Working Together – The Credit Union-Agency Relationship

As a credit union marketing consultant, with an advertising agency background , I always support the relationship between the credit union and the advertising agency. Here’s why!

When it comes to perfecting a strategic plan that carries your credit union’s messaging accurately and effectively, it’s often best to partner. Creative advertising agencies with experience in the financial industry are savvy to the trends and intricacies of the sector, allowing them to craft effective campaigns and results-producing work and your own internal knowledge of your audience, as well as product and service offerings could make for a winning team. IRS conducted research states that credit issuing businesses should be spending approximately 4.9 percent of revenues on advertising, and working with a capable team of experts can ensure those investments are maximized.

If your credit union is seeking to partner with an advertising agency to generate a thorough, well-balanced strategic marketing approach, it’s important to take the time to ensure your relationship is not only beneficial to your bottom line, but that it is also performing at the highest level of efficiency. Here are some essential tips for getting the most out of your agency relationship.

Keep communication lines open.

Like with any relationship, working with an advertising agency requires open communication between your credit union and your agency team. From sales goals to new product launches and strategic planning, keep your agency informed and aware of any happenings within your organization. In order to produce work that will drive the results you’re after, they have to be able to fully comprehend your institution’s objectives and methods. If you wait until there is a problem to include your agency, it makes that relationship reactionary and prohibits you from getting the best possible solution.Think of them as an extension of your credit union’s marketing department.

Good things come to those who are patient.

The creative process is just that, a process. Proactive creative allows for strategic thinking, whiteboarding, brainstorming, research and mapping. It’s a journey with many dips and turns, and, when properly realized, it can produce revolutionary results. Rushed, reactionary pieces will only provide temporary solutions, whereas creative that has had the time to be strategically developed is more likely to deliver on your objectives.

Great advertising is both exciting and scary.

Creative agencies thrive by thinking outside the norm. Truly innovative advertising allows your credit union to stand out amongst a sea of competitors through compelling messaging and arresting imagery. Some of the most successful advertising campaigns have extended far beyond traditional methods and mediums, showcasing brands in never-before-seen ways. You’ve already made the choice to work with an agency to highlight your credit unions unique qualities – let them flex their creative muscle in order to deliver the most successful advertising.

Get your team on board.

Your credit union’s team members will be in charge of upholding the campaign’s ideals and promises within your institution’s braches and client-facing effort. Due to this, you must take the time to educate your staff on the background, rationale and objectives of your advertising efforts. You could even have your agency tackle this for you by having them pitch their work directly to key staff members, allowing them to gain a better understanding of your brand’s unique selling points, straight from the horse’s mouth.

Learn from your agency.

More than just a vendor, your agency is an extension of your marketing department and can become a trusted partner for your organization on projects extending past the realm of traditional advertising. One of the main benefits of working with an advertising agency, especially one with ample experience in the credit union marketing arena, is the opportunity to gain priceless knowledge about your industry, its inner-workings and how you can come out on top. Treat your agency relationship as more than a marketing project and truly maximize your investment.

Has your credit union worked with an advertising agency in the past? Share your experiences in the comments below.