Marketing Plan to Develop Member Growth and Participation (part 2)

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.

 
 

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 to everyone.

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.

 

 

 

June 30, 2003


Comments

 
 
 
  • Informative. Thank you.
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Along with knowing who your audience is, it's important for credit unions to make sure their marketing materials are aimed at different market segments, such as Seniors, Teens, Gen Xers, Hispanics, etc. Particularly since Hispanics are now the fastest growing segment in the United States, it's crucial for credit unions to have signage and brochures in Spanish. Translations can be done by mfalcon13@prodigy.net.
    Anonymous