Marketing in the Digital Age

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What does marketing look like today? How can it be used to help position credit unions as industry leaders? Questions like these are asked frequently by MEMBERS Development Company (MDC) owners-proving the need to explore this trending topic and give our credit unions an edge in marketing for the financial industry. No matter what industry you find yourself in, you’ll find that marketing is an integral part of running a business. This gives companies a way of spreading the word about their services and products, as well as getting their name out there. Some companies even opt to use a marketing dashboard software to help them improve on the marketing side of their business.

To carry out the modern marketing project, MDC laid out a three-phase approach to help shine light on how credit unions can begin moving away from traditional marketing and start moving toward more effective modern practices:

  • Phase One-analyze MDC credit unions’ current state of marketing by surveying our owners about current practices
  • Phase Two-map out the journey to modern marketing and developing best practices for the financial services industry
  • Phase Three-present our findings at the MDC Summer Owner Meeting and bring in a panel of both nontraditional and traditional experts from a broad range of industries to speak about their marketing strategies and engage with our credit unions

Phase One: The Current State

The results from the survey sent to MDC owners brought several themes to the surface. MDC credit unions are still relying heavily on traditional marketing tactics-more than one-third of our owners’ budgets are being spent on radio, direct mail, and newspaper marketing. This indicates that there is a great opportunity for our owners to switch their strategies to more modern practices, considering that other industries are focusing far less on traditional channels.

However, these more traditional methods of promotion should not go overlooked. Something like this can still be used as an effective tool to grow your business in the public eye –

Also revealed in the survey were common marketing challenges that MDC credit unions face. Owners are finding it increasingly difficult to enhance member experience through tailored and customized messaging-an indication that credit unions might be struggling to keep up with the changing marketing landscape.

After exploring the current state of marketing for our credit unions, MDC wanted to dive deeper into industry best practices.

Phase Two: Mapping Out Modern Marketing Best Practices

Marketing has had a long journey-we have gone from a world of traditional marketing to the hyper-digital marketing of today. From this, marketing best practices have also evolved to be more complex and challenging. It is important to retain some of the traditional methods though. For example giving out promotional materials like Custom Water bottles with your logo on can still be an effective strategy, perhaps even more so now that such things are rare.

And of course, the value of printed brochures, booklets, and catalogs still remains strong to this day. There are always going to be times when technology lets you down and you cannot access the internet and therefore it is still valuable to have a physical copy of a document that features all the essential information about your company. These types of promotional materials are also useful to give out at trade shows. You can learn more about saddle stitch booklet printing and the benefits of other print promotional materials on the Printivity website.

That being said, from examining today’s leading practices, we were able to provide our credit unions with valuable takeaways, including that today’s delighters will become tomorrow’s must-haves-it is critical to understand your members, deliver superior experience, and embrace the changing marketing technology scene.

To wrap up the modern marketing project, we wanted to present this information in a thought-provoking way at the MDC Summer Owner Meeting-what better way to do this than with a panel of subject matter experts?

Phase Three: A Panel of Experts

We brought in the best in the business-marketing experts from a range of industry-leading companies such as Facebook, Caterpillar, Sears, and Havas Worldwide. This panel allowed our owners to think outside the box and ask questions, learn, and engage with people external to the financial services industry. The modern marketing panel was a huge hit-many of our attendees had it top-ranked among Owner Meeting events and were very enthusiastic about the experience. Comments from our owners included “I liked the diversity of the panel and their insight into modern marketing methods and how each of them leveraged similar methods within their businesses” and “Thanks for pulling expertise from outside the credit union industry. Very refreshing.”

Next Steps

The results and insights MEMBERS Development Company gathered around modern marketing demonstrate the value we strive to bring to our credit unions. We want to give our owners the tools and resources they need to grow and be relevant.
Want to know more? This is only a highlight of the modern marketing project; there is more information on MDC Connect, where we encourage all of our credit unions to go to learn more.