Marketing the future: Old school marketing or timeless tips?

Traditional marketing is based on years of research and knowledge, and the application of tried and tested methods. However, it is typically associated with casting a wide net – a scattered approach that attempts to engage with an audience but without targeted messaging.

Marketing trends evolve as the years go by, and businesses have been moving away from old school techniques to find new ways to improve the ROI of their marketing efforts.

But rather than dismissing traditional marketing as out of touch, refreshing these approaches and bringing them into 2022 with the tools and technology now available to us, enables us to improve the way we reach our target market.

So, how can credit unions use the wisdom and knowledge of classic old school marketing, and modernize it for the digital age?

Personalized data

Data is key to upgrading traditional marketing strategies. Thanks to the implementation of personalization, targeted advertising, and the optimization of marketing methods, data can seriously enhance old school marketing tactics to make them relevant in today’s landscape.

Research from Accenture found that 83% of consumers are willing to share their data to create a more personalized experience. Listening to consumers and what they want may sound like an obvious approach, but it’s the data collection and synthesizing of the consumer’s wants and needs that provide us with a “W” (a win).

Now is the time to dig deep and harness the power of data, so you can implement an effective and targeted marketing strategy.

The rule of seven

Classic marketing technique, the ‘rule of seven’ is based on the notion that a potential consumer needs to be exposed to a brand’s message at least seven times before they will act on it. The theory is that the repeated appearances of the brand boosts awareness and recognition.

In 2007, the average person saw up to 5000 ads a day – compare this to 2021 when the estimate goes up to 6000-10,000 (Yankelovich). It’s clear that saturation has become a real issue in the marketing industry, and in fact, a global poll by Marketo found that 63% of consumers are tuning out blasted and repeated generic advertising messages. With such an overload of information and competition, a brand’s message can easily get lost in all the noise.

While reach and frequency are important in a good marketing strategy, the secret sauce is relevancy – reaching the right people, at the right time, and in the right way.

The creation of data-led personas using information from your current members allows credit unions to better understand their audience, and drill down into personality, interests, and spending behaviors, allowing marketers to curate targeted marketing campaigns for their current and prospective members.

Direct Mail

One of the more old-school marketing techniques is direct mail – printed media sent out in the post to potential members. Direct mail is a traditional relationship-building tactic, as it gives consumers a tangible branded ‘thing’ to hold and read. DMN found that up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, and when compared to email open rates of 20-30%, it really demonstrates its marketing power.

Without properly understanding the values of the audience you are targeting; direct mail has the potential to be too generic and scattered in its approach. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of sending out promotional materials to everyone on your mailing list, but without focusing on the relationship-building side of this marketing strategy or identifying relevant content for your audience, your beautifully designed postcards could be going straight in the trash.

Print isn’t dead by any means, but the way it’s used needs smartening up. Merging data-led personalization and targeted segmented marketing with direct mail makes it an extremely powerful marketing tool.

Using data to understand your member groups can support with identifying segmented mailing lists and building relevant strategic direct mail campaigns that focus on building those relationships and improving member retention.

Cold calling

The old school method of picking up the phone to call a prospect is making a comeback, and for good reason – the Call Intelligence Index report from Invoca notes that calls have an average of 30-50% conversion rates. Phone calls add a human element to your FI that can foster trust and build a relationship, and they can allow you to learn more about your prospect directly.

Cold calling has the potential to feel like working blindfolded, and without a vast amount of research and data to ensure the relevance of the call’s recipient, it can cast too wide a net as a marketing approach. If poorly executed, cold calling can irritate and frustrate consumers, leaving a negative view of the caller and the organization they represent.

Using data-driven persona groups of current members, you can identify genuine prospects who fit the profile and are relevant to your brand and services. This not only avoids wasting time on irrelevant calls, but it also means the individual on the other end of the call is more likely to be receptive and have a positive experience talking to your brand representative.

Software now exists so you can up your cold calling game. This optimizes the best time to call within business hours, along with AI-generated scripts to support your interactions with consumers.

Looking to the future

The future of marketing is targeted and personalized, but there is room within this to implement traditional marketing techniques. Don’t underestimate the power of the ‘human’ behind your brand – there is no alternative to building authentic relationships with your members.

The simple tactic of tying together old school methods with new school tools creates the potential for effective, rewarding, and high quality marketing strategies.

EmpowerFi™ can help you to pinpoint your perfect prospects and turn them into your ideal members with the power of AI and data. Find out more about IntelliFi™ powered by Faraday here.

Hilary Reed

Hilary Reed

Hilary Reed, founder of EmpowerFi, is an innovative thought-leader who has been involved in various aspects of strategic sales and marketing for 15 years. Her career began in 2000 when ... Web: Details