‘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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CU Mag: What’s the best marketing/business development advice you’d offer colleagues?

Legg: Stay curious. Constantly look at what other credit unions and other industries are doing. And don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions—they already think we’re weirdos anyway.

I love when you walk into a meeting and say, “Explain to me why.” The whole room gets quiet. So again, be comfortable being uncomfortable. You need to stand your ground and say, “I need to understand why you don’t think this will work. Please explain it to me.”

CU Mag: What piques your curiosity now, Anne?

Legg: I’m really curious about how we're going to embrace the digital wallet because I want us to be able to say banking at the credit union is as easy as using the phone in  your hand. That’s going to be a beautiful spot for us.

So I want to know how we get away from being confined to 9 to 5, or whatever your branch hours are. There’s a whole world out there that's interacting with us and the rest of the world with their device. So how can we be part of all that?

Godwin: I’ll go back to my philosophy of having fun and getting it done—building a culture where it’s a priority to get things done, but where we try to minimize stress and rejoice in our successes.

This this award, for example, is something we all know is as much about the people around you as it is about you. There's no way this happens without the support that I get from our executive team and certainly not without our business development team. They’re the ones who help me develop our plans and make them happen.

Subscribe to Credit Union MagazineWall: Despite our never-ending deadlines and projects, remember to have fun and build relationships along the way. Life is too short not to enjoy what you do and to not be kind to others.

CU Mag: What’s one thing your colleagues might not know about you?

Wall: I enjoy volunteering with my spouse of 30 years on mission trips that involve physical labor, like shingling a house or doing demo work or painting. I have to say, hammering is a great stress reliever—and serving others can be life-changing.

I'll never forget taking my daughter on a mission trip to Puerto Rico when she was a senior in high school and how her eyes were opened to all the needs around us. I don't think she ever said “I want” again.

It’s important to realize we’re part of a bigger picture, and we’re all here to help each other along the journey.

Legg: For the last seven years I’ve been a resident storyteller at my library. I did the numbers on it, and I found that I’ve read to more than 3,000 kids. Every Tuesday.

I actually started that as a project with my daughter because I am a huge reader, and she now reads two years ahead of her age group.

I want to show my daughter how important it is to give back.

Godwin: I don’t like this question…. But I’m a published poet. I write poetry pretty regularly. I was an English major, so I haven’t been able to shake that since college.

Also, I like political philosophy. But I’ll stick with poet. That’s a little more colorful.

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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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