Strategic Planning is designed to develop a tactical plan. A strategic plan notes the direction in which a business is heading and the state it is currently in. Creating a strategic plan can define the business’s values, vision, and mission. The role of this plan is to determine long term goals and develop an action plan that will ultimately achieve these goals. A well thought out strategic plan will encourage a business’s success. The Benefits of a Strategic PlanningStrategic planning is beneficial to credit unions because it provides a written guideline of what is expected to be achieved. This helps credit unions navigate through challenges and opportunities that may arise. There are four key benefits and goals of a strategic plan.1. Increase ProductivityA strategic plan enables the entire workforce to be on the same page. The entire company knows what the goal is and what needs to be done to achieve it.2. Identify Strengths and WeaknessesThe strategic planning process will allow credit unions to inspect every aspect of their business. It will be help to determine what is working and what is not. 3. Induce ProactivityThe goal of strategic planning is to create a plan to help credit unions reach theirlong-term goals. Once that plan is outlined, the company can proactively work on short term goals and follow the action plan to achieve the business’s long-term goals.4. Map the Future of the BusinessThe strategic planning process focuses on developing an action plan that will direct your credit union to achieve goals over time. This action plan maps the future of the business.On The Mark’s Strategic Planning Process for Your Credit UnionOn The Mark Strategies works to make strategic planning fun. Once we understand your vision, we prioritize meeting your needs and focus on helping you achieve those goals. Our process is simple.• Take an anonymous survey of the session’s participants prior to the session.• Analyze the performance of your credit union.• Host an engaging session, where everyone’s voice can be heard.• Inspire big thinking before guiding your focus.• Strategically focus on your priorities and initiatives.• Develop exercises unique to your credit union’s needs.• Guide the members of the session towards a unanimous vision.• Create a fun-filled atmosphere.About the CompanyOn The Mark Strategies is a team of trailblazers guiding financial institutions in the areas of speaking, branding, strategic planning and marketing services. Technically, they are a consulting firm, but their clients prefer to think of them as trail guides. Their experience as former credit union employees, combined with the customized programs they create in-house, enable them to lead financial institutions through the great unknown. On The Mark Strategies stands ready to guide financial institutions looking to chart a new course or navigating their current path.
Digital marketing has become one of the fastest ways to grow a business. Whether you’re just starting or looking for new ideas, we’ve compiled the top 8 new marketing trends for credit unions to focus on in 2020. 1.       Interactive Content Interactivity is a new concept and stands out.Visitors will stay on your page longer.This content is much more shareable.Interactivity is more engaging and enjoyable for users. 2.       Smart Bidding on Google Ads Optimize bids with machine learning.Choose campaign-level conversion action.Automatically change your bids in reaction to changes in sales.Choose conversion actions to optimize your bids in multiple campaigns. 3.       Augmented and Virtual Reality  VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) continue to be extremely popular trends.AR is expected to surpass VR in the upcoming year. 4.       Shoppable Posts Social media is already a huge marketing hub, and users now are using it to shop online.Approximately 72% of Instagram users have bought something through the app.Most social media platforms offer ways to create and post shoppable posts. 5.       Personalization Research suggests that 90% of consumers find personalized marketing and service more appealing.80% of that consumer base reported they’d rather use a business with personalized service.Segmented email lists allow for more personalized blasts and typically perform better than generic emails. 6.       Live Videos Live videos have proven to be three times as effective in viewer retention on both Instagram and Facebook than pre-recorded ones.The watch time for Facebook Live videos quadrupled last year and have six times as many interactions as recorded videos. 7.       Marketing Content High-quality content continues to be crucial to successful campaigns.Your ad content is the only thing online viewers initially see about your business in search engines. 8.       Position one through three on SERP In the past, being on page one in SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) was the goal, but now businesses should be aiming for position one through three, considered above the fold (where results are seen without having to scroll down).Zero is the prime search result position, and frequently searchers may only view it off the results. Willingness to adapt in marketing strategy is a key strength for any credit union to attract and retain members. Along with these tips, many of the significant marketing trends from last year will also continue into the New Year. About Author On The Mark Strategies is a team of trailblazers guiding financial institutions in the areas of speaking, branding, strategic planning and marketing services. Technically, they are a consulting firm, but their clients prefer to think of them as trail guides. Their experience as former credit union employees, combined with the customized programs they create in-house, enable them to lead financial institutions through the great unknown. On The Mark Strategies stands ready to guide financial institutions looking to chart a new course or navigating their current path.
