Marketing: The Blessing and the Curse

Marketing is constantly changing, requiring marketers to change with it.

May 29, 2012
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CU Mag: What’s one gem that has turned out well?

Godwin: I can’t think of a single one…. No, one thing we’re going to start doing whenever we go to a conference is to participate in some type of outreach in that location.

That idea came up in a discussion about outreach. If you’re fortunate enough to go to a conference, why not get in a little early and do something in the community where the conference takes place? I love that idea.

This practice also fosters rapport. We’ll come up with ideas that, frankly, aren’t that good. And we’ve developed this open rapport where we can tell each other “that’s not a good idea” in a way that’s constructive and usually funny.

One idea, that we should give away pillows, was just torn apart. My team has no trouble—and often rejoices in—telling me when my creative juices are less than wonderful. So this fosters open communication, as well.

Legg: We also had a gem. We found that federal government employees’ pay sometimes is delayed when the government is closed for a long weekend, like over Thanksgiving. We put together a loan product that automatically deposits the amount of their paycheck when there’s a delay. When the paycheck does come in, it’s all good.

Subscribe to Credit Union MagazineThis way, they don’t have to worry about having enough funds in their account over a long weekend. This is a good example of looking at our members’ needs and what we can do to meet them.

They love this, and they’ll talk to each other: “You’ve got to be with the credit union because you’ll get early pay.” Even if it’s not early pay, that’s the perception.

Wall: I think the economy can give us some new ideas based on members’ needs. If you didn’t already have second-chance checking or a restart auto loan, you certainly developed more products like those because there’s such a need.

In part three of this series, Godwin, Wall, and Legg discuss the increasing role of the tablet and other tools in marketing and business development. The CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council honored these marketers during its annual conference in New Orleans.

More of this!

Josh McAfee
May 29, 2012 9:33 am
As a CU marketer in their mid-20's, I need articles like this to get me out of my own head. So many times the ideas are so localized and inside of a box of my own CU that they don't even work well for our purposes. I think we all have to start thinking bigger about ways to enrich members' lives. If the implementation seems impossible, we're on the right track. Scaling down a huge idea is always a possibility. Making a tiny idea bigger is the tough part. Great job guys. I've used innovations from Anne and John from day one, so I can attest that theyre not just doing special things for their own CUs but also for the industry as a whole. From a newbie in the CU marketing game, you're our heroes.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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