What is Marketing?

Marketing 101: What is Marketing?

Published: April 23rd, 2021

What is marketing? Let’s get off on the right foot … it’s not advertising. 

You place ads to promote credit union rates and car loans, and to clearly define the overall value and importance of your credit union in the community. Marketing is a strategic effort to build your credit union’s brand while informing and engaging with your current — and future — customers. 

It might seem counterintuitive now, but marketing is the key aspect to any thriving and profitable business. So what is marketing and how do you do it successfully? 

Marketing is the most effective way to tell your story and encourage people to do business with you. Marketing grows the/your business, informs customers, generates sales, increases profit margins, builds trust, and creates brand ambassadors (which is the ultimate goal). 

Marketing is connecting the right customers to the right products. So when was the last time you thought about marketing through that lens? 

We often view marketing as elusive, mysterious, or just plain expensive. The only expensive marketing is bad marketing. 

Effective marketing adds value and customer loyalty to your bottom line. Great marketing is when your customers begin to tell others about their positive experiences with your credit union (your brand ambassadors). That’s the goal! 

How do you get there? 

  • Sit down with your leadership team and define your goals as an organization. What are your new membership objectives?  What do you want your credit union to be known for? Create clear and consistent messaging that reflects those goals.
  • Define your customer experience and visualize what they should feel about your credit union at every touchpoint. 

The way you market that message and culture to customers will quickly reinforce what they see, hear and sense when they interact with your team. This is all about building a long-lasting relationship that is mutually beneficial to everyone involved. 

Once you’re committed to the importance of a marketing strategy, it’s time to breathe new life into your existing plan (or maybe even get it off the ground for the first time). The next article in this three-part series will focus on the tools at your fingertips to go Outside In: Defining the Customer Experience before the final piece that will help you move your customers to Brand Ambassadors

Remember: The hardest part of marketing is getting your team’s complete buy in to live out your mission each day. When everyone on your team is on board with adopting the “way of life” that you’ve agreed on professionally, be excited. Then great marketing is just you telling your customers and your community why you’re excited. That’s the fun part.