Socially-Distanced Marketing, Strategy, and The Force

Category: Articles (Page 3 of 63)

Achieving Your Impossible [Video]

How do you define impossible? Is it the thing you cannot do, or the thing everyone else says you cannot do?

Rockets took off, then landed on a ship. That was impossible. Now, it happens. Because a group of people challenged what was possible.

At your credit union, I’m sure there’s something you see as impossible. Is it really? Are there laws of physics keeping you from making it happen? If not, then what?

Come with me as we look at your impossible, and what it could mean to achieve it for your institution and members.

Want Your Marketing to Connect? Ask the Women!

For decades, the question was, “how do we market to the younger generations?” In the 90s, it was Gen X. 2000s? New Gen Ys look like they will want everything different. In fact, they’re so different, we can’t even use the same naming scheme.

We’ll call them Millennials. Yes, that feels good. Because they’re unique. And lived through the dastardly Y2K. #ISurvivedY2K

Turns out, Millennials were different. We grew up amidst both massive growth and enormous economic failures. Basically, there’s a lot working against us. I definitely don’t have time to go through them all.

And that’s fine, because there’s a new generation.

Gen Z. Ooooh. Young and spunky, but jaded like no other. For some reason, with these guys, we’re fine resuming the old naming convention. Finish the alphabet strong, right?

What makes Gen Z stand out? I yeet that question. Forget Millennials “destroying industries”…this generation will finish them all.

Connecting with Generations

There’s truth to every one of these analyses. People of different generations do exhibit unique qualities. And what engages a Gen X may not interest a Gen Z. Not to mention you can’t use the same platforms, because they’re just not there.

Yet this is all missing a bigger point. It’s about the generations, sure, but it’s about something even more basic. It’s about clarity, transparency, openness, warmth. I’m talking marketing to men and marketing to women.

Women Make Money Decisions

Ever wonder why home improvement marketing targets those handy men (and some women), yet home buying targets couples? It’s not only because, “this is a big decision we should make together.” It’s because the latter gets it. They know the women overwhelmingly make the purchasing decisions.

Young Couple with Dog

It’s not just me saying it. Women make the vast majority of purchasing decisions, no matter who works (or if it’s a multiple income household). In every marketing aspect, the biggest differentiator is gender.

So if women make the decisions, no matter their age, why are we putting so much focus on the generational trends? Look, I’m guilty of it as well, though my advice tended to be, “connect where and how people are, in an honest and transparent way.”

Let’s look at a recent rebrand from a company you may recognize (Disclosure: My company works with them).

TrueCar: A “Radikal” Rebrand

TrueCar doesn’t sell cars. However, they are the top rated site for people to find and get a guaranteed price on a nearby car. So they’re a big part of the car-buying process.

And, frankly, car buying sucks. Unless you’re buying a Tesla, you have the whole dealer thing to navigate. I’ve bought Mazdas for many years, from the same dealer and salesperson, and still, I don’t like the system.

Let’s be honest. Have you, or someone you knew, ever said, “by golly, I’m just super stoked about my car dealer! They’re the real cat’s meow!” That’s how people talk, right? Sounds fine to me.

The team at TrueCar hadn’t heard those comments, either. Yet their business depends on people going through that process. How do you encourage more people to do something we all know is, at best, meh?

They focused on the buyer. The real buyer. Women.

What do they want? Like the generation question, they want the same thing: Openness, clarity, honesty, warmth, connection. Every design and process change TrueCar made aims to achieve those ends.

Woman on Laptop

In their surveys, the new design language out-tested every other brand in likability by women. They’re featured in the animations, because apparently TrueCar also has this strange perception that women…exist.

So do you design for women only and exclude everyone else? I mean, you could, and you’d probably be fine, as long as you avoid “For Her” Bic pens (Definitely check out the “reviews”). It’s not like they’re half the population or anything.

I’m a guy and I love the new design. The old one wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t anything special. It told what they did in a traditional “trust-building and calming” blue tone. True was bold and caps because it is about being true to all parties.

The new one keeps that messaging and makes it about you. Because buying a car is personal. And that the decision-process can be fun…especially if it’s easy to do.

Doesn’t that make you want to at least look for a new car?

