Have you ever rolled a boulder up a hill? If you’re a credit union marketer, you probably at least feel like you have. You’ve been given the monumental task of differentiating your credit union in a rapidly changing marketplace that includes:
- a dizzying expansion of delivery channels
- more data than you know what to do with
- increasingly savvy members
- multiple internal stakeholders and decision makers
- a growing number of external stakeholders
- shrinking budgets
- and so on
With all of these pressing demands, it’s easy to put your head down and power through yet another marketing year, reacting to internal and external demands as best you can with the resources you’ve got. It’s an exhausting loop. And it’s not much fun.
When planning for his 2014 marketing year, Glenn Benischek, CEO of VantageOne Credit Union wanted to put an end to this loop once and for all. ‘We wanted to do more than fragmented product and service campaigns that really had no relation to one another. Marketing needs to have the same strategy and commitment that other business lines have.’
We couldn’t agree more. So when he asked us to help his team take a more proactive approach to marketing, we were more than happy to help.
The VantageOne team had done a really great job of defining their current strengths and their strategic goals. To complement this work, we developed personas to help Glenn and his team bridge the gap between what their members want and need and what (and how) VantageOne is currently offering. This collective work helped to define a clear picture of who VantageOne is today and who they are striving to become in the future.
Bridging the gap between these two points required the development of an annual flight plan. This plan will position VantageOne to approach marketing in a way that:
- responds in all delivery channels
- adapts to the ever-changing needs of their personas
- supports their strategic goals
- strengthens their brand
- engenders pride and engagement among their staff
Rachel Milan, our VP of Business Development, who was once a credit union marketer herself, could relate to VantageOne’s goal for a unified approach to marketing.
‘I remember those last minute requests to “pull a campaign together” quickly because lending is down or a new technology is ready for members. But that kind of reactive marketing just doesn’t pay. An annual flight plan is integral to the overall strategy of a credit union’s marketing. While marketing must remain flexible for business changes, committing to an annual flight plan that has a common visual theme and tone helps create brand awareness and momentum for the year.’
Glenn adds, ‘We really trust the thirdstream approach which has proven results for other credit unions, so we are looking forward to implementing this overarching theme to all of our marketing programs and tactics this spring.’
We’re so pleased to have been asked to play a role in VantageOne’s bold new approach to their marketing. Like Glenn, we’re also looking forward to revealing these creative and strategic tactics. Stay tuned …