Family Savings Credit Union Chief Marketing Officer Lesli Bishop

Q&A: Lesli Bishop

‘Expect 2023 to be very different,’ says the Family Savings Credit Union chief marketing officer.

January 18, 2023

Lesli Bishop believes the current economy gives credit union members an opportunity to step back and dig deep into their financial situation. Bishop, chief marketing officer at Family Savings Credit Union, says the credit union movement should be prepared to advise members throughout a 2023 she expects to be “very different from years past.”

Bishop has been with the $689 million asset credit union in Gadsden, Ala., for 26 years, starting as a teller and working her way up through management, business development, and marketing.

She recently spoke with CUNA News about the marketing landscape, takeaways from 2022, and the year ahead. 

CUNA News: What lessons are you taking away from 2022? 

Lesli Bishop:

  1. Always be flexible, especially in marketing. For instance, how many of us really know how to run a certificate of deposit promotion? Some of us weren’t even around when financial institutions needed deposits more than loans. Always network with peers, read what other credit unions have done, and share knowledge.
  2. Bad things happen sometimes. With the economy in the state that it is, everyone is feeling some financial stress. We need to ask questions and listen for clues. Low-, middle-, and high-income members are all struggling, and we need to be aware of all the services our credit union offers so we can advise our members.
  3. Tighten our belt, because here we go. Listening to experts, we should expect 2023 to be very different from previous years. Members in the borrowing stage of their lives have no idea how to navigate high inflation. Financial education should be a key focus for credit unions in 2023. Reviewing member financials so they can make wise financial decisions will be key to member retention and satisfaction.

Q: What excites you in the marketing realm when you look at 2023?

A: I’m most excited about our members’ opportunity to take a hard look at their financials. Members may realize they need a budget, they need to know what is affecting their credit score, and they need to know how to save money. This is what credit unions have been stressing for years. There will be a real need for financial education.

‘We need to ask questions and listen for clues.’
Lesli Bishop

Q: What are the biggest opportunities you see in 2023? 

A: Opportunities to build deeper relationships with members using member data and automation. With advanced technology, we need to communicate with members on a personalized level. Credit unions care about our members. We need to show empathy. Members need to feel that they are not alone, and that we know where they are in their lives. We need hyper-targeted, personalized messaging. 

Q: What challenges do you expect to face in 2023? 

A: The cost of everything has increased—vendor expenses, printing costs, and advertising costs. Many of our marketing budgets have taken a hit for 2023. The biggest challenge I see is doing more with what marketing funds you have. Make sure your marketing is precise. Don’t “say and spray.” 

Q: What advice would you offer young credit union marketers? 

A: Network and learn from others in your field. Get involved with CUNA and educate yourself on what is working for others.  

A great place to start is the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council. This group is filled with amazing marketers—99% of the time you can find advice, templates, campaign ideas, etc. There are also many opportunities to volunteer on committees where you can network and make a difference. 

Q: What are your interests outside of work? 

A: Watching my kids play sports is the highlight of my off time. I also take weekend Jeep rides with my husband and dogs. 

Q: What’s the best vacation you’ve been on? 

A: Any beach trip is the best vacation. We are also planning a trip out West in 2023.