CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference

Marketing Q&A

Panel discussion examines how to gain staff buy-in for promotions, plus other topics.

March 14, 2014


A marketing panel discussion at the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Conference Thursday afternoon touched on everything from name changes to succeeding with a one-person marketing department.

Participating in the panel were:

Moderating the panel discussion was Lynn Roth, communications manager for DuTrac Community Credit Union, Dubuque, Iowa.

The session addressed a variety of questions:

Q: How do you approach a name change?

Hunter: “Make sure it resonates with the membership and that it has staying power.”

Q: What do you do when your big idea is rejected by nonmarketers?

Hayes: Sometimes you have to start over and get back to the basics. I realize that I don’t know everything.

Hunter: If it’s a fabulous idea, I’ll seek to learn first and then be heard. Just like with marketing, you need to understand your market: What’s important to your target market and what are their concerns?

Then I’ll come back with a message that addresses those concerns.

Q: How can CUs make golf tournaments more interactive?

Hayes: Have a group from your credit union drive around and mingle with other groups. A golf tournament is fun, but it’s all about public relations.

It’s a chance to show off your brand.

Mullins: Golf is a relationship-building tool—a schmooze fest. 

Q: How do you get staff buy-in to for marketing promotions?

Mullins: Spend 30 minutes a day listening to your front-line staff. Feed them, reward them, and tell them how awesome they are. 

We offer weekly prizes for longer promotions; daily prizes for short-term promotions. Our prizes might only be gum or $10, but they work. Launching a campaign doesn’t take much energy but maintaining one does.

For one reward program, we’ll put $20 worth of singles in a mason jar in front of each teller with a sign, “If I don’t tell you about X promotion, take a dollar.” They keep the money that’s left. That gives them ownership.

Hunter: Communication and recognition, communication and recognition. Then repeat.

Tell staff how they’re moving the needle and reward them.

Q: How do you keep going in a one-person marketing department?

Mullins: Do the most important tasks first thing in the morning and the week. You have more energy in the mornings and on Mondays.

Hayes: Prioritization and commitment. Have the tenacity to say you can only do so much and that some things might have to wait. Communicate what you have going on and see how others’ priorities fit your schedule. People have to know what you have going on.

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