When it comes to your credit union marketing: Stop, drop and roll

Is your credit union’s marketing on fire? While that is somewhat of a rhetorical question, you can answer “yes” in a positive or negative way. Yes (positive)—it’s on fire because you are seeing hot returns. Or yes (negative)—it’s so bad your credit union’s growth is burning away.

When it comes to fire safety measures, you are taught at a young age to stop, drop and roll.

When it comes to your marketing, you need to stop, drop and roll as well.

It’s a simple technique that yields powerful results. Whether your marketing performs well or marketing is one of your credit union’s greatest challenges, this technique will help.


Stop. Before continuing your current credit union marketing efforts, discover if they are working or not. You need to know the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to your marketing. The best way to do that is through a marketing assessment. A thorough analysis of your marketing will help you:

  • Know if you are spending too much, too little or just right with your marketing budget
  • Know what is really working (and what is not)
  • Gain strategic and tactical suggestions for improvement
  • Keep up with an ever-changing market

Sometimes you just do the same things over and over again in marketing. You never hit the “pause” (or “stop”) button to really assess what is and isn’t working. As one of our clients said recently after their assessment, “We’ve learned to glance at our competitors and glare at ourselves.”

When was the last time you glared at your marketing? While marketing is constantly on the go and moving fast, the first step to improving marketing is actually to stop and analyze it.


You are probably doing too much in marketing. Credit unions want to market everything. And that’s a terrible business strategy.

As Bill Gates once said, “My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.”

From a strategic perspective, drop means only having about three-to-four marketing objectives for the year. It could also mean cutting some products. For example, one client we worked with recently wanted to grow their checking accounts. Their checking account growth was flat. We noticed right away they offered about eight different checking accounts. So, we recommended they cut those down to about three options. Once they cut their products, they grew their products.

From a tactical perspective, drop means cutting the copy. Stop putting so much into your marketing pieces. The best campaigns, emails, website landing pages, etc. are the ones that have a clear and simple message. That means less words.

As Donald Miller says, “Cute and clever don’t make you money. Clarity makes you money.”

Although credit union marketing normally involves juggling multiple projects, the second step to improving marketing is actually to drop a few things.


Once you stop and drop, then it’s time to roll. In this phase, you plan, create and systemize. While you don’t often think of it this way, credit union marketing is a system. There is a natural ebb and flow to it. Marketing should not have a “spray and pray” approach; rather it must have targeted efforts with clear and customized messaging.

One of the three “Cs” to a strong brand is consistency. That means you must consistently market your brand (or keep the branding ball rolling).

As Tom Asaker says in A Clear Eye For Branding, “There is no such thing as a branding project. Branding is an ongoing process of renewal to make the organization’s people, products, locations, hours, services, design, etc. both distinctive and desirable to its audiences.”

A marketing system includes some type of automated onboarding campaign, consistent email messaging, regular follow-up and a robust digital strategy. Whether it is your internal team, an outside agency, artificial intelligence or a combination of all three, marketing should work like a machine.

Once you do the first two steps (stop and drop), then the third effective marketing technique is to roll with it.

Marketing touches everything. Your people. Your processes. Your loans. Your deposits. Your growth. Your branches. Your call center. Your {fill in the blank.} And the best way to have effective credit union marketing is to stop to analyze it, drop unnecessary parts of it and then roll with it.


Contact On The Mark Strategies

Contact On The Mark Strategies

Mark Arnold

Mark Arnold

Mark Arnold is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner helping businesses such as credit unions and banks achieve their goals with strategic marketing insights and energized training. Mark ... Web: www.markarnold.com Details