Credit union marketing professionals are often a team of one (or very few) who quickly become jack of all trades and unfortunately miss the opportunity to become masters of marketing. To help avoid this, I’ve outlined a few tips I’ve learned along the way that have helped me save time, stay on task, and help ensure I can focus on the bigger strategic picture.
1. Have a strong project management system. Both Asana and Trello are free PM platforms that are perfect for a marketing team of one or many! You’re able to assign tasks, attach proofs, give comments and feedback, and my favorite feature is the ability to assign due dates to tasks! This helps everyone prioritize their work and stay on task no matter how many things are going on. It also gives an overview of everything on the calendar so that as new projects arise you can see where and when they’ll fit in.
- Level up: Create project templates for repetitive tasks. Create a template for campaigns to utilize for product rollouts, rate changes, etc. rather than building out a new project every time.
2. Build marketing templates for your business lines to use. Equip your BDOs with some fillable templates that have the credit union’s branding but give them room to refine it for their audience and purpose. Giving your branches signs that they can edit as needed is empowering, saves time for everyone, and also ensures that the branding is consistent.
- Level up: Keep track of the most common requests and then work with the team to build out a template that will work for everyone.
3. Have an intake process and checklist. This will ensure you get the information needed to complete a project and (hopefully) eliminate the need to go back and ask questions. One very important question to ask as you’re intaking the project is, “What does done look like?” This helps get people thinking beyond the idea and more specifically about what the end will look like. A great follow up question would be, “What does success look like?”
- Level up: Share the intake form with your stakeholders so they’re clear on the project as well.
4. Meet with your sales teams, business line leaders, and executives throughout the year to make sure you’re still on track to meet goals and stay aware of any changes. We all build a marketing plan in October or November for the following year but we also know that a lot can change in a few months (everyone remembers 2020 right?).This will help everyone be proactive rather than reactive.
- Level up: Set these meetings all at once for the year to keep the time protected.
5. Share your successes! Sometimes as marketers we check off the campaign and move right on to the next one, forgetting to share our successes with the teams we work with. Sharing success is a great way to build connections with your sales teams and business line leaders. Share how many card holders responded to the activation campaign or how many applications you received from the Facebook ad! Our teams want to share in these successes and hear how well it did. And also don’t be afraid to share your learning moments. We’ve all had a campaign flop that we thought was brilliant. Share what you learned with the teams about that campaign, why you think it flopped, and what you’ll do differently next time. This requires some vulnerability and believe me it is not always easy, but there’s something in all of us that respects and relates to someone who levels with us and shares the good and the not so good moments. It makes us human and we can connect on that level.
- Level up: Your company’s intranet is the perfect place for these updates!
6. Measure what you’re marketing. I’ve been known to say, “If I can’t measure it, I’m not going to market it.” This is obviously a bold statement but we need to be bold in this day and age of marketing. If you can’t measure it, how will you know if it was successful? Long gone are the days of sitting in a pricing meeting, seeing an increase in CD dollars, and being able to say it was because of the marketing promotion without any data to support that perspective. Build in measurements and touch points ahead of time so you can confidently show the clicks, open rates, and applications received that were due to your efforts. Follow the members from their email open, to the link click, to the website, to the application, and to the funding. Then you’ll know that was all you!
- Level up: Dig deep into your Google Analytics account.
7. AUTOMATE. This is a big one so I saved it for last. There are many tools and technologies available that can feel overwhelming but it is worth the time spent researching to save time in the end. Programs like Zapier are super helpful and integrate beautifully with so many programs we use daily like MailChimp, Trello, Buffer, Slack, and all of the social media platforms. You can build “Zaps” that will provide automation based off of triggers that you set up – it’s a beautiful thing. Automate your social media publishing with programs like Buffer or Later. Not only can you schedule all your posts but you have all of your channel analytics aggregated in one place. You can also set up a business profile in Buffer that will allow you to see how your analytics compare with others in the financial services industry.
- Level up: Search for integration rather than automation. That way you’ll make sure you find something that works for you.
I started this article by referencing the jack of all trades that marketers often become. I want to end this by stating that being a jack of all trades isn’t a bad thing and in fact the original saying was intended to be a compliment. The full saying is, “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” Take heart in this dear marketers. I hope these tips have given you some ideas or inspired you to look into making your tasks work for you rather than you working for your tasks.