While there are few hard and fast rules in marketing, there’s a lot of turnover among marketing teams. These issues may be related.
The problem is that the creative process is, by definition, a risky one.
Bland may not be effective, but it does keep you from viral evisceration by thousands of indignant Facebook users.
That said, some rules will keep you from getting into too much trouble.
I’m calling these the “20 Credit Union Marketing Commandments,” although the more progressive among you might want to go with, “Two Credit Union Marketing Commandments and 18 Mere Suggestions.”
i. Thou shall be careful using humor when it comes to health or wealth. One person’s laugh riot is another’s invective.
ii. Thou shall not use the term “marketing” to be a noun, adjective, and verb at the same time.
iii. Thou shall politely consider new ideas, even marketing campaigns consisting solely of an annual percentage yield disclosure for a certificate of deposit.
iv. Thou shall post but one social media item per day, unlike a 14-year-old hanging out with friends on a Friday night or parents who can only figure out the share key on major holidays.
v. Thou shall focus on a chosen demographic, making this group more specific than “can fog a mirror” and less specific than a Tinder profile.
vi. Thou shall use internet metrics with a grain of sodium chloride as thy understands that the underlying principles to metrics such as “unique member,” “click-through” and “ability to sit through a video more than 10 seconds long” to a CEO is as effective as watching “National Treasure” as a history lesson.
vii. Thou shall make visuals that work on thy computer, thy tablet, and thy phone.
viii. Thou shall not chain down pens in branches.
ix. Thou shall tell stories as if thou are the Ernest Hemingway of credit union marketing.
x. Thou shall personalize messages as thou realizes nobody responds to “dear member.”
xi. Thou shall realize that members are little moved by rate or levels of service but would move heaven and earth for a free Starbucks gift card.
xii. Thou shall create all marketing programs in six days, for the seventh day shall be one of rest and for fixing mistakes made in the previous six.
xiii. Thou shall tell the truth, always tell the truth, per Regulation Z, Section 11, Part 5, paragraphs 4-16, including footnotes.
xiv. Thou shall not covet someone else’s image unless it’s not copyrighted. Then it’s like borrowing a cup of milk for a cake and is completely OK.
xv. Thou shall be current and more relevant than a VCR repair person.
xvi. Thou shall treat all vendors with compassion until they no longer are worthy of thy money.
xvii. Thou shall avoid telling jokes such as, “What’s the difference between a credit union CEO and God? God doesn’t think he’s a credit union CEO.”
xviii. Thou shall understand that one may lose some, one may win some, but as the Seattle Mariners have shown, playing above .500 is all one must doeth.
xix. Thou shall tryeth new things and be unlike the 27th installment of the “Indiana Jones” movie franchise.
xx. Thou shall not chase shiny objects like a Labrador retriever at a bunny farm.
Go forth and market.
JAMES COLLINS is president/CEO at O Bee Credit Union in Lacey, Wash.