You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘social media’ category.

If you haven’t see this video take 4 minutes and 26 seconds out of your day. 1,065,308 people already have:

I just bought the revised and updated book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman the creator of the video.

In it the author says:

People referring products and services via social media tolls are the new king. It is the world’s largest referral program in history.

Last week I blogged about OhioHealthcare FCU’s Next Top CU Member initiative.

They are $43 million in assets with a little over 8000 members. Today the CEO informed me that over 30,000 people have voted online.

The members (candidates) are spreading the world-of-mouth. One member emailed the CU:

I have Facebook, Twitter, Craig’s List, My Space, Super Poke Friends, and Frogs. No doubt thousands of friends who have now heard of a credit union.

How’s that direct mail campaign working out for you?

Matt Davis, the Credit Union Warrior asked 11 people that he trusts to “tag” a speaker. Someone that is not a part of the usual speaker circuit. These speakers were asked to spake for love – aka as travel expenses. The exotic location? Fishers, Indiana.

No golf.

No spa.

No fancy resort.

125 people showed up this morning to FORUM Credit Union to hear 11 amazing speakers. No board members, a few CEOs but mostly middle management. Many are here on their own dime. There’s free wifi in this state of the art meeting space. We have a Twitter hashtag #cuwcs. There’s going to be a rockband contest tonight. Many are blogging and rumor has it CU Times is providing a video stream.

Our opening speaker just opened up with one slide that simply says “SEX”

This is going to be a weird day – stay tuned.

10:05am (Eastern)

Robbie Wright just finished up. Kicked it off with some pretty in-your-face opinions which got the audience riled up. In a good way.

Now Ondine Irving is telling her amazing story. About how Twitter connected her with Suze Orman and Oprah. Guess what? Twitter.

11:18am (Eastern)

Joe Staples, Interactive Intelligence is on stage showing us amazingly scary statistics on social media. Twitter is the new way to communicate according to the stats – and the brilliance? Brevity. 140 characters. Get to the damn point.

1:08pm (Eastern)

Rebecca Corliss, HubSpot just showed a video of her singing Alanis Morrisette’s angry ballad You Oughta Know but the target of the angst was not the trashy boyfriend whore – it was traditional marketers!

2:21pm (Eastern)

Two words. Ed. Brett. No slides. No fear. Challenged the crap out of us. Service, not really important – if you’re not good at banking, service doesn’t matter. Your members only need you when they need you. They don’t want you. Especially don’t want you on Facebook.

The mood in the room is shifting from conference to “Come to Jesus.” Can I get an Amen?



8:54am (Eastern)

Tim McAlpine kicked off day two with an acknowledgement of Matt Davis’, (The Credit Union Warrior) commitment to this conference and to the movement. I have felt for some time that the Warrior is Edward Filene reincarnated (minus the wealthy Boston merchant detail). One of the reasons Mr. Filene was so successful so quickly with the concept of a financial cooperative – he funded the efforts himself. Because he was not beholden to dues or an employer, he was free to say what needed to be said. People no doubt criticized him, but he did not care. His passion overrode his ego.

Matt currently works for the Filene Research Institute. Only seems fitting. And to their credit and in the spirit of our founder, they have given him the freedom to do and say what needs to be said and done.

This conference is just the beginning. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It’s challenging the status quo, and not by an angry mob (like I’ve seen recently in response to the corporate recapitalization) but by people who truly believe in our business model and see it losing ground.

If we do not youth-a-nize American credit unions we will literally die of old age. I’m one of the oldest people at this conference. Ironically I am exactly the average age of American credit unions members: 48.

Yesterday we were challenged by many speakers outside of our industry. And last night we spoke of such taboo topics as:

Why don’t we have term limits for boards?

Taxation. Some believe credit unions should be taxed.

The failed attempts at a national brand campaign. The consensus was this is a waste of money and time.

I’m looking forward to today – stay tuned…..

Tiger Woods could still beat you with a piece of bacon.”

I didn’t just say that – Brent Dixon did last week at our Annual Meeting. And you can imagine how many golfers we had in the audience – lots. There were some chuckles of recognition, some raised eyebrows and of course a few stoic reactions.