Generational Marketing is So Last Generation

So we’re done with generational marketing? Yes. And no. Because generational understanding still gives you valuable insights. It’s just not the complete story.

For example, a Boomer is less likely to be on Snapchat. So if you’re trying to promote products that fit their needs, it’s a silly place to market. Use age-specific demographics and include in your social strategy.

On the other side, a piece of education or product that works for a range of ages should be tailored to women. Because that’s your common factor. 25 and 65-year old women both fit a demographic.

Woman at Dual-Screen Computer

And why tailor to women rather than men? Because, once again, women make the buying decisions. Convincing men a certain razor is better might make them buy it.

More likely, the marketing will inspire them to ask their wife to buy it (or she’ll notice and get it on her own). And we’re not even talking about same-sex or cohabitation living arrangements.

Marketing At Your Credit Union

How does this relate to your credit union’s marketing and outreach strategies? It means going back to your mission. Again.

Take a look at your About Us or Why We Exist page. What does it present?

Circle of Hands and Feet

Most likely, it teaches you about a destination that people trust and rely upon for:

  • Sound financial advice
  • Tools to help simplify a variety of life stages
  • Efforts to boost the economic well-being of members

That sure sounds like stuff you’d want to present to the financial decision-maker of a household. Which means, your message is already solid. The change needs to come in how you convey it.

Take a look at what TrueCar did. Then look at Airbnb. Even Bank of America. What do they all have in common? Authenticity. Personality. Experience.

You don’t have to do a full rebrand to reap the benefits of this focus. Of course, when you do that, make sure it resonates!

Your goal, as you’ve read from me for years, is what it’s always been: Aim to best fulfill your mission. And communicating that in a way others grasp is a win for everyone.

So, women, what do you want? Because that’s your best marketing question to ask now.

Honest Staff & Honest CU Systems

I’m not the only one helping ensure your processes are sound.  An awesome article from The Financial Brand delves into the topic.  It’s worth the few minutes to read through and understand. Really, it is a great article.

Originally published on CUInsight.com

Are you honest? At home? At work? In your credit union’s programs?

Ah, got you on the last one. How can CU programs be honest? If you deliver what you advertise, isn’t that honest enough?

Obviously, your products and services should be truthful, but having policies and systems “act” honest is more difficult a concept.

Scenario

Imagine this not-so-made-up scenario. You have internet service that has been canceled, so, the final bill is inbound shortly. Upon receipt, you find it is quite incorrect in its amount, so a call is in order to the customer care number.

Hundred Dollar Bill Puzzle

After too many menus, recordings, and hold times (those are different topics altogether), a representative comes on the line to assist you with your problem. The call goes great!

The representative notices the error, punches in some keys, explains how it is resolved, and that you should be seeing results shortly. They even put a notation in your account so if you have to call again, someone else will see!

Honest. Clean. They made a mistake, unfortunately (which should never have happened), but they acted to resolve it without problem.

Solving a Problem Means Solving a Problem

Fast-forward a month. In the mail (yes, paper), you receive an envelope from the internet service provider. Thinking it is the revised final bill, you open it, only to find it is actually a past-due notice with the unadjusted amount!

White Mailbox
This is a mailbox. It’s like that envelope icon on your phone.

Another call, and the number you are told to call only works for accounts in another state. Ok, you’re transferred, more menus, more recordings, and finally…another representative!

They then explain that all is well, the account is notated properly (thanks previous representative!), but the system automatically sends out the notices no matter what.

Let me repeat that: The system sends out the notices…No. Matter. What.

Processes Matter

You can have the greatest employees, most awesome products, and unparalleled reliability. But the moment something goes wrong (it eventually will), your carefully-automated process exasperates the issue.

Flowchart

So the message? Make your systems as honest as your team. Take the time to ensure nothing is automatically sent to members that may contradict what they have been promised.

Maintain a degree of control so you can intervene if necessary.

Automation is incredible. And machine learning/AI opens up paths that you couldn’t imagine a decade ago. Just keep it all in line with your institution’s  values and goals.

I’ll be honest…this post is adapted from a previous blog of our parent company, GreenProfit Solutions.  Since I wrote the last one, too, I think permissions are ok. 🙂

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