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Tag: strategy (Page 1 of 8)

The Difference Between Succeeding and Trying

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Tony Robbins event.  If your mental picture is a large gathering of people looking to become more positive through “ra ra” activities, then you’re half right.

It is an enormous group of committed individuals. At a typical event, there are over 4,000 people in attendance. Over the course of 4 days, you participate in ways only understood after doing them, and leave a changed person.

It’s not motivational speaking, it’s “change your state to change yourself.”

Do You Want Or Need?

One of the great take-home messages I grasped was this: If you want something, you might eventually make it happen, if convenient.  If you need something, you will do anything and everything in your power to make it happen.

To quote River Tam, “No power in the ‘verse can stop me.” An example which resonated with me was this: How often do you hear about people seeking weight loss? “I’ve just got to lose a few more pounds.”

We’re going to get dark for a moment, not Reaver dark, but Sopranos dark. If I told you that you need to lose 10 pounds by tomorrow, what would you do? Sure, it’s not preferable, at all, but you could slice off a leg and achieve the goal.

Achieving your goals should not be about causing yourself irreparable damage, but the idea is potent.  When there’s a need, there is a way, even if it is extreme.

Goals At Your Credit Union

How do you approach goals in your credit union (or personal life)?  Are they wants or needs? A want can be put aside as more important things arise. A want does not create a sense of certainty within you. A want is just that, something that would be nice to have.

Look at your goals as needs. Become absolutely certain they will be achieved. Set a timeframe within which they will be done. Take action NOW, even if it is a small step.

Remember, a need is like air. You can’t do without. It will happen, you already know.

It’s just time to show everyone else.

Image modified from amazing series/film Firefly/Serenity.

Picking Up Pennies For Marketing?

When was the last time you came up with a truly unique marketing effort?

Let’s back up a bit. Your credit union is always looking for new creatives to promote various services. Really, how many ways can you suggest opening a checking account? (Turns out, a lot) But most of these ideas are just new copy and graphics on the same concept. I get it. I’ve even done it. (Yes, your trusty Credit Union Geek was a marketing copywriter for local credit unions!)

In addition to you coming up with these campaigns, every other credit union was doing the same thing. That’s a lot of ways to recommend a particular service! How can you stand out?

Why don’t we use a current example and analyze it for the “secret sauce”?

Ally Bank hit a grand slam on their latest marketing effort. Playing off the well-known idea of a “lucky penny”, they made just a few of them highly desirable. The bank placed 100 Ally-branded “pennies” on the ground in large cities. If you find one of their coins, follow the instructions on it and get rewarded with $1,000. Now that’s a lucky penny!

Let’s look at what was involved in making this Lucky Penny campaign happen. They commissioned 100 copper coins. Then they built a website. It has details on the program, a promo video, cool penny facts, and a redemption portal. And then they made sure to talk about it like crazy on their social media (with hints on where to find them based on local landmarks). Don’t forget giving everyone a hashtag to use. That’s it.

For an institution like Ally, this campaign cost less than a drop in the bucket. But the rewards have been enormous. Major media outlets covered the promotion, linking to their site and highlighting the social media posts (I’m sure some of that is credit to a great PR team). Even Facebook’s automated Trending feature highlighted the bank (which is based on the number of users talking about it). They put very little, respectively, into keeping the Lucky Penny talk flowing.

Sorry, did I say unique above? My company has done unique many, many times. It doesn’t always pay off. The better approach is to embrace something everyone intuitively knows, then tweak a small part. Like the yogurt company, Dannon. They aligned with the NFL to “find the golden bongo” and win a prize. Remember Charlie and his Golden Ticket? Are these promotions really so different?

What do you think…could your credit union have built these campaigns? I think so. Maybe you would have had only 5 Lucky Pennies, or the same number, but worth $100 instead. Scale the marketing investment to your requirements. Remember, this could also help with your mission to encourage savings (and opening up accounts with you). Anytime you engage the community, issue press releases (or better yet, develop relationships with local media) to get news coverage.

I’m a huge fan of scavenger hunt concepts. With a prize worth putting some time into, almost anyone will take notice. In a previous business, we developed plans for a community-wide volunteering initiative. Each day for a month, we would highlight and encourage volunteer support of a different local charity. There would be surprise rewards (local businesses sponsoring) if you showed up at said non-profit. Am I giving you any ideas?

Your marketing is getting repetitive. It may work to some extent, but if you want to make a mark in the communities you serve, get them excited. And you don’t need to spend your entire marketing budget to do so.

Please share some marketing initiatives you ran which really got your membership buzzing (and tweeting, Snapchatting, and Instagramming)!

One Small Trick Makes Your Brain 60,000x Faster

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…

Chocolate Fudge Brownies
Dinner, anyone?

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.

Appeal of Visual Medium

Kitten and Flowers
MEOW you flowers!

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.?

Instagram is literally just a never-ending scroll of pictures and videos. And don’t get me started on Snapchat or Tik Tok…

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.

Visuals to Tell Your Story

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
Cast your way to better banking. That one’s free.

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
“I’ll have, ‘stay up for 3 days straight, por favor’.”

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

Image credits:
Flickr: /photos/[email protected]/4282401037


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