Moving up in marketing

Career advancement today requires development outside the traditional skillset.

In its search for a new marketing executive, First Entertainment Credit Union went looking for an experienced professional with the knowhow to apply data analytics to burnish its brand and message to appeal to a diverse membership ranging from “Classic Hollywood” to millennial video game developers.

“No more one size fits all. We’re looking at a mass market of one,” says CEO Frank Wasson, a CUES member. “We are ready to look beyond the traditional financial services approach and rethink our model.”

When Wasson signed on as the chief executive of $1.3 billion First Entertainment CU in June, the vice president of marketing position had already been open for eight months. Though the credit union was able to rely on marketing vendors and interim appointments, “we could see that we’ve been losing a little bit of traction around our brand and in emerging markets in our area.”

By late last fall, the field had been narrowed to four finalists with extensive resumes in the financial services and entertainment industries and strong experience in product and brand development. While they ultimately selected a candidate with banking and credit union experience, they were not hesitant to consider out-of-industry candidates. They were looking for someone who could “hit a homerun to the other side while we get them educated about how credit unions work,” Wasson says.


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