The point he was making? Just because your credit union is on Twitter or you have a Facebook page does not mean you are going to be successful in the social media space. To be good at social media, you must first be good at being social. Man that makes sense, doesn’t it?

It also explains why so many people fear social media. They don’t know what to say or area afraid to join in the conversation. You know what? That’s okay. You probably shouldn’t be the one spearheading your credit union’s efforts. So who should?

Marketing seems to be a natural because, well, we better be good at promoting, right?

Not necessarily. I’ve met a ton of marketers that are good at producing static material (think direct mail pieces, brochures, newspaper ads) that aren’t social at all. They are the advertising equivalent of a wall flower.  A pretty one, but not one that wants to dance or make eye contact. Awkward.

Here are the tests a social media candidate would have to pass, in my opinion:

1. Put them in the elevator with a stranger. They must try to bond with this person – over the weather, the Muzac, something before arriving at their floor.

2. Look at their cell phone. If they have not customized the picture on the front – gong. Next please.

3. Must have one or more of the following:

a. tattoo.

b. piercing (not necessarily still in use, but they did it)

c. facial hair (for men – LOL) or colored hair (man or woman)

4. Tried out for dance team, student government, cheerleading, sports, etc. in school. Preferably didn’t make it.

5. Make them go to a nice restaurant for dinner – alone. Will they sit at the bar and engage, or bring a book and get a table for one?

What am I missing?

I’m in New Mexico this week getting some much needed sunshine. Yesterday I decided to Yelp restaurants in Albuquerque. Yep, Yelp is now a verb like Google.

Currently ranked number four in the city of Albuquerque by locals and tourists alike is Pho #1. A vietnamese restaurant. I love Pho (which is pronounced Fuh as in WTF this is the best soup in the world!)

If you’ve never had Pho, you have not lived. It’s medicinal and aromatic and gorgeous healthy goodness.  Since moving back to Portland, I’ve been on the quest for the best. My buddy Paul and my sister Daedre and I discovered a blog the Pho King. We too intend to invade this gastronimical world with fervor.

The Pho at Pho #1 is truly the best I’ve had so far. The reviews were spot on.

My point of this post, this could never have happened with traditional marketing. Not in Albuquerque, New Mexico where people travel for hundreds of miles to eat Hatch green chile and see the hot air balloons. Pho #1 couldn’t buy enough TV, radio or  billboards to drive traffic to their place. But now that the people have spoken, on a Friday night, prepare to wait.

If you’re still campaigning (begging) for business by screaming on the radio about how good you are, or buying bus wraps and full page ads in the local rag, why not take a page from Pho #1. Be the best and let your customers market for you.

Great Tweet this morning from Jeffry Pilcher:

Everyone wants a blog. No one wants to write one.

The tweet linked to his blog post and one of the most wonderful visuals ever for why people don’t blog:

Reality Check: You don’t walk into your garage, pick up a hammer and then roam through your house looking for something to fix.

I find it super easy to blog because I’m very interested in the art and science of marketing.  I have this thing that I want to fix. I’m not trying to sell stuff, or be clever, or fake being excited about something I’m not (like the features and benefits of a free checking account). And I think that’s why a lot of people say they want a blog – but never do it. They don’t know what to write about. They haven’t figured out what makes them tick and gets them out of bed in the morning… they say……..I don’t have time.

We are all granted 24 hours each day to do with as we please. No one can buy more time, no one is punished with less. It’s God’s little equalizing gift to us all. What you choose to do with those 24 hours speaks volumes of your priorities and your passion.

Most of my posts I write in one take. I know my grammar and sentence structure would sometimes prompt Sister Rose Dolores to pull out her ruler but I don’t care. It’s my little corner of the world, and I write like I speak.

I am both honored and humbled that I even have readers. It actually changed the way I feel when I sit down and write. Like now. I realize someone might be reading this – besides me. Hi. Thanks for stopping by. I hope I don’t disappoint you.

