Your Most Important Campaign

Featured Image - your most important campaign - Marketing the Movement - Daniel Bradshaw

The most important campaign you’ll ever put together isn’t about checking accounts, certificates, or mortgages. There’s no ad space to buy and the targeting is done for you. Your most important campaign is always for the staff.

I say I’m a one-man department, but every single employee at the credit union is part of the marketing team. With word of mouth holding more weight than any form of advertising, the member experience (mainly controlled by staff) is a crucial piece of my marketing plan. What staff members do day in and day out is either helping or hurting our efforts to reach more people. They’re who I need to take care of more than anyone else.

The first part of this is basic communication. Every single employee should be up to date on our efforts and what’s coming next. I’m not just talking about what product or service we might be focused on this month. I mean the staff needs to know EVERYTHING.

If we’re a major sponsor for an event, the staff should know.

If a message is going out about scheduled system maintenance, the staff should know.

Unfortunately, many of us (myself included) fall short at times in this area. Sure, I could say it slipped my mind or I ran out of time cause I’m “so busy,” but that’s a slap in the face to the people on the front line. I’m sure you’ve had that dream where you’re taking a test that you haven’t studied for. With me, that nightmare usually includes having to go on stage for a show I’ve never done and not knowing my lines.

That’s the feeling you give a staff member when someone starts asking for more info and they don’t even have the initial info (let alone more to share).

Marketing isn’t just about engaging members – you have to fire up the staff, too. A solid onboarding plan for new employees is just as important as one for new members. Your role in onboarding new hires needs to go beyond asking what size polo they wear. You should be involved in the language and visuals being used to introduce them to your brand and the credit union’s mission. If they don’t start their credit union journey excited about the difference they’re making in people’s lives, it’s a missed opportunity.

It’s up to you to keep the staff pumped about the work they do as part of a credit union. Letting it fade away can have a negative impact on the member experience. Consumers can feel when someone genuinely enjoys what they’re doing. The positive energy is contagious and makes a stronger connection to the brand.

I’ve always recognized my part in this ongoing effort to improve and enhance the internal culture. We’re doing incredible things for our members every day. If we can’t find ways to get the staff fired up to walk through those doors, we must not be trying.

Just like we want current members to make other people “jealous” of what it’s like to bank with us, we should strive for the same with our staff. We can be one of those employers with a waiting list of people actively trying to get a position because the current staff makes it look so appealing. But it starts within the marketing department.

Further reading

Featured Image - retail therapy update - Marketing the Movement - Daniel Bradshaw

Retail Therapy

In Ray Davis’ 2007 book, Leading for Growth, the innovative (now retired) CEO of Umpqua Bank says you have to know what business you’re...