The 3 “mores” of credit union marketing

Researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California predicted that the average American would consume about 15.5 hours of media per day this year, not counting workplace time. That’s an overwhelming amount of data. For consumers in your community or SEG, your credit union’s marketing efforts represent a micro-fraction of that media deluge.

When you think about making your marketing efforts stand out, you can’t afford to think just about standing out against your competitors. You have to think in terms of standing out from the total stream of media your members and prospects face each day.

In order to succeed, your credit union’s marketing efforts need to be:

  1. More Interesting.

The average U.S. attention span is about 8 seconds. At least, that’s what it was in 2013. The way things are going, we’re probably down to an even lower number at this point. Thank you, digital and mobile, for helping us achieve a shorter than the attention span than a goldfish. If you don’t find that alarming, consider this: website visitors tend to scan a page for 2.6 seconds before focusing on a particular section, then they shift focus again within about 180 milliseconds.

What does that mean for marketing? You need to be interesting, fast! Goal #1 should be to catch the reader/viewer/listener’s attention. Even the greatest product or service in the world won’t do well if it isn’t shared in an intriguing way. Keep in mind that about 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, so a strong visual component is usually a good idea. Goal #2 should be to capitalize on that initial interest by offering the consumer reasons to stay longer, learn more, and take action.

  1. More Digital.

According to Pew Research, at least 51% of US adults bank online and 32% bank using their mobile phones. With options for mobile payments and wallet-less transactions growing, consumers expect to have products, services, and information at their fingertips. As a marketer, you probably don’t have control over the digitalization of processes and offerings at your credit union but you do have a voice.

Digital marketing isn’t just for national brands: about 97% of all consumers search for local businesses online. Too many credit unions are missing out on opportunities to be found because they haven’t optimized their content, aren’t placing digital ads, aren’t analyzing and responding to their web traffic, or because they simply come across to consumers as being behind the digital times. All of these can be make-or-break for how well you’re able to win consumers’ interest quickly. And digital matters to the demographic that matters to you: 53% of Millennials would rather lose their sense of smell than their technology.

  1. More Personal.

Becoming more digital doesn’t have to mean becoming less personal. In fact, it ought to mean the opposite. It’s no secret to consumers that some of their personal information is gathered when they go online. It’s also no secret to your members that you have a great deal of personal information about them. It’s fair to say they expect that information to be used to tailor engagement to them. In fact, 25% of online consumers said they’d give up chocolate for a month (and 13% would give up sex for a month) in order to receive relevant content based on their personal interests.

When people receive information that’s personally relevant, they’re more likely to be intrigued by it (hello, under-8-second victory) and become engaged. That might mean clicking through, making a phone call, visiting a branch, or doing all of the above. Keeping your members engaged directly impacts your credit union’s bottom line. According to Gallup, fully engaged customers deliver 37% more annual revenue to their primary bank than disengaged customers.

In A Nutshell

Credit union marketers are in a David-versus-Goliath battle for consumer attention. But don’t despair: even with your small size and small marketing budget you can still win the consumer and win the day. Load your marketing slingshot with interesting + digital + personal and go for it!

Megan Miranda

Megan Miranda

Megan Miranda is the Director of Creative Strategy at Third Degree Advertising, a leading strategic marketing firm that specializes in helping progressive credit unions successfully navigate growth and transition in ... Web: Details

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