Loan growth, compliance concerns and the impact of interchange legislation dominated a hot topics open forum at the MAC 2011 Annual Conference.
Many of the attendees have been active with connectforthecause.org, an advocacy network for credit unions by credit unions, and sending letters to legislators but faced a few challenges extending the push to members.
"I don’t know if it’s an apathy or ignorance of how the Durbin amendment will not only impact their credit union or them personally, but a lot of members just don’t understand the whole interchange subject," said one marketer. "There’s so much doubt surrounding whether it will be delayed or not, it’s hard to quantify the actual impact, so there’s a wait and see in exploring other revenue streams to replace it."
Marketers also discussed the challenges and opportunity in loan growth as many credit unions are faced with fighting a cascade of payoffs. Successful loan efforts shared ranged from developing new products, such as energy efficient loans and shifting the focus from home equity to credit card balance transfers, to increasing credit limits and setting reasonable expectations with targeted preapproved offers.
When the discussion shifted to voicing their biggest concerns about the industry, many shared their concerns with the NCUA’s recent "heavy handed" tactics.
"The economy, coupled with the NCUA assessments that further exacerbates a challenging situation is creating this perfect storm where in the next five to 10 years, the small, medium and even some large credit unions won’t survive and only the healthiest, largest credit unions will survive," said one marketer.
Another added that he was worried that "rather than looking at the credit union business as a sustainable model over the long term, the industry will go for short-term numbers and flame out."
A MAC 2011 salary survey unveiled at the conference revealed that these are challenging times for credit union marketers.
In fact, overall respondents were generally ambivalent about their current credit union and the likelihood of remaining in the industry. There was a correlation with age, where the younger individual was much less likely to indicate they were likely to stay in the industry and older were more likely to stay.
The average marketing salary reported by respondent was $65,101, with those working for the smallest credit unions likely to earn less than $41,800 annually and those with the largest credit unions more likely to earn $85,001 or more. In general, salary increased with length of industry experience and the peak salary years reported range from 45-54. Respondents with marketing department with four or more staffers earn the highest salaries. In addition, those with a master’s degree reported an average salary of $87,910.
Despite the fact that there are more women in credit union marketing than men, they still on average earn less ($63,341) than their male counterparts ($76,711).
According to Kathryn Davis, senior vice president at Xceed Financial Credit Union, there’s never been a better time for attendees to market themselves. Personal branding consists of three elements: value proposition–what do you stand for; differentiation–what makes you stand out; and marketability–what makes you compelling? Once the personal brand is identified, Davis said it’s important to develop a business plan for your career.
"Be a center of influence at your credit union," said Davis. She advised promoting your brand by volunteering, being a speaker and being active in leagues.
Davis’ Seven Deadly Sins of Personal Branding
Thinking you don’t need a brand,
Making your personal brand all about you.
Building a brand you don’t believe in.
Forgetting the "personal" in personal branding.
Forgetting the "social" in social media/
Never taking a day off.