If you want Marketing to up their game, you may need to do the same.

Monster Problem: How can I get more out of my Marketing Department?

Regardless of the credit union’s size, someone always seems to be asking this question. This is often because Marketing is too-often seen as an expense rather than an investment, and numbers people tend to worry about costs more than growth.

But that doesn’t mean the question isn’t worth asking.

So how do you get more out of your marketing department? Especially if that department isn’t very big to begin with?

The smaller the department, the more important your staff

Marketing is a critical need if you are trying to grow. But a large marketing staff isn’t a budget option for many smaller CUs, who usually only have one to two people in the Marketing department.

Which makes it even more important to find the right person(s) for the job, and to provide them with the respect, support and resources they need to get the job done.

And not to expect them to do-it-all, either.

Hire specific talents, instead of looking for a jack-of-all-trades

No one can do-it-all equally. It isn’t possible. Some people are really good at making personal connections with others, but not good at social media. Others can layout a brochure but can’t write the copy to go inside. And a few can do lots of things, but it’s unrealistic to expect them to do it all at the same high level.

Most rockstar CU marketing departments have someone in charge that knows how to play off of their strengths. They focus their time and talent on doing what they are really good at, instead of trying to do it all. They communicate with their members to understand what they want and need, and connect with other CU staff to build cooperation across other departments (in order to get as much done as possible).

Then they look to fill in any missing gaps.

Outsource as needed to complement those talents

When you see those gaps, it’s often tempting to hire someone as soon as you can. And if you can find the right talent to fill those gaps, at a salary (+ benefits) that you can afford, then it may be a no-brainer.

But it’s rarely that easy.

And when you add the salary and benefits together, it’s never that cheap. Maybe that’s why so many CUs are outsourcing everything from accounting to IT operations.

So why not outsource some of YOUR marketing needs?

Freelancers can be a good temporary fix, but you will likely have to teach them about credit unions a few times before it sinks in. And if they get bogged down, sometimes your project gets bogged down as well.

Hiring a marketing agency is often a better choice, because of the amount of resources at your disposal. Not only do they usually have writers and designers, but they also have web geeks and social media geeks, strategists and researchers, with lots of new ideas to replace stale ideas. And if they have experience working with credit unions you’ll spend a lot less time explaining things.

Support those talents with the budgets and resources they need

Just as you can’t expect one person to do the work of an entire department, you also can’t expect them to accomplish the results you want without the budget and resources to match.

If you want Marketing to up their game, you may need to do the same.

Kent Dicken

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