The financial services environment has always been competitive, but with today’s economic climate, prospects are more wary than ever. They are hesitant to spend and invest, and hunt for the best interest rates and terms for lines of credit. Traditional banks and credit unions are now engaging in marketing battles to win these prospects over. Credit unions in particular have seen a spike in visibility and interest as prospects grow more wary of big box, traditional banks.

Lack of Measurement = Missed Opportunities

Credit unions (big and small) are now candidates in the eyes of prospects. As such, they are pitted against the larger chain banks for accounts, investments, and lending. Since credit unions tend to lack the virtually-bottomless marketing budgets that the chains do, they have to ensure that they are getting the greatest return-on-investment for their offerings and tactics. Herein lies the problem: these institutions lack visibility into the effectiveness of dated and untested marketing methods. If any measurement is taking place, it is often in a vacuum with an extreme disconnect between traditional and digital methods. The disconnect between the two marketing realms leads to inaccurate attribution.

This is not to say that any of these traditional tactics are worthless – there were surely additional revenues brought in via those billboards and banner ads. Financial institutions have been running some of those traditional methods for years, so there’s often a level of efficiency that comes with that level of experience. However, as Peter Drucker (business guru and philosopher) would say, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” Those banner ads and billboard campaigns might be as optimized as they could possibly be – but are they generating enough incremental business? Are they right for your institution?

Marketing to the Beat of the Analytics Drum

So we’ve established that there is a problem with using dated and untested methods to measure marketing (or a total lack thereof). How can we alleviate this? By developing a solid measurement strategy across the marketing board. This will enable your institution to market based on solid analytical insights, not just on what your competitor across the street is doing. How do you even know what they’re doing is right?

I will not lie: developing a good measurement strategy is not easy. It requires cooperation of everyone on your team; from marketing to IT. It will also cost time and resources, so buy-in from the decision-makers will need to be secured. It should be an easy sell, however. Ensure that they understand the impact of measurable results tied to ROI and how they can be used to increase memberships and improve marketing effectiveness.

Following the prospective member journey from start to finish (regardless of marketing channel!) leads to an unprecedented level of attribution and ROI analysis.

The insights gathered will not only allow for leaner, more efficient marketing tactics (i.e. less money spent with more targeted results), but they will also lead to improved member and customer relations. The user experience can be optimized through the entire process, from marketing and beyond.

Are you a credit union marketer with some marketing challenges? Leave a comment below or reach out to us on Twitter or Google+ and we’ll be happy to answer your questions!

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