If you want a blog, and you don’t write one, because you don’t have time, what you’re really saying is you won’t make the time and you don’t care enough to give up something.  If you’re spending hours each week sitting in mind numbing meetings, then racing back to your desk to wade through stacks of mundane emails, feeling no progress whatsoever, well……you have a choice. I know that pisses some people off, but it’s basic time management.

I’m really close to finishing my second book. I should be writing it now. But I choose to blog instead. See how that works?

And now I’m going to pour me a second cup of coffee and assemble my new printer stand. I may even shower. Then I’ll get back to that book.

It started as a movement. An idea. Word of mouth among the target audience built it into an event. A thing. A space was opened. Plans were laid. Meetings were held. Money was gathered. Pooled really. No, this isn’t another story of how credit unions entered the US marketplace – but it could be.

Instead this is how a group of Gen Yers took to the nation’s capital this week to claim their spot at the legislative table during one of the most important and tumultuous times in credit union history.

Led by Brent Dixon and Matt Davis (aka modern day Ed Filene and Roy Bergengren) Crash the GAC is a perfect example of collaboration, communication and innovation.

If you want to see the power of social media. Twitter #GAC10.

If you want to see the power of viral marketing and some pretty kick-ass SWAG, check out CU SWAG’s Crash the GAC t-shirt contest.

If you want to see what a grassroots movement looks like in 2010 – see the line-up of speakers that generously donated their time to this cause. The original cause – people helping people.

And, if you want to see Brent Dixon rocking a tie, check out this blog.

I think a lot of people hate the iPad because of what it represents. A dramatic shift in how we view the world. It’s not that we love the world we’re in as much as we simply hate change.

I’m getting ready to lead a group of credit union executives through a day of strategic thinking. Looking ahead to 2020 and visualizing the world. I’m not trying to get them to predict the future – I’ll leave that up to economists, astrologers and Oprah– but rather coax them into thinking like Steve Jobs and creating their future.

I googled “future of banking” and this popped up on the first page. B of A’s failure beta blog. Think about it.

I was lucky enough to coax the naturally shy and exceedingly modest folks at iDiz Incorporated to answer a few questions about the 2020 vision of marketing. Be sure to check out their “Who We Are” page. Like all great companies, they have resident dogs to keep things in order.

Here’s what Kent Dicken, El Queso Grande, Lisa Taylor, Gate Keeper and the always hilarious and insightful Kelley Parks, iDiz blog contributor had to say:

1. What’s your 2020 vision of credit union marketing? Get it? The year 2020. Ten years from now? But seriously – what will it look like?

Kent Dicken:  Credit unions will finally all agree on a national marketing plan to explain what they are to a public that is still confused why they have to belong to a union in order to get any credit.

But seriously – just as people continue to become more mobile, credit unions will no longer be tied to geographic boundaries for FOM. Instead, CUs will re-embrace SEGS and be formed around larger regional/national/international groups (vintage Suzuki owners, Sierra Club, AAA, Red Cross, etc.) where people already identify themselves as belonging. This mesh of shared interest and membership finally makes sense to a public that still doesn’t trust banks and can now put their money where their heart is.

Lisa Taylor: I think we’re just starting to see the legal and social backlash against intrusion marketing. In ten years, there simply won’t be a legal way to force anyone to look at or listen to anything they didn’t ask for, unless they’re too clueless to enable spam filtering (while clueless people do make up a sizable market, maybe we’ll leave them to the banks). Instead, marketing is going to have to be useful, interesting, and/or entertaining.

I think a lot of marketing in 2020 will also become reputation tracking and management. People ARE talking about your CU, online and elsewhere, and the more people are in on the conversation, the more accurate it becomes. Marketers will also finally understand that reputation management means responding and changing the CU, not trying to blunder in and seize control of the conversation.

Kelley Parks: Lisa, you nailed it. I think marketing will also become an art form again. If all forms of unwanted solicitation are regulated out of existence, filtered or blocked, what is left will be beautiful, interesting and relevant. As Marketers we’ll be tasked with creating chemistry with consumers. We’ll no longer use militant words like targets, conquering markets or powering campaigns. Instead we’ll be catalysts for innovation and return to grass roots education. I can’t wait. Someone find me a mad scientist with a Delorian.

