slide.001I got to fill in for a speaker that fell ill at the CUES Convention in Montreal earlier this week. Since I was “punting” so to speak, Christopher Stevenson let me speak on anything I wanted. I decided to bring out the controversial Marketing to Gen Y piece I debuted last month. This session creates quite a stir and I love it!

I believe that this recession is going to cause no less than a revolution in the way we view marketing. I feel like old marketing is on one side of the river and new marketing on the the other and no one has figured out a way to build a bridge to connect the two.
So we just stay on our side and defend it.

And those on the other side of the river, (the Trey Reemes, Tim McAlpines and Jonathan Gowins of the CU world) are seen as well, not really marketing. They’re social media dudes.

Three things I know for sure:

1. The average age of a credit union member is 48. If we don’t young-it-up soon we will literally die.

2. Generation Y is not going to respond to your direct mail, come into a branch and read your brochures or listen to you radio ad.

3. We have to stop STALKING our members and need to start TALKING to them.

Many people claim that Twitter is the new black. I think Twitter is the “it tool” for sure. And a great way to cut your teeth on this new way of marketing.

The biggest “push back” I get from audiences when I talk about Tweeting and Blogging is “Well, how much TIME does it take?”

My answer is “As much time as you want.”

This was an older group in Montreal. I know cuz I asked them. Three from the greatest generation, one from Gen X, zero from Gen Y and the rest, Boomers. No surprise.

So I asked “How many of you still read the newspaper every day.” Almost every hand went up. Then I followed up with “How much time does that take?” One guy answered “It depends if the Red Sox won or not and if anything interesting happened in the world.” Exactly. That’s how much time you will spend on social media. It depends. How interested are you?

I was online during the presentation and just for fun kicked it out to live Twitter. My network never disappoints. CUNA had posted a news bulletin, I clicked on the link, it was definitely relevant information for these volunteers. The big point I was able to make. In the “newspaper” world you MIGHT read about this in a month or two when the CU Times or CU Journal finally made its way to your In box. Am I right? All agreed. In the social media world – blammo. You got it now.

Markets are getting smarter, faster. There’s no excuse for being ignorant anymore.

The only way we can MAKE time for this new way of communicating is by giving up some of our old ways. My preference would be to just rip that band-aid off and stop ALL direct mail, radio, newspaper, television……..but I think that would kill some people.

So how do we bridge that gap between what has always been and where we need to go?

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