how often do CU marketers assume that their members are just like them

A local non-CU client recently called us to do a TV spot. His competition is a big national chain, so he really wants to use his community roots as the main theme.

A local non-CU client recently called us to do a TV spot using his community roots as the main theme. Which made sense — when used right, that local flavor can create a powerful common bond. And lots of our credit union clients use a local connection in their marketing in order to battle the big national banks.

Then he named off several locations that he thought could be in the spot, making sure we knew that he grew up here, went to this high school, that he and his buddies used to hang out at the Indy 500 every May… He had a great time reminiscing about it all.

But then I asked about the target audience. 19-30 year old men are the primary buyers, I was told.

Then why are you marketing to yourself?, I asked.

I knew his approach would likely connect well with his contemporaries — but they are no longer the customers for what he sold. Most 19-30 year old men aren’t very nostalgic, and they usually don’t place as much value on their community until they get older.

He reluctantly saw my point, and now we’re taking a different approach.

But it did make me wonder – how often do CU marketers assume that their members are just like them? Same age, same upbringing, same education, same income level, same interests?

Are you marketing to yourself?

How different would it be if you marketed to the members you actually have?

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Showing up in your world (or the board’s world, or your staff’s world) is not nearly as important as showing up in the world of the person you’re actually trying to reach. –  Seth Godin