2. If you had to pick one of the dying marketing mediums eulogized in my series (TV, radio, newspaper, direct mail) to give life support to – which one would it be? Why?

LT: I’d pick terrestrial radio. That’s the one that’s going to be around for a good long time. After all, traffic jams aren’t going anywhere. The life support I’d give it is more stations, more variety, and strictly local control (think our magic wand will work on the FCC and ClearChannel?). Corporate radio is simply strangling itself and the medium. If you look at the music industry, you see the same thing at work — the huge corporate musical crap factories are dying, but tiny niches and independents are thriving. Overall, there are fewer smash hits, but people are spending more total time and money on music.

KD: Each of these have their own audiences, so I’m not convinced any will cease to exist. But if I have to pick one to bailout, it would be newspapers. I fear that we will lose a (mostly) unbiased source of professional news reporting since there is not a profitable model for news online. Besides, it’s delivered every morning just in time to go with my coffee.

KP: Newspaper? Radio? No way. Quick – grab a defibrillator for our poor, sadly abused friend, direct mail. It has the most potential to be personal, relevant and connect since it is hand delivered and physically touched by a real person. And I don’t care how many emails, tweets, live chats, and blog conversations I have, nothing replaces the rare treat of a handwritten note. Even just seeing someone’s handwriting is so unusual its almost a novelty. Care packages, Hallmark cards, and $10 checks from Grandma. Long live meaningful mail.

3. What is your definition of social media?

KD: 1. A chaotic cacophony of creating, commenting and connecting.

2. An important way for credit unions to talk with members instead of at them.

KP: I have to follow cacophony? Wow, Kent. I had to look that up. Right now, I think its like going to a party. Some people are really outgoing and friendly. Some are a little timid and shy. And then there’s that one obnoxious drunk guy who shouts at random. Unfortunately, I think a lot of us act like college freshman drunk on what is free and available. With how quickly ideas can be spread on the internet, these tools are powerful reputation magnifiers. So we need to connect responsibly so we get invited back to the right parties.

LT: Simple — it’s just people talking to each other. Whether it’s in-person, on a telephone, or via some internet contraption, it fulfills the same need. The newer forms of social media are just shiny new ways of connecting people. The hard part is valuing this activity — it’s subtle, it takes a lot of time and effort, and marketers are usually pretty impatient.

4. Music and video stores are almost extinct thanks to companies like Apple and Netflix. What industry do you think is on the verge of collapse? Why?

KP: Traditional advertising agencies. The media captain must go down with his ship. Don’t get me wrong. Like every marketer, I once dreamed of creating clever Super Bowl Ads admired by millions, but I think it will be interesting to see how all of that creative ingenuity (and some of its accompanying ego) is repurposed to help marketers solve problems and connect with consumers in authentic, meaningful ways.

KD: Does anyone buy into the thinking of traditional agencies any more? I think that any business that uses their old-fashioned “lies, well-told” approach is history as well – it simply doesn’t work today. There’s no place to hide in a well-connected society of people with nearly infallible spam detectors. Scams will always be with us, but deceit is certainly not the best strategy if you want repeat business.

Clients are looking for more than gloss today, so advertising agencies will be replaced by marketing agencies that have a much deeper relationship with their clients — for example, more influence in their client’s actual practices – marketing X doesn’t work because you’re actually doing Y. So why not start finding unique ways to connect with consumers that are looking for Y?

Music and video stores presented the same products in the same old way and are now losing out because of new thinking and new technologies. But most companies, including credit unions, deal with “me-too” products. So in order to not become extinct, they need to adjust their thinking in order to connect with their market in a way that resonates, and learn to develop products that become part of their market’s lifestyle.

