Jack Welch once said, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” Is your financial institution changing how you spend money to acquire clients – is it changing as fast as the market is changing around you? If not, then pay close attention to the following 600 words or so. And take heed – now is the time to destroy your credit union marketing plan and rebuild it!
The Financial Brand recently outlined the breakdown of marketing spending at financial institutions. In this research, they found that most marketers still plan to allocate and spend over 50% of their budgets on traditional media (Radio, TV, Billboard and such) even through 2017. Does your marketing fit this profile?
The rate of change is faster at other institutions. Marketers elsewhere have embraced data analytics and action, and leveraging the digital world. Are you the problem for your institution’s lack of change? Is your management holding your marketing back? Maybe your institution is still living with the notion that nothing has really changed. Change is everywhere. Marketing is centered on the digital world today. And this change requires a constant and substantive understanding of client data.
The pace of spending growth in the digital world is without comparison. Further, the growth of data analytics and proven results via these digital methods is rendering traditional marketing virtually obsolete. As a marketer, you must understand how you will gather the right information, leverage predictive analytics and automate action, so that you can leverage digital one-to-one marketing ASAP and rebuild your marketing budget to match.
Scared? Good. Fear is often the most direct catalyst for change.
As a marketer, are you comfortable collecting and analyzing data? Can you discern the relevance of the information and identify trends, patterns and meaning from client information in the context of the market(s) you serve? Even if you can do this, a better question might be, is data analytics where you find your joy? There is zero shame in saying “no.” Of course, all of this even presumes you have the time…
Data scientists/analysts are unique creatures. They have the uncommon skill of understanding not just the data, but the marketing context and value held in the data. These folks are very left-brain/right-brain co-dominant species, and very hard to find. In August 2014 The Wall Street Journal described people with this skill set as “unicorns.” Clearly this implies that effective data analysts are as hard to find as the mythical unicorn. It would also stand to reason that if you don’t have the talent for data analytics; it is neither surprising nor even unusual. Very few marketers are built this way, which is why the “unicorns” among us are so unique.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to do data analytics yourself. And you don’t even have to add a unicorn to your staff. You can outsource this skill set to get all the value and benefits from data analytics and action, without the life sucking responsibility of doing it yourself. Great, right!?!
There are outside experts who can do this for you. Hire a unicorn that will work for you on an outsourced basis. They will collect your data, analyze it, refine it, and make extremely specific recommendations that will enable them to take targeted action on your behalf…every day. Doing this isn’t hard. Mutual communication about your goals and objectives – and proof that action taken from the information is working – is required. It is all about results. Nothing else matters. (Yes, full disclosure – our OnTrax product is perfect for this unicorn need.)
You can embrace OnTrax (or another firm’s version) and see how quickly the pace of change in your organization’s marketing efforts will exceed what others are doing… better yet, provable revenue and profit growth will inspire your senior management to give you even more budget to invest.
But you will likely have to destroy your marketing plan, and rebuild it!