EverythingCU.com's first webinar round table revealed a few of the concerns on the minds of credit union marketers.
Some of the round table highlights revolved around how to handle shrinking marketing budgets while being asked to account for the ROI of every marketing penny spent. It proved too much for one marketer at a large Michigan credit union and she resigned. Overall, the group felt it could have been handled better and that there had to be more to it. One marketer suggested that while it can be very difficult to draw a direct ROI line from say a particular newspaper ad. It is possible to state that if the business objectives are x then here is why we are approaching marketing this way.
Marketers were also interested in how to get to the exclusive executive level C-suite, and the consensus was that they had to become more familiar with the financial side of the business and take a broader view of the credit union from the operations perspective.
"Sometimes we get wrapped up in our little area, but we have to know the financials get more involved, maybe serve on the ALM committee, understand the balance sheet and know your impact," said one marketer. "If marketers aren't able to show the value causation of we spent this much and this is what happened, then they can't rise to the corner office."
With new regulations and the corporate buyout, the hot button topic that generated the most discussion was survival and CUSO strategies for small credit unions. One small credit union with just three employees was looking for options because, despite members flocking in with deposits, loans haven't increased enough. That marketer wanted tips on how small credit unions can band together to save money.
Recognizing that it was a bigger issue of survival and the only way to do that was to reduce expenses or generate additional income, a group of 10 credit unions within a 60- mile radius came together to address human resource issues of payroll and health care. From that, an innovation group was formed made up of marketers from each credit union to identify the education opportunities for different age groups.
"We've met three times and so far everyone has been playing nice. Right now we're in the branding stage for the innovation group and we're not forming a CUSO, we're just collaborating for the greater good and survival."