    Millennials are the elusive group between the ages of 25-34. Their definition of success is no longer based upon what they have in their savings account, the car in their driveway, or the house they live in. They are more concerned with how much traveling they have done and are already planning the next big trip. The experiences are their success. With this new way of thinking, credit unions are striving to develop a marketing strategy which appeals to these millennials. Focused on Living LifeMillennials no longer care about what they have, because studies are showing they are traveling the country and the world. They are living life to the fullest. If millennials are being creative, then credit unions will need to be creative as well. New campaigns that offer rewards are becoming quite popular. These programs allow millennials to use rewards on travel or purchases. Credit unions need to take the time to ask their millennial members what they want. Engagement is key to creating what they are looking for. Beyond Brick and MortarWith 45% of millennials using phones, computers, and tablets for banking purposes, credit unions will need to focus on offering on-line banking tools combined withgreat member services at their locations. This is the future of banking. Millennials no longer want to make a phone call and navigate through numerical menu options. They want the choiceto chat online or send a text, but also want to be able to go to their credit union for in-person services. Loans Almost everyone needs to secure financing at some point in life including millennials. It doesn’t matter whether the money is needed to finance a new car, recreational vehicle or their next big trip.Millennials need choices with flexible terms – they want to keep more money in their pockets each month and also pay back their loan sooner. They want a credit union to work diligently with them to find the right lending products and terms to meet their unique financial situations. About AuthorOn The Mark Strategies is a team of trailblazers guiding financial institutions in the areas of speaking, branding, strategic planning and marketing services. Technically, they are a consulting firm, but their clients prefer to think of them as trail guides. Their experience as former credit union employees, combined with the customized programs they create in-house, enable them to lead financial institutions through the great unknown. On The Mark Strategies stands ready to guide financial institutions looking to chart a new course or navigating their current path. 
Essential to marketing and credit union success, brand strategy can be challenging to craft. Below we’ve outlined the primary tactics for developing a solid strategy that will reach your target audience. Ask the following questions to get started: ●       Objective: How does the brand identity make you different and help you stand out in your markets?●       Uniformity: How consistent is the messaging the credit union uses to support the brand?●       Impact: How does the brand affect members in ways that foster more engagement with the credit union and act on that engagement? Your brand is the summary of who your company is and how it is set it apart from any competition. Once you’ve crafted answers or goals to these questions, it’s time to look at the elements of brand strategy: Increase recognitionIs your logo up to date? Does your logo visually represent your brand to members and potential members? Determine the messaging from your current imageAre your marketing materials engaging? Is the content new and fresh? Is your messaging consistent with your brand promise? Strategic advertisingCraft a well-honed advertising campaign that is recognizable and leaves a lasting impression. Inspire and ExciteGreat branding ignites the workplace and inspires workers to be proud of their company, creating a better work environment and increasing dedication among employees. Support growthYour brand should add value to members, which in turn will increase business. Branding opens a wider dialogue with members and expands your message, reaching more potential members. By really examining your current brand strategy and thoughtfully attending to each of the questions and steps laid out above, you’ll be able to craft the best brand strategy for your credit union. Effective branding is a fast and easy way to establish your credit union as a leader in the industry.   About the AuthorOn The Mark Strategies is a team of trailblazers guiding financial institutions in the areas of speaking, branding, strategic planning and marketing services. Technically, they are a consulting firm, but their clients prefer to think of them as trail guides. Their experience as former credit union employees, combined with the customized programs they create in-house, enable them to lead financial institutions through the great unknown. On The Mark Strategies stands ready to guide financial institutions looking to chart a new course or navigating their current path.
Marketing trends are dynamic. That marketing trends which may have worked one year may not provide the same results for the next. If you are leading the marketing team of a credit union and need to bring in new business, choosing the right marketing channel is critical. A marketing audit can offer results that will cover all areas of expanding your credit union. Some areas covered include: 1.      Reviewing Historical Trends with Marketing Forecasts Starts with a data analysis of past trends. Reviews the marketing channels you invested in during previous years to show what worked and what was not successful.  Evaluate marketing forecasts for 2019, which will show where your marketing budget stands in the banking and financial industry.   2.      Comparing Your Marketing Budget Against Your Competitors Knowing what your competing credit unions are doing is always smart.The audit includes mystery shops to provide real time information on the service and products your competition provides. 3.      Marketing Online Channels Moving from traditional marketing such as printed brochures, postcards and letters is shifting to online channels and is an important marketing tactic to consider.  Marketing online channels ●       Email marketing●       Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Twitter)●       Pay-Per-Click Advertising●       Enhanced Website with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 4.      Which Marketing Channel Should Be Considered? This should always start with knowing the demographics of your current members and the demographic you wish to target. As an example, if your 2018 goal is to attract a younger market, they are more likely to be reached via online marketing channels. It is essential to evaluate your 2019 marketing goals for your website and marketing channels and invest dollars smartly for the return on investment to meet business goals.  A detailed marketing audit can help you meet those goals. About Author On The Mark Strategies is a team of trailblazers guiding financial institutions in the areas of speaking, branding, strategic planning and marketing services. Technically, they are a consulting firm, but their clients prefer to think of them as trail guides. Their experience as former credit union employees, combined with the customized programs they create in-house, enable them to lead financial institutions through the great unknown. On The Mark Strategies stands ready to guide financial institutions looking to chart a new course or navigating their current path.