Thursday, August 6, 2009

Options Post-Plasectomy?

I recently came across the term "Plasectomy," and immediately thought my friend who used the term was going to have to undergo some sort of surgery for a medical condition.

I quickly learned he was referring to something entirely different.

Radio and TV talk show host Dave Ramsey offers financial advice and financial counseling on his shows, and he encourages
Americans to cut up, blow up, pulverize, or in some way destroy their credit cards in an effort to work toward debt-free living. This act is referred to as a "Plasectomy."

Ramsey's viewers send in a video of their Plasectomy, and if it's good, he'll air it on his show and send the person who created the video a prize.

Here's a video that won on the Dave Ramsey show last summer.

The concept of living without credit cards is not new, but it has gained momentum in recent years as credit card companies have raised rates. I like the idea of folks getting out from under a mountain of debt, but I do believe that credit cards can serve a purpose. A credit card can act like a low-cost loan for individuals while they are building a business, going to school, or have fallen on hard times and need a bridge to get through. A credit card might help to make things easier when traveling. There are a number of reasons why an individual or small business might benefit from a credit card - if the rate and terms are reasonable.

If you're a credit union marketeer, are you doing enough to educate your members about life post-plasectomy ... possibly with a low-cost card from your credit union?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Selling is More Than Great Ideas And Great Creative

Recently I received a letter from the dealership where I get my car serviced thanking me for being a valued customer. And to show their appreciation for my loyalty, they made me an offer for a cool car accessory they just started stocking at 20% off the regular price.

That caught my attention.

Not only was the offer timely, but relevant. However, the letter didn’t tell me what the regular price was or how much the discounted price would be including tax. So I called them.

My past experience with this dealership has always been one of great customer service … friendly people who know my car and me as well as what they’re doing. But this encounter was a whole new ball game.

When they answered the phone, I immediately identified myself, told them about the letter and the offer, and asked them for the pricing. The dead silence on the other end of the line let me know pretty quickly that they had no idea what I was talking about, so I asked to be transferred to someone else that could help me. Six people later, none of who knew anything about the letter or the offer, I hung up.

This was not only a missed opportunity for the dealership, but put doubts in my mind about what happened to all that exceptional customer service I was so use to receiving.

The point is that all the great ideas and great creative in the world won’t be successful if the fulfillment side of the offer falls flat. Making sure that your Credit Union’s employees are fully informed and engaged in all of your marketing efforts is a critical part of meeting and surpassing your goals.

Here are a few tips on how to make that happen.

1. Have a rally for the rollout.
Send each employee a fun teaser invitation to a special in-person or intranet video event that includes prizes and giveaways.
2. Share the facts.
Informed employees are going to have a higher rate of buy-in if they feel comfortable and confident about what’s happening and why. Give them talking points or a point of contact if they have a question they can’t answer.
3. Provide samples of marketing materials.
Knowing how the promotion is going to look and what marketing channels will be used will build the feeling of inclusion.
4. Offer goal-based incentives.
Whether it’s cash or a camera, everybody likes to be acknowledged and rewarded when they do good things.
5. Send regular progress reports.
Keeping people in the loop as to how things are going will keep them engaged.
6. Celebrate the success.
Have a cookout or send cupcakes to all the employees. What ever you do, there’s nothing that buys more goodwill than saying “thank you for all your hard work.”

What’s your secret to insuring successful fulfillment on your marketing projects?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Marketing financial products and services - It's a great time to be a Credit Union

I was watching TV last weekend and was struck by the number of advertisements that hold their products up as a better value - you should buy/do/act because of the overall money-saving value a product or service can offer you and your family.

There was one ad in particular in which a mom and her two children went to the grocery store to see if they could prepare a meal at home at the same cost they could buy it for at KFC. A few seconds into the commercial, they realize that it's a better deal to go to KFC for a low $9.99 meal that can feed the whole family.

With the current economic climate, it seems to me that it's a prime time for credit unions across the country to get out there - big and bold - with the message of value in the financial products and services they provide.

Here's a snap-shot of some recent CU press:

• Arianna Huffington appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show recently to talk about the financial crisis, specifically related to news of American International Group's bonus package. The point she was making on the show was that the media isn't talking about the "good stuff" going on in the marketplace and the country at large.

"There's a lot of good stuff happening in this country - look at credit unions," Huffington said. "How many people know that credit unions are healthy, they keep lending money, and there have been no problems with them?

"Why not bolster what is good in our economy as opposed to continuing to subsidize what is not working?" she added.

• Suzy Ormond has talked on her website and in media interviews about the safety and value consumers can find at credit unions.

• Credit Union National Association President/CEO Dan Mica appeared on Fox Business Network to underscore the overall strength and safety of the credit union system and promote lifting the statutory member business lending cap as a way to help job-generating small businesses.

Interviewed live in the Rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building, Mica said he wants consumers to know that the natural person credit unions, "where you and I put our money," are safe and sound, with accounts federally insured to $250,000.

Are you leveraging this recent press to your benefit?

Credit unions have a history of safety and security - which is exactly what consumers and businesses are looking for in today's marketplace. If ever there was a time to tell the credit union story, it's right now. With the value and savings that credit unions bring to their members and communities, I firmly believe that the credit union philosophy of "People Helping People" has a role to play in our national economic recovery.

If you're a credit union, are you doing your part to educate your members and your communities about how the credit union can help?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Flip-Side of Facebook - a Marketer's Perspective

I came across this video, and I think it reinforces how social media can work for an organization as a part of the overall marketing plan. It also highlights the value of social media in terms of reaching younger demographics.