Audits: the word typically strikes dread in the hearts of credit union professionals. However, a marketing audit offers a decidedly more positive emotion for credit unions. As the originator of the marketing audit for credit unions, On The Mark Strategies believes the best marketing audit dives deeply into both strategic and tactical elements of the greater overall marketing/branding function.
A marketing audit helps credit unions maximize and grow their potential marketing/branding results. A recent marketing audit conducted for Rio Grande Credit Union (Albuquerque, NM; 30,276 members; $314 million assets) revealed the following three key reasons to conduct a marketing audit as related by Bill Daily, VP of Marketing and Member Experience:
“Performing the marketing audit was important to me for a number of reasons,” Daily began. “First, having been in the VP position for three years now, I needed to be reminded of those fundamental things I wanted to address when I started this role that became ‘normalized’ over the years.”
Credit Union Takeaway: A marketing audit helps your team refocus and reprioritize on the fundamentals that help drive credit union growth as it relates to the marketing department. What Daily describes is sometimes referred to as a silo mentality (something to which anyone working inside a credit union is susceptible) and a marketing audit can help prevent that.
“Second, performing the marketing audit helped lend a consultative voice to other departments in the credit union about the marketing implications of sales, operations, and the branch experience (in other words it wasn’t just the marketing guy shooting from the hip and recommending changes.)”
Credit Union Takeaway: A marketing audit helps prevent the marginalization of the marketing voice within your credit union. Done correctly, a marketing audit clearly illustrates that all parts of the credit union (front office, back office, operations, etc.) are directly related and dependent upon each other for overall success. As Daily notes, a marketing audit also adds volume to the voice of the marketing department when it comes to driving the boat towards credit union growth.
“Third, the marketing audit helped provide credibility to our overall marketing spend, staffing, and strategies to our Board of Directors.”
Credit Union Takeaway: A marketing audit highlights the fact that marketing/branding not only requires sufficient support from the budget but also impacts staffing (for example, marketing working closer with human resources to ensure the hiring of people best-suited to live the credit union’s unique brand) and strategic planning (the role of marketing in plotting the roadmap for future credit union growth).
While these are three excellent points, they also lead to other compelling reasons why every credit union should look into conducting a deep-dive marketing audit. Other reasons include actionable business intelligence on your competitors via mystery shops, strengthening your brand and avoiding brand gaps (those things which your credit union believes it is as compared to how the public actually perceives it).
Marketing audits offer a mirror with which to view the deeper marketing/branding functions of your credit union. While the image may not always be comfortable to view, the results of a marketing audit offer compelling and actionable business intelligence that your credit union can use to improve its marketing function, strengthen its brand and realize enhanced return on investment.