Is our credit union meeting every need from a service and product standpoint?
  • What about a convenience standpoint?
  • Are there opportunities to improve processes or enhance any products and services?
2. Are there any products or services that we aren’t offering that we should?  2. Team question!  “What do you deem critical to address with the marketing plan?”  If you don’t believe that everyone at your credit union is a marketer, then you are setting your plan up for failure.  Yes, “marketing” may only be on one person or department’s business card, but “marketing” encompasses everything in the brand experience for your credit union.  That means the way we communicate with members and position our products to the way we help them in their financial lives. Asking this question accomplishes an important feat as well, which is getting the buy-in from staff members on the marketing and strategic direction of the credit union.  This buy-in is absolutely imperative to the success of your marketing plan.

3. Is our brand experience and culture in place to deliver a consistent experience with our marketing and what we are telling members and/or potential members?  This is the most important question of the three.  You can have the coolest-looking marketing pieces, the most comprehensive digital marketing strategy, or do any number of the awesome tactics out there to reach members and potential members.  But if your website isn’t ready to handle the job of educating and attracting them, your service isn’t consistent across all channels, and if your experience in the branch, on the phone, on your mobile app, or on your social media channels isn’t congruent with your marketing messaging, it will cause them not to trust your brand.

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