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DALLAS – Despite winning many awards, the Texas Credit Union League’s Marketing Resources Department may still be one of the best-kept secrets in town. Originally created to serve and promote the league exclusively in 1979, Marketing Resources has expanded its reach to help credit unions. The department also works with other states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma with planning and to develop resource guides. “We try to tell people that you don’t have to be a league member, don’t have to be from Texas and you don’t have to pay a lot of money for quality marketing materials,” said TCUL MR Vice President of Marketing Vickey Morris. “The creativity and quality that comes out of this department can compete with most advertising agencies.” The full-service marketing, advertising and graphic design agency offers a variety of solutions for a credit union’s graphics, communications and promotional needs. From campaigns, copywriting, creative services, print production, display materials and specialty items, to special events and branding, the team of eight does it all. In addition, Morris says with many on the team coming from a credit union background, it gives the department an edge above the competition since they can “understand and appreciate the operating costs in the credit union”. For example, Marketing Resources produces quarterly newsletters for up to 16 small credit unions on a limited budget. With a price tag of $20 for 100 four-color newsletters credit unions need only choose between two mastheads and provide information for the front page while Marketing Resources writes the remaining copy. Department offerings are divided into four categories: marketing, advertising, graphic design, and research. Of the four, Morris says research is what takes many people by surprise. Marketing Resources conducts member research surveys for credit unions across the country. According to Director of Research Doug Foister, 90% of his work comes from member surveys and focus groups. The demographic information can then be cross tabulated by age, income, zip code and more to help credit unions get a clearer picture of their market. Foister says understanding what members want and feel is the key to effectively serving and targeting specific market segments and can even help in forming quality focus groups. The team meets three times a week to discuss production issues, and brainstorming sessions are spontaneously held whenever needed. One session can cover anywhere from two to six different topics. “It takes camaraderie and communication to keep generating these original and fresh ideas, so our brainstorming meetings can range from having lunch together playing trivia games and discussing world events to writing ideas on the walls with felt-tip markers -anything that will spark creativity,” said Account Representative Manager Steve Stovall. “We are also lucky to have two art directors on staff who can literally bring concepts and ideas to life.” All work except the actual printing is done in-house. In addition to serving credit union and corporate clients, Marketing Resources is still responsible for all Texas League marketing pieces from annual meetings and conferences to annual reports, training materials and putting the booths together. “We’re ready to work with anyone willing to pay us,” said Morris. [email protected]

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