Top-Notch Marketers: Part I

‘Have Fun and Get It Done’

Three top marketing/business development professionals share their strategies for success.

May 22, 2012

Take care of members and they’ll take care of you.

That was a recurring theme during a recent conversation with three Diamond Award-winning marketers:

  • Anne Legg, vice president of marketing for $740 million asset Financial Partners Credit Union, Downey, Calif. (Marketing Professional of the Year);
  • John Godwin, vice president of business development/strategic alliances for $1.1 billion asset MECU of Baltimore (Business Development Professional of the Year Award); and
  • Kim Wall, community development director for $900 million asset Georgia United Credit Union in Duluth (Hall of Fame inductee).

The CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council honored these marketers during its annual conference in New Orleans.

In the first of a five-part series, Legg, Godwin, and Wall discuss how they approach their craft and touch on accomplishments of which they’re particularly proud.

CU Mag: What’s your guiding marketing/business development philosophy?

Wall: We’ve always believed if you take care of your members, they’ll take care of you. And if you do a good job informing current and potential members about the benefits the credit union offers, they’ll become fans and spread the word.

Because we’re such an active community partner, we definitely want people out there spreading the word about the credit union. It’s the Golden Rule.

Godwin: Our motto is “having fun and getting it done.” That really drives what we do. We enjoy coming in and serving our SEGs [select employee groups] and our members, and it’s fun to bring on new partners. All of us in the department are geared up about bringing on a new partnership, and that first site visit always is exciting.

Marketing award winners
Anne Legg (left), John Godwin, and Kim Wall discuss their guiding marketing and business development philosophies.

We set really aggressive goals and we have fun going after those goals.

Legg: For us, it’s about getting the right message to the right person at the right time. We look at where members are, who they are, what their needs are, and where they connect to us—analyzing that channel, making sure we send the right message, and then having the back-end process in place.

That’s the hardest part. You can have the most amazing marketing campaign targeted to the appropriate people, but if you don’t have the back office operations to support it, you won’t be successful.

CU Mag: What’s one accomplishment of which you’re especially proud?

Godwin: I get a big kick out of seeing the team grow and make progress—when a teammate struggles with a particular challenge and works to overcome it. Seeing the pleasure they get when they emerge on the other side—I can’t get enough of that.

Legg: We’ve always focused on those “goose bump” moments—when you realize why you do what you do. My goose bump moment came when we were able to help a member who found out she had a disease and would have to pay $100 a month for maintenance medication. She came into the branch and said, “I don’t know how I’m going to afford this.”

The branch manager sat her down and said, “If we do this and this, not only can I save you $100 a month, but I can find you another $100.”

That’s what we do. We know we have the best products and the best service to support them. That’s why I love doing what I do.

Wall: There are many moments I’ve been proud of because I’m the very first marketing employee my credit union hired and we’ve been through three name changes and three presidents together.

We’ve built a strong, credible marketing and business development area through the years that has had a direct impact on our growth from a $25 million asset credit union in 1983 to the $900 million asset credit union we are now with 16 locations and more than 100,000 members.

I feel so much personal pride to know I’ve had a hand in helping to build this credit union. You can’t help but feel like it’s your baby.

In part two of this series, Legg, Wall, and Godwin explain how they come up with fresh ideas and new approaches to their jobs. Stay tuned.