Four ways good marketing is like a good diet

Lots of us want to lose weight. Most of us don’t. Why? We don’t have a good diet.

Lots of credit unions want to gain more products and services with their members. Most of them don’t. Why? We don’t have good marketing.

Good marketing and good dieting are actually pretty similar. Of course, that is not necessarily a good thing since dieting is so challenging. Really good financial marketing is hard. However, when you accomplish it, there is no better way to help your credit union grow.

Here are four ways to good marketing is like a good diet:

  • It takes setting specific goals—When it comes to dieting, vague goals stink. If your resolution is simply “to lose weight” you can forget about it. If you say, “I’m going to lose five pounds by June 30,” then your odds of success increase exponentially. It’s the same way with marketing. Vague goals stink. Whether it’s a particular promotion, a complete branding campaign or an internal emphasis, marketing requires goals and specificity.
  • It takes daily discipline—When it comes to dieting, you have to work at it all the time. It is a daily process. Effective dieting is the sum of all the little decisions you make throughout the day (pass on the donut or pass the donut). It’s the same way with marketing. Effective marketing is not a “pot shot” approach where you do it every now and then. You should constantly be doing marketing at your credit union. Don’t ever hit the “pause” button on your marketing but have the discipline to do it even when it hurts (for example, don’t cut the marketing budget even if that is the easy thing to do).
  • It takes outside help—When it comes to dieting, trying it alone is a recipe for disaster. Whether it is a group of friends or a professional program like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig we need accountability assistance. It’s the same way with marketing. If we never have someone from the outside reviewing our marketing efforts from time to time it becomes much more difficult to improve. It is just too easy to become stagnant and complacent. One practical step every credit union can take to receive that all-important outside help is to conduct a marketing audit. Taking a marketing audit gives you an unbiased third party review of your materials along with strategic and tactical suggestions for improvement.
  • It takes cutting—When it comes to dieting, you absolutely have to cut out certain things. You have to remove junk food, unhealthy late night snacks and even sodas to experience weight loss. It’s the same way with marketing. You have to cut the copy. More than likely you are trying to communicate WAY too much information in your marketing material. Keep your marketing simple by reducing all you are trying to say. After conducting a strategic rebrand, one of our clients said, “Now we’re going to put out website on a diet.” She immediately saw the benefit in cutting one of her main marketing channels.


There are many rewards of a good diet, like a longer life, a healthier lifestyle, and a better body image. There are also many rewards of good marketing, like more members, better loan growth and an improved brand.

Mark Arnold

Mark Arnold

Mark Arnold is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner helping businesses such as credit unions and banks achieve their goals with strategic marketing insights and energized training. Mark ... Web: Details