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Michigan Credit Union League

CUSG's David Dean Talks Marketing to Your Members, Not at Them

David Dean, senior vice president of marketing solutions and business development at CU Solutions Group, spoke this week at the Michigan Credit Union League’s Lending & Marketing Conference about digital trends and how credit unions can build their marketing plans in a changing landscape.

Dean opened the conference with a keynote titled “The Future of Member Engagement,” in which he went through “the top 14 marketing trends that every credit union should know.” He touched on statistics, such as the one billion hours of video YouTube users are consuming every day (and the breakdown of where consumers are accessing these videos), the consistent increase in out-of-home advertising and the fact that push notifications featuring an emoji have an 85 percent higher open rate than those without.

The presentation also touched on broader technological trends that are still on the horizon, yet to become a part of many credit union marketing plans, such as virtual reality and voice-based technology like Amazon’s Alexa.

The underlying message of Dean’s keynote was that credit unions no longer control the relationship with their members. “People don’t do business with you as an act of charity,” he said. “They do business with you because they believe you are adding value to their lives.”

A credit union’s marketing plan should prioritize delivering content that tells members (and potential members) what a credit union stands for as it relates back to them, said Dean. This should include engaging narratives that foster the trust of your audience.

“The more they trust your brand, the more they’ll listen to what you say.”

The Marketing Forum: Where You Are, Where You Want to Be

Following his keynote, Dean went more into depth on designing digital marketing plans with attendees during his presentation, “The Marketing Forum: Where You Are, Where You Want to Be.” He opened by imploring marketing professionals to get comfortable with the new and innovative.

The framework for an effective marketing strategy has two main objectives: 1) introducing and selling products and services to potential members, and 2) presenting and selling products to existing members.

Dean said there isn’t an easy or consistent way to segment these two groups, but knowing who you’re talking to is half the battle. You want to reach both and should tailor your creative content with both of these audiences in mind. This means employing different tactics for each, not always creating marketing that tries to fit both objectives.

Social Media

A large portion of the presentation focused on social media tactics for marketers. Dean said these platforms offer exposure at a time when people tend to be open about it. You just have to know who to target and how.

Talking about paid social media tactics, Dean said if you have the budget, even spending $100–$300 per week on amplifying YouTube and Facebook videos can “make your content explode.”

However, the more technology evolves, the less money you need to put behind paid advertising, “The impression you get when someone comes directly to your page is a much more qualified lead than someone you got through an ad buy.”

Dean called organic social media the most natural and current state of the internet. “While the supply and demand shift for paid media becomes more saturated, it leaves an incredible opening for the brands that make great content and grow it the right way.” Unlike paid social media, organic is most effective when amplified in subtle ways.

Throughout the presentation, Dean said that consumers don’t want to be interrupted. He talked about the importance of getting eyes on your content without forcing it down your audience’s throat.

Google Advertising

On the same note, when discussing Google search and display advertising, he implored marketing professionals to market to their members, not at them.

Search and display advertising tools, like Google Adwords, running ads in the search engine results pages and running programmatic ads on targeted websites can yield great returns on advertising dollars, Dean said.

Speaking at length about the benefits of using Google for advertising, he touched on four important areas:

  • Targeting: Google is known for its targeting capabilities. With these ads, you can target specific keywords, locations, times, etc.
  • Traffic: Google provides estimated traffic volumes to help users establish targeting before running ads.
  • Budgeting: Google allows for easy ad budgeting, whether users want to manage spending or find ways to optimize spending.
  • Testing: Google offers simple testing, whether trying out different sets of search keywords, images or other variations of collateral.

How Much Should You Spend on Marketing?

“If you have $125,000 social media budget, you should be spending $85,000 each year on creating quality content and only another $35,000 on programmatic and paid social amplification — not the other way around,” said Dean.

Continuing, he told attendees that some credit unions are wasting two to three times that on tactics like websites, PR, direct mail or paid media when they could have gone all in on organic social content and a small amplification budget to achieve better results.

He concluded with the message that credit unions can leverage their existing resources to keep spending to a minimum, or, if you have the budget, you will find that spending a little can go a long way.

“Whichever route you decide on, remember to keep your campaigns fresh, your content creative and continuously test your ads.

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2018-03-23 00:00:00