LT: I can think of two that are important to CUs and will require CUs to adapt as they change:

a) The traditional Realtor charging the seller the traditional 7%. This is an industry that depends utterly on restricting access to information and inventory, and it’s already starting to erode thanks to web sites that allow you to access information and list your home for sale for a set fee. The industry is fighting change tooth and nail, but it’s going to eventually lose that battle. Of course, it’s not going to vanish — home purchases are always going to be complex, and most people still need an advisor or facilitator. Realtors will eventually start working on a fee for service basis, much like attorneys or midwives.

b) The traditional car dealership is another industry that’s in the midst of collapse and sweeping change. For example, there are laws that force you to go through a dealership instead of buying new cars at the factory. These days, yet another middleman is just negative value. And in the information age, the traditional agonizing process of negotiating a price with a sleazy salesman can’t survive much longer.

5. If Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos started a financial institution, how would they market it?

KD:  Gotta-have financial lifestyle products with one-click service and free delivery.

LT:  Steve would finally figure out a way to make financial services cool and sexy (and still very profitable) and Jeff’s legions of electronic elves would make it work perfectly for everyone, everywhere. I think we’d finally see the wide-scale adoption of one integrated account — they’d do away with the old-fashioned 1920’s style hard-line distinctions between savings, checking, certificates, money markets, loans, lines of credit, etc. in favor of a more integrated, flexible, fluid form of money (This has been tried, but consumers are having a hard time understanding it.)

Of course, there would be a wonderful, tiny, touchable, shiny, desirable device, too — open an account, and you get the MoneyPod, jam-packed with transaction security, real-time financial status updates, and a built-in lie detector and pepper grinder.

KP: I want a MoneyPod. Even if it wasn’t a credit union it would feel very much like one because everything would be centered around the member’s experience and sense of belonging. Branches would have Money Geniuses, go virtually paperless, and tellers would be hip 20 somethings in jeans that come to you – the perfect marriage of high tech and high touch.  Online you’d transfer money into your iAccount and you’d be reminded to buy a toaster from an online registry for that upcoming wedding. You could do all your saving, spending, tracking and goal-setting in one place. Design, innovation and aesthetics would create a member experience worth talking about. So much so they would do the majority of the marketing. Ah yes. Let’s do it before they do.

6. Best and worst marketing moments of 2009. What comes to mind?

KP: Denise, can I shamelessly plug our CU WaterCooler recorded Roasts and Toasts show here? In case you missed it, here are my best and worst of 2009 and a bonus 55 more minutes of credit union goodness along with some amazing vision from Dwight Johnson, Sally Meyer and Mark Meyers. (end of plug)

LT: I think the launch of Ally Bank is both the best and the worst. The marketing and positioning work was bold, powerful and simply brilliant — there are so many lessons to be learned here.

But the reality under the shiny exterior is that Ally Bank is just part of GMAC, and there are various howls of outrage that it was funded with GMAC’s taxpayer-funded bailout money. And the thing that makes me hopping mad is that credit unions should have owned this market position of “the unBank” long ago, and done it so well and so right that no one could go there again without looking like an imitation.

KD: Worst: Credit union management that commoditized their products so that nothing stood out, then cut marketing budgets and hibernated when their biggest competition was on the ropes.

Best:  Credit union management that realized marketing is the growth engine of their organization, not just an expense, and gained market share.

7. Ginger or Mary Ann?

KD: MaryAnn. Ginger is high maintenance.

LT: I’d want to be Ginger’s BFF, like Oprah’s friend Gayle. I’ve always dreamed of living a life of luxury.

KP: That’s tough. I love them both. Ginger is creative, dramatic and maintains a strong sense of who she is in even the worst of times. Then again, Mary Ann rolls up her sleeves and get things done. So, more importantly, which one is a credit union member? And do they need an emergency loan to get off the island?

Kent Dicken and Lisa Taylor are with iDiz Incorporated, a full service marketing, design and branding agency that helps marketers make better credit unions. You are invited to read, think, and share CU marketing brainstorms at, call 317.576.0602 to chat, or visit

Kelley Parks is Vice President/Marketing and Business Development at Call Federal Credit Union, and a frequent contributor to Contact her at

I first met Jeff Stephens in a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon. I am a big big fan of Umpqua Bank’s brand and it turns out he helped to create it. Now he’s the founder and CEO of Creative Brand Communications dedicated to helping credit unions think differently about this boring thing we call banking. So I asked him what he saw as the future of marketing.

