Maybe Your Credit Union Needs a Marketing Technologist

Technological innovation is hitting the financial services industry at a dizzying pace. But it’s not just your IT and retail delivery department that is faced with the challenge. Credit union marketers now have more technology based assets available to them than ever before. Traditionally, marketing from within the credit union was about communication. But now, your mission is more about engagement and the crafting of experiences. And with more and more of those experiences residing in a digital environment, things may start getting very interesting.

Let’s take digital marketing as an example. Traditionally, the extent of a digital strategy for a credit union was simply to build a web site, promote e-statements and online banking.  My how things have changed. Now, I hope you are managing an extended web platform that includes landing pages, microsites, social media, mobile apps, dynamic offers, SEO and more. Hopefully you are fully leveraging opportunities within your online banking platform as well.  One blogger I follow views this evolution “as a kind of solar system model, with many platform planets orbiting a central marketing strategy”. This could be a great time to discuss “big data,” but I don’t want your head to explode.

There is emerging internal, external  and product technology that credit union marketers may be blindsided by. Perhaps this is due to an over-reliance on the traditional IT department to “have the answers.” Marketing needs to control it own technological future, because in a member centric environment, there will always be a need to balance priorities that extend beyond the traditional “walls” of marketing and IT.

Last year IBM published a study of CMOs and found that 79% of them expect high to very high level of complexity in marketing over the next five years. The study reported that only 48% of them feel prepared for that complexity. I wonder what a similar study specific to financial services marketers would look like. The results would be frightening.

In 2011 Forrester made the bold recommendation that progressive organizations establish a marketing technology office that reports to the CMO. Here is an excerpt:

“For marketing to build a technology strategy, implement and develop those technologies, and better integrate and act on the customer data it captures, marketing resources must be organized within a central framework that can act at the speed that marketing requires. We call this framework the marketing technology office (MTO), defined as: A center of excellence that leads technology strategy, develops marketing technologies, and evangelizes innovative uses throughout the marketing department.”

Creating such an “office” may be premature for the average credit union. However, you likely realize that there is a consumer revolution occurring and much has to do with technology and consumers expectations of it. Marketers at credit unions need to quickly come to terms that their functions are changing and embrace that change, or simply be a victim of it. There’s plenty more innovation ahead in the financial services industry, and each new wave of it, changes the marketing landscape.

You better make sure technology becomes infused into your marketing culture. Sooner than later.

Bryan Clagett is a principle driver of Geezeo’s global marketing, brand and outreach efforts. Clagett joins founders Shawn Ward and Peter Glyman in establishing Geezeo as the premier personal financial management provider in the financial services industry. Since 1987, Bryan has held a number of executive positions in the financial services industry.

Bryan Clagett

Bryan Clagett

Bryan is on the executive team and singularly focused on driving revenue growth through a variety of new initiatives that help financial services and fintech become ever more relevant to ... Web: Details