Is your credit union taking care of the front of the house during off-seasons?
As of Sunday, we’ve wrapped up the trifecta of major U.S. greeting card holidays: Christmas, Valentine’s Day and now Mother’s Day. Easter brunch is behind us, so you can take a little breather on the cleaning and decorating before Fourth of July barbecue preparations begin.
During this off-season, how are you taking care of your house? Does it still look presentable? Is it turning heads with natural curb appeal? Or does it fade to the background until those seasons in which it shines?
Your marketing calendar is very similar to this house. During specific marketable seasons, you probably dedicate a lot of time and resources to making things look pretty and draw attention. But the front of your house is always there, with or without the festive garb. What are you doing throughout the year to make sure it’s given the attention it needs and deserves?
Always-on marketing campaigns are like the front of the house for the rest of the year. They’re always there, regardless of what you promote during one-off or seasonal campaigns. Always-on marketing is specifically useful for drawing the attention of your marketing demographics during the off-season.
For example, consider this case study of a national floral delivery service. During Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and the holiday season, they might promote services and create promotions appropriate for each holiday. But throughout the year, they run a campaign centered around flowers for birthdays or maybe flowers for anniversaries. Birthdays and anniversaries happen year-round, so they can use this time as an opportunity to secure new clients. They then fold that new demographics data into their targeting process for their specific holiday campaigns.
So let’s talk about how this can apply to credit unions and your marketing campaigns. During the holidays, you probably run such promotions as holiday loans for trips and gifts, or perhaps a payment skipping option on loans to give your members a little extra cash during the season. But during the rest of the year, you could be running an auto loan campaign targeted at a specific age group, such as millennials.
The benefits of an always-on marketing strategy are two-fold. First of all, you are reaping the rewards of marketing year-round. You have more potential for conversions and tangible results if you aren’t limiting your marketing opportunities to seasonal campaigns. Secondly, during those year-round campaigns, you are gathering valuable data on your target demographics that you can then use to further refine your seasonal campaigns.
Let’s go back to our example above: If the target age group for your always-on auto-lending campaign is the millennial generation, you can watch and evaluate how this campaign fares. If this campaign’s marketing language and targeting get positive responses and results, then you can leverage the same or similar messaging and tweak your seasonal campaigns’ targeting accordingly to be far more effective. Poor results can also inform you on how to market more effectively in the future—especially how not to market during your seasonal campaigns.
In the information era, it’s incredibly important that you are not only available for your audience 24/7, but you are also marketing to them 365 days a year. Your brand needs to be that quiet, ever-present voice, whether or not your credit union is making a huge marketing push. If you’re always on, you’re always getting noticed.
Samuel Cook is the online content specialist for Kearley & Company, a full-service marketing and branding firm specializing in financial institutions and small- to medium-sized businesses. If your credit union needs help building a social media marketing plan, reach out at BigIdeas@kearley.com.