What’s your 2020 vision of credit union marketing?

What I’d like to see is that credit union marketing in 2020 won’t really seem like marketing at all.  I think it will be about creating an “ownership” experience—making members really feel like members and owners, not just customers.  The day to day member experience will be the marketing.  I know there are readers out there saying “we do that now,” but even if that’s true, they’re isolated examples, and are not overtly obvious enough to the outside world.  And notice, I’m saying “different than banks,” not “better than banks.”  CU’s need to realize the distinction between trying to be better, and trying to be different, and need to focus on “different” much more.  I think the difference—the actual differences, not just the spoken differences—between credit unions and banks will have to become totally, painfully clear, to the point where the distinction is brutally obvious.  Credit unions will be apples, banks will be oranges.  Not just Gala vs. Braeburn apples..nobody can see that distinction, and nobody cares.  Diff. Fer. Rent. Not better.

If you had to pick one of the dying marketing mediums eulogized in my series (TV, radio, newspaper, direct mail)  to give life support to – which one would it be? Why?

I would give life support to direct mail.  The future of marketing is obviously moving toward single conversations, one-on-one, between people.  If the industry can learn to convert direct mail from a one-way broadcast type of medium into a targeted tool that facilitates TWO-WAY conversation, I think we could pull it off death row.

What is your definition of social media?

I believe social media is real people talking WITH other real people, about stuff they want to talk about.  Simple as that.  Clearly the CU industry thinks social media is specifically about websites where you have a profile and “friends,” but in my mind social media is much much broader than that.  In most cases, today’s social media efforts by credit unions are really just the same old stuff CU’s have always been doing (talking AT people, trying to fit in and be cool, talking about money all the time, etc.), but just in a new venue.  As Seth Godin talks about in Meatball Sundae, you can’t just use the new tools to execute your old marketing strategies.  Social media requires acknowledging that your new marketing is not really marketing at all.

Music and video stores are almost extinct thanks to companies like Apple and Netflix. What industry do you think is on the verge of collapse? Why?

Sorry to provide such an “expected” answer, but I honestly feel the retail banking industry is on the verge.  Not the small business banking, commercial banking or investments industries, but the banking services for the average Joe individual customer/member.  I say this because a) the products are soooo commoditized, b) the electronic channels have made them so self-service/DIY, and c) the experience of consuming these products/services is so generic and d) the internet has erased geographic boundaries, meaning all banks and credit unions are competing with all other banks and credit unions across the country. In other words, I believe we’re seeing a shift in leverage:  the retail credit union/bank needs that customer worse than the customer needs the credit union/bank.  And that will cause a big change.

If Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos started a financial institution, how would they market it?

I think their marketing would not feel much like marketing at all.  I think they would focus on two things: 1) obsessing over how you feel when you use the product (think of how when the iPhone came out, you wanted other people to see you using it because it made you look cool. You wanted bystanders to ask, ‘woah is that an iPhone?!’), and 2) they would make sure their business model itself was interesting enough that it was worth talking about (think free shipping, no-hassle returns, etc. like Zappos)

Best and worst marketing moments of 2009. What comes to mind?

Best Marketing Moments:  I think the “Best Job in the World” campaign by Queensland Tourism folks was great.  Very engaging, smart and buzzworthy.

Worst Marketing Moments:  The Skittles Twitter debacle was certainly among the worst.  This was a great example of a company misunderstanding the purpose and application of a medium like Twitter, and trying to manipulate it for their own benefit.

Ginger or Mary Ann?

Mary Ann.  Grrrr, baby.  Very grrr.

Creative Brand Communications (CBC) specializes in multi-sensory marketing and brand development. CBC stands for the brand development marketing agency for progressive banks and credit unions, known for its utter disregard for conventional wisdom and absolute regard for powerful thinkers.

