Narrow margins are placing acute pressure on lifting sales volume to create necessary revenue growth, while simultaneously challenging a credit union’s ability to fund required marketing support. Addressing these competing interests requires marketing budgets that operate with greater effectiveness and efficiency. Achieving these objectives necessitates a paradigm shift delivered with the creation of a market intelligence ecosystem.
The Search for Brand Advantage
Today, every credit union is in search of brand advantage, which is created pragmatically. The advantages of a brand are fundamentally built on three principals: The cultivation of brand awareness, brand familiarity and brand favorability. Simply put, advancing the brand far forward in the minds of consumers reduces clutter in the fragmented and competitive financial services arena. Additionally, knowing the capability of the brand broadens or restricts consideration. Furthermore, the ability to view the brand in favorable terms either completes or complicates the journey toward trial.
Essentially, brand momentum can be established when a prospect knows the brand, is familiar with what the brand can do for them and thinks of the brand in favorable terms. Conversely, a brand’s ability to compete is compromised if shortcomings are revealed in any one of the three dimensions that form consideration and trial. Moreover, loss of consideration erodes brand advantage, and challenges the relevance and sustainability of the brand.
Improving Marketing Effectiveness and Efficiency
Successfully addressing the challenges regarding brand sustainability requires an examination of evolving consumer behavior. The method by which consumers shop for products has fundamentally changed, providing unprecedented opportunities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of identifying, reaching and influencing a prospect.
Contending for new business requires a market intelligence platform in which a consumer’s or business’ physical address becomes a revealing leverage point in the financial ecosystem. The blueprint to compete for market share and earnings requires connecting household and business financial service demand to the addressable digital environment. By linking physical address to demographic data, demographic information to life stage, life stage to financial behavior and financial behavior to financial journey, purchase intention can be determined.
Leveraging a Physical Address
With known household product interest revealed, the physical address can become the pivot point for cultivating brand advantage by focusing on heightening brand awareness, familiarity and favorability to acquire critical consideration and trial advantages. By connecting the physical address of a prospect to their known purchase intent, and the physical address to addressable digital data, the market intelligence ecosystem can be created. This precise targeting capability leads to the launch of a personalized, relevant and meaningful one-to-one, product-driven platform. This ecosystem allows credit unions to better focus their marketing spend, prospect more intelligently, lift sales and support the development of the balance sheet to achieve earnings.
Target With Precision
The credit union with superior local knowledge wins. The market intelligence ecosystem is an economic necessity and business reality that allows credit unions to pivot their marketing support and target with precision, reaching and influencing a prospect more economically. It is time to out-local the competition and ensure brand relevance. Build a market intelligence ecosystem to lift sales volume and grow revenue.
This is the third in a three-part article series offering a prescriptive path to building competitive advantage by recognizing that smart data is the currency of business. Read the first installment here and the second installment here.
Tom Long is the Founding Manager of The Long Group, a Merrimack, N.H.-based strategic planning, marketing and analytics firm.