Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: photos

Pictures Put Your Brain On Turbo

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but recent research suggests it could be much, much more. Which is more appetizing? A 50-word description of a scrumptious fudge brownie or…:

Fudge Brownies

Dessert, anyone?

Restaurants have known this simple fact for years. Show rather than tell. We don’t eat words! Even if you get 1,000 to a picture.

But what about for marketing? The key is to get people to remember and act upon your strategy. Unless you’re a very different credit union, offerings don’t normally include food service. So what good are pictures? A well-placed picture tells your story in a way words cannot. Or, more accurately, a picture entices the viewer to remember far better than mere words.

Recent research shows good visuals put your brain on turbo. And not just a little bit. Up to 60,000 times faster. That’s right, appropriate imagery triggers memory, emotions, and decision-making up to 60,000 times faster than text alone. And the coolest part? The study wasn’t just looking at photos of favorite entrees. It highlighted the entire idea of visuals.

What do I mean? That’s a great question. We have already established how photos bring a tale to life. No one wants to read a report on your favorite vacation pictures without seeing any! Be honest: When you’re browsing your Facebook News Feed, do you look for the longest text post you can find, or slow down when you get to shared photos and videos of vacations, pets, kids, etc.?

Does that mean littering your website, branch, and marketing materials with photo upon photo? Please don’t. Instead, it supports the idea of telling a story with every aspect of your presentation. One of my favorite credit union websites does this to great success. Heritage Grove CU is situated in the Pacific Northwest. It’s an area built around a love of the outdoors. Of course, the weather and terrain suits this mentality. Be it a relaxing mountain drive, a slow walk, trail running, or any number of activities (remember that post about the bicycle-loan program?), members of Heritage Grove experience plenty of Mother Nature’s air conditioning.

Heritage Grove CU

As a result, their site is built to visually express this mentality. Beyond pictures, the entire experience exudes adventure. What about your website? Is it replicating a bank, or does the visual feel match your mission? This consideration can mean the difference between an engaged member and one which just pays the bills.

So we’ve established that pictures are an effective means to tell a story in an engaging way. Plus, we learned that proper visual design can make your brain work up to 60,000x faster. And this Floridian thought Cuban coffee was potent!

Cuban Coffee Shots

Disclosure: Heritage Grove CU is a client of my company. I receive no compensation for their inclusion.

Image credits:
http://www.texanerin.com/content/uploads/2013/10/fudge_brownies_1.jpg
https://www.ourgrovecu.com
Flickr: /photos/28769489@N04/4282401037

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Soap_bubbles-jurvetson.jpg

What Do You Mean You Don’t…?

A previous post discussed the risks that can come with, ba-dum, assuming! Yet here I have done it again. What about this time? Computer usage. More specifically, saving/backing up.

It was freshman year of high school. By then, the internet was a thing, yet not nearly the eponymous concept pervasive throughout society. It was for tech-savvy people to play and others to exchange e-mails and instant messages with family and friends found through Classmates.com.

Put it this way: No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Without these kings of distractions invented yet (there was MySpace), I did my homework. Towards the end of the year, I had a research paper on China. Yes, as a freshman I summarized the entire history of China into a few typed pages (double-spaced!); there might have been a few things left out.

Anyway, I wrote and wrote, saving regularly. Every day or so, I copied the file onto a 3.5″ floppy (remember those?). However, towards the end of composition, I had forgotten to do the disk backup, and added most of the final content. Just as I finished it, ready to hit print, the computer froze. Upon restarting, it wouldn’t even boot.

The hard drive died. In computers, that’s about as bad as it gets.

To say I was upset would be an understatement. The paper was due shortly and I had lost a large portion of my work. In a fit of desperation, I kicked the computer (we still used desktops). I heard a few clicks, then a whine. The hard drive was struggling to spin! By refining my kick into strategic knocks and taps, I managed to get the system running (it took repeated restarts as it continually froze), then finally copied the treasured file onto a floppy.

I got lucky. But I learned a valuable lesson that day: If you care about it, back it up.

Today, my backup routines consist of more than blunt-force impacts. I use a combination of cloud backup, external drives, synced computers, hosted servers, and cloned operating systems. I’m thankful to say that since that fateful day, I have not lost anything of value.

Why tell this whole story? It turns out, my situation from long ago, which I think of as a helpful lesson, happens daily even now. I had assumed that people no longer lost content, since we have so many easy and free ways to back up your data. An Amazon Student Facebook giveaway showed me otherwise. To enter, they wanted you to post a technology nightmare. Almost every one told a tale of data lost.

So I want to help. My next post will explain all of my backup routines, the services I use, how often they are done, and what is best to go where. A few minutes per week alongside an understanding of what software will protect your data is all it takes to reduce the odds of losing anything of value.

Isn’t that end-of-quarter finance report worth protecting? What about your family photos?

Here’s the backup advice, available as the next post (look, I’m writing from the future!). For now, the old advice stands: Save early and often!

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