I asked Olivier Raoust’s company a few questions about the future of marketing in the credit union space. Raoust & Partners are responsible for the Innovations Credit Union Lip Dub video, so I know they look at things differently. Here’s what they had to say:

1. What’s your 2020 vision of credit union marketing? In 10 years, what will marketing look like?

Olivier F. Raoust, CEO: Hopefully the majority of credit unions will stop recycling tired ideas and concepts. The problem largely stems from the marketing function which too often is ignored by the stakeholders (CEO, Board). Additionally, while new channels (including social media) are being introduced at an increasingly rapid rate, the main objective has never changed: create a sticky and genuine brand positioning that will resonate with your core membership. In 2020, I envision better ways to engage members where the focus will have switched from preaching and boasting to a true dialogue between institution and member.

Charles Sefton Parr, Co-Creative: The same. Let me elaborate on that though.

It will be the same because we will use whatever current communication trends are being utilized. The same as marketing in 2009 will have to shift to be relevant in 2010. It changes every minute. Long gone are the days of the old phrase: “What have you done for me lately.” Now it is replaced by: “What have you just done for me.”

Donna Lewis Raoust, CFO: I would only add here that the one thing that should never change, regardless of the year and the “current” marketing/advertising forces du jour, is that marketing plans must be reflective of a credit union’s existing member base as well as potential members. By this I mean that regions of the country and localities within each region will always have their eccentricities and unique needs that need to be addressed.

2. If you had to pick one of the dying marketing mediums eulogized in my series (TV, radio, newspaper, direct mail) to give life support to – which one would it be? Why?

OFR: Definitely TV. It educates and entertains like no other medium. And after all years of talking about convergence, it is finally happening. With the advent of YouTube, AppleTV, HULU, etc, the lines are blurring. The video “box” will never disappear, only the content will evolve.

CSP: I would pick TV.


People still watch TV. I know, I know, DVR’s/ have killed the commercial. Yet everyday I hear and read about TV ads. Nobody talks about the other choices. Ever.

TV is entertainment. Entertainment can deliver a message. TV entertainment fits into the marketing scheme to invoke the viewer.

You think the Slap-Chop Rap TV spot didn’t create social media buzz? I do. And that is my point. TV in some people’s eyes is a dying medium. I do not concur with that. TV just needs to find a better way to fit into the modern day messaging.

30 seconds is dead. I will give you that one. But, I say revolt against the time slots. Create an entertaining piece that can sell something passively and watch the return on investment.

DLR: I would largely agree with Charlie’s assessment here, although I do think that there is still a place for well-crafted and designed, interesting/arresting Direct Response, especially to existing members or targeted (highly targeted) prospective members.

3. What is your definition of social media?

OFR: Overhyped? Certainly can be and you have to wonder about its current state when even detergents have their own fan page. Like any new medium, it is evolving and I believe we will arrive at a better consensus. For credit unions, social media should be the conduit to be advocates – use its power to really define ‘People Helping People’.

CSP: Media that is social?

Let me better define that: The spread of information that is shared across multiple channels to spread a personal yet relevant message about any specific topic.

Whether it be twitter, facebook, tweetmeme, digg, stumbleupon, reedit, myspace, etc… the creation of a virtual network of eyeballs, that hopefully will embrace your message and carry it on. Or, continue the discussion with their very own facts or disputes.

DLR: Plainly and simply, Social Media is all about “me.” It is every human’s opportunity for ongoing 15 minutes of fame. The problem with “institutional” social media is that by and large, it comes across as purely self-promotional (me, me, me all the time). Additionally, I am finding that the majority of an entity’s followers/fans/participants is the competition. Or, in the case of a credit union’s Facebook and Twitter pages, often the fans and followers are primarily composed of companies like R+P, that either do business with that credit union or would like to do business with that credit union. Social Media is the “buzz term” of the moment, that phrase that will get a consultant or a marketing firm an audience with a prospect. That really bothers me b/c Social Media needs to be done well, really really well to resonate with members/prospective members. And I am finding that most pundits’ understanding of the power of Social Media is superficial at best.

