CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference
Patrick Adams

‘Put On Your Strategic Hat’

Learning may be CUs’ only sustainable advantage.

April 1, 2013

Marketers often get so busy doing they forget to put on their “strategic hats,” Patrick Adams, master of ceremonies for the 20th Annual CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference, said Monday.

Big mistake.

“Learning may be the only sustainable advantage we have,” says Adams, president/CEO of St. Louis Community Credit Union. “If we’re a little better and a little faster, we’ll win.”

It’s easy to overestimate how the financial services world will change in two years, but underestimate the changes that will take place 10 years from now, Adams says.

“Twenty years ago, during our first conference, no one was talking about social media or apps,” he says. “We were talking about guerilla marketing. Things have changed dramatically.”

Adams urged attendees to embrace “context over content, and focus on the big picture.

“We need specialists,” he says, “but true leaders cross over” into all areas of the credit union.

“You’ll get a lot of ideas here,” Adams says, “and you need to put important ideas into place now. They might not pay off immediately, but they will eventually.

“Plant the tree now that people will sit under in 20 years."