In part one of
our series dedicated to credit unions interested in developing an
effective marketing plan, we discussed four important issues to
consider before starting the tactical portion of your marketing
strategy. These were 1) Audience 2) Objectives 3) Strategies and
4) Issues. After laying this fundamental groundwork, we are now
prepared to focus on the remaining five action-oriented steps.
Once you have identified factors that might hinder or constrain
your credit union and/or product, you are ready to develop a message
point(s). With your message point(s), you want to communicate
the unique value your product or credit union can offer members.
Now is the time to get creative and brainstorm! How can you create
an emotional connection with your members? Maybe a new tagline or
logo is critical to forming an emotive bond? Whatever message point(s)
you decide upon, one rule that is important is to not overgeneralize.
Your message point will lose its significance if you try being everything
After deciding on your message point(s), you are ready to decide
how you want to position yourself or your product in the
market place. How do you want to be perceived by your target audience?
Do you want to be known as the leader in technology development?
How about ''the credit union that puts members first?''
Your position in the market place is how your audience identifies
you and relates to you.
Finally, we are ready to tackle the tactical portion of
your marketing strategy. This step is designed and focused on how
you are going to meet your objectives. If we go back to our example
from last week of Internet home banking, we know that our goal is
to increase lead generation and change member behavior concerning
bill payment. To accomplish this goal, we might want to offer online
trainings to our members and get them comfortable with the online
format. We also might choose to educate all of our staff in I-banking
practices and policies so that they will be better equipped to answer
questions and sell online banking as a product.
The second to last step in developing an effective marketing plan
is to set expectations. What quantifiable results do you anticipate
from your marketing attempts? Use proper measurements and calculate
what success means for your credit union. For example, some key
metric points would be to generate ''$'' amount in sales
revenue or generate ''#'' sales.
The last step to developing an effective marketing plan is common
sense, but occasionally overlooked. You need to reinforce you marketing
model to make it a ''living'' document that can be referred
to on a daily basis. To increase your program's effectiveness, establish
reviews and systems of measurement. Make sure to incorporate feedback
loops into your model such as internal and external surveys and
don't be afraid to go back and adjust your marketing plan accordingly.
Remember, an effective marketing plan should be a map that organizes
the thought process and leads your credit union in the right direction.