When done well, Social Media, especially for a not-for-profit institution can be extremely powerful. And I will use Innovations’ Fan Page here as an example. They do not post often, but when they do, you feel a real affinity for that post – the joy, the excitement, the soul of the organization. It’s very real and completely uncontrived. For that reason specifically, you feel as though you really want to belong to this credit union.

4. Music and video stores are almost extinct thanks to companies like Apple and Netflix. What industry do you think is on the verge of collapse? Why?

CSP: That traditional “brick and mortar” bank that handles your financial transactions.


Well, let’s take a look at USAA with their ability to scan a check or take a photo of the check with your iPhone to make an instant deposit. Imagine if all banking solutions adopted this functionality. The branch would become a ghost town of tellers. Sure, you would still have some who would go to the branch and withdrawal and deposit. The very same way that people still buy CD’s and DVD’s from stores. But, the physical object demand is much lower than only just a year ago.

DLR: Yep. I agree, although I would say that newspapers as we know them have a much better chance of going extinct before “brick and mortar” banks. And well they should. For the most part, they have done very little to stay truly relevant in an increasingly competitive news environment – an object lesson for us all.

OFR: I respectfully disagree with my colleagues here. I do not believe “brick and mortar” will disappear for FI’s. In fact, the smart ones will leverage the physical space to better define their brand. Let’s face it: the majority of credit unions do a very poor job of using their branches, where the transactions feel more like queuing at the DMV or post office. It ain’t about slapping posters on the wall either.

The industry that is vanishing is newspapers. Plain and simple, it’s yesterday’s news. Wasteful too. But more that, the content is still pushed the same way it was 50, 100 years ago – long form. People increasingly don’t want to take the time.

5. If Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos started a financial institution, how would they market it?

CSP: Well for one thing there wouldn’t be any buttons and every time you went to your CU there would always be suggestions of exactly what you may want in your financial product mix.

DLR: And, I guarantee you that this financial institution would have strategic plans in place for many upcoming years (that they actually stick to!), they would lead the pack with the introduction (regularly and consistently) of new, improved, advanced services, packages of services, etc., and banking there would be FUN for the member/customer b/c for all their brilliance and expertise, these guys (or at least their companies) don’t seem to take themselves too seriously.

OFR: I agree with Donna here: they’d have a well thought out strategic plan, and they’d stick to it. Establishing a successful brand demands creative thinking and consistency; something most credit unions ignore at will, choosing to rely on the latest ‘buzz’ or prepackaged, formulaic solutions.

6. Best and worst marketing moments of 2009. What comes to mind?

OFR: Best = The rise of YouTube as the real birth of convergence.

Worst = Jumping on the social media bandwagon without a clear plan on how it supports the brand. (we HAVE to do it, ‘cause everybody else is…….. huh???)

CSP: Best – Leveling the playing field with the rise and popularity of Twitter.

Worst – Spam on Twitter.

DLR: Best = our introduction to ReachLocal, which gives a small institution the ability to effectively play in the largest sand box of them all. Worst = The self-aggrandizing self-promotion of so many of these self-proclaimed pundits. I would much rather “walk the walk” than simply “talk the talk.” You asked!!!!!!

7. Ginger or Mary Ann?

OFR: Ginger, because she’s dangerous…

CSP: That’s a tough one, but I’ll try. Mary Ann.

DLR: Definitely Mary Ann. That Ginger is too high maintenance!

Raoust+Partners is a comprehensive marketing firm focused on helping clients in tough businesses, with intense competition, who will value thier contributions. They work with their clients to help them develop strategic full contact marketing programs.

Established in 1995 by Olivier Raoust, they bring more than 100 years of combined experience to the table, plus a “do-what-it-takes-to-win” attitude.

Perhaps this is because their founder, Olivier Raoust, is a fiercely competitive man. One outlet for his competitiveness is sports car club racing, the weekend circuit for real road warriors, where the best driver – executing the best strategy – can beat the better car.

Solving problems at 100 miles an hour has helped Olivier hone his skills at helping clients deal with difficult competitive situations.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 993 other subscribers

Follow me on Twitter


March 2023