Skip to content
Jay BachmayerJune, 15, 20233 min read

Putting the "What if" in F.I.

“What if?” That ever-elusive question: “what if?” The curiosity of “what might have been” plagues us all – especially those of us in the financial marking world. “What if I had an endless marketing budget for my financial institution?” “What if my higher-ups didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘no’?”

What if you didn’t even have to ask, “what if”?

What if we told you, there comes a time where you might not have to. What if you could do whatever you want to improve your credit union? We’re here to break down four ways marketers can do away with the questions and focus on making a real difference in their brand.

Convincing the Board of Directors

It can be tough to convince the board that marketing is an investment, not an expense. To change their opinion, it’s important to highlight long-term benefits and ROI that effective marketing brings. Share success stories and real data to show how marketing contributes to the FI’s growth and success.

Sometimes, you might hear from the BOD that they aren’t seeing their ads – but sometimes they aren’t your target demographic. With that in mind, the best way to combat that discussion is to open the communication channels and have honest conversations with them. Share your marketing strategies, goals and ideas. This can help build understanding, support and trust for your innovative approaches.

Shy Away from Blending in

Before she became brand ambassador for Epicosity Vault, Nikki Doherty was a marketer for the F.I. formally known as Services Center Credit Union.

“When I would walk in a new FI with fresh eyes – the first thing I noticed is that all of the marketing tactics were – well… blending in,” said Doherty. “It seems that the previous marketing tactics/plans was a calendar of monthly products and seasonal campaigns. It was always – hey it’s June – that is recreational loan time. Most of these ads focused on rates or product specific talking points. And that is what everyone else was doing.”

She said her approach was to break free from that sea of sameness. Her and her team would start with market research to identify their unique strengths and the target market segments that align with them. The next step was developing and implementing creative marketing campaigns that highlight those distinctive qualities and resonated with our intended audience.

Before you can implement those tactics, it’s important that the entire team is on board and believes in the new direction.

It All Starts Within

One of the biggest challenges can be educating your internal team to understand the true essence of your brand. In fact, it’s crucial. A brand is more than just logos, fonts, colors and community engagement. The FI brand is about everything that brand represents. Doherty remembers a time where she would sit down with her team regularly and ease them through the transition. “I would organize training sessions to explain the concept of branding in a holistic manner,” she said.

She goes on to say she would showcase successful brands from different industries to help inspire the team to think beyond the vision elements and get to the true essence of why certain, successful brands have seen the results they have.

A Seat at the Senior Management Table

Bringing the marketing perspective at the senior management table can be a challenge. To garner that seat, you need to clearly communicate the value and impact of your marketing initiatives. Develop a strong business case that highlights potential benefits such as increased member/customer satisfaction, loyalty and revenue growth. Engage in open and constructive conversations to address their concerns and alight their objectives with your marketing strategy. Leverage your data and show the impact your initiatives has made. Translate their objectives into frictionless customer/member experiences.

F.I.-nding the Solution

Change takes time and patience, but it’s better than wondering IF things can change. Be persistent in showing the benefits and opportunities that marketing and branding can bring. By gradually influencing your board, senior management and internal team, you can create an environment that embraces change and innovation within the FI.

 Download Our Case Study Today


Jay Bachmayer

Jay specializes in Finance marketing strategies. He works hand in hand with bank and credit union marketing teams to set goals, launch campaigns, and analyze results. With years of digital, content, and general marketing experience, Jay dedicates himself to connecting modern marketing strategies to financial institutions.