‘Stay Curious’ and Other Keys to Marketing Success

Marketing and business development success starts with the CU’s leadership, three award-winning marketers say.

June 15, 2012
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Not every marketing idea is a home run. But having permission to fail every so often creates a sense of innovation and motivation among credit union marketers and business developers, say three Diamond Award winners:

  • Anne Legg, vice president of marketing for $740 million asset Financial Partners Credit Union, Downey, Calif. (Marketing Professional of the Year);
  • John Godwin, vice president of business development/strategic alliances for $1.1 billion asset MECU of Baltimore (Business Development Professional of the Year Award); and
  • Kim Wall, community development director for $900 million asset Georgia United Credit Union in Duluth (Hall of Fame inductee).

Legg, Godwin, and Wall outline the keys to marketing and business development success and their best marketing/business development advice.

CU Mag: What are some of the keys to marketing and business development success?

Godwin: It really starts with the leadership. I'm very fortunate that our leadership at the credit union fully supports business development.

They trust what we do. They allow us to take chances, and they don't always work out. But then when they don't work out, the hammer doesn't come down on me too hard. We still consider ourselves a laboratory for the credit union.

We will try new things, and they won’t all be home runs. But we’re given the luxury of being able to fail to some extent. That creates a real sense of innovation and motivation in the department. That’s critical.

Diamond Award winners
Marketing success starts with support from CU leadership, say Diamond Award winners Anne Legg (left), John Godwin, and Kim Wall.

The other thing is we need to have the right people in the right position. As someone who has worked in both marketing and business development, I know the marketing personality is a little different than the business development personality.

I think we'd all agree that having a business development personality in a business development position is critical, just as it is to have a marketing personality in a marketing position.

Wall: I do have to give kudos to executive management because change is the only constant here, as I’m sure it is with your credit unions. We have to constantly adapt to the marketplace. But when you have great people in the right position, it makes all the difference in the world.

And when you couple that with executive management support, it’s win-win for everybody.

We all love our jobs and the credit union. But not everybody has that passion. We need to find people who fit and who have the heart and the passion.

Legg: Part of my mantra when I was chair of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council was making sure leadership recognized the contributions of marketing and business development.

What’s really helping take our industry to the next level is having marketers in key executive roles.

NEXT: What's the best marketing advice you'd offer colleagues?

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