Credit union executives are not always the best marketers

Everybody thinks they’re a marketer. Guess what? They’re not.

Sorry. It’s a plain as that. You might be a great CEO because of your leadership skills or a great CFO because of your numbers magic. That does not mean you’re a great marketer. Some credit unions realize the value of utilizing experts in the marketing world. So let them do what they do best – drive your credit union with ideas, passion and a vision that reaches out to existing and future members.

Not everyone knows the multitude of detail that goes into the science of modern marketing, things like messaging and content, design, branding, color, typography … and a host of other important things that make the marketing engine hum. When well-meaning executives get too involved in the marketing process, the result is often blunted ideas, less than optimal materials and diminished brand power. As the resident executive, it’s up to you to realize this, play to your own strengths and let your marketing professional play up to theirs. Support marketing and branding efforts  – don’t try to own them.

Too many cooks in the marketing kitchen can have a definite detrimental impact, making it difficult for marketing staff to meet deadlines, achieve goals, create original content and even stymie efforts to create and nurture brand messages.

What can you do to help lessen the impact of this at your credit union? Try a few of the tips below.

  • Have a clear understanding of the credit union organizational chart. If marketing reports in a direct line to the CEO, the majority of his/her communication should go to that person. Follow the flow of the chart and let your marketer focus their time and energy communicating with the people most directly responsible for their performance.
  • Allow your marketer to speak and act assertively. We’re not talking about them being a jerk to people — far from it. They can certainly speak and act assertively, thus establishing their position as the resident marketing expert, without being cruel or condescending. After all, they’re at the credit union for a reason — to lead its marketing efforts. Let them.
  • Don’t hesitate to open yourself to advice. Making it clear to others, especially your marketing staff, that you are open to input and advice only strengthens your position. Not every suggestion you receive will be good or even workable, but just the fact that you’re willing to listen increases your credibility. Opening up your options to the energy and experience of your marketing staff only enhances your position of leadership and authority.

Credit union executives are dedicated and passionate people, the very best leading the very best. However, they are not often expert marketers. Allow your investment in a marketing staff to pay off by disengaging from the marketing function and letting them do what they do best.

Jeff Kjoller

Jeff Kjoller

Jeff has extensive experience in branding, art direction and graphic design, having served employers and clients in a creative capacity for more than twenty-five years. After graduating from the University ... Web: Details