Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cross-media strategies. Gotta have 'em.

By Margie Church, Copywriter/Editor

Many times I've studied my marketing budget and compared it to my sales objectives. And groaned. How could I possibly achieve the aggressive sales goals with this tiny budget? I might take a five-minute trip to La-La Land where management would agree to a lower forecast, but reality awaited my return. Whether our budgets are tight or not, we all must be good stewards of the amount we're given. Creative, careful selection of the right cross-media tools is the only way to make the most of the budget and achieve objectives

Start Right: Data Modeling
Data modeling is the difference between buckshot and arrows. Using data modeling helps ensure the recipient is highly qualified and/or highly likely to respond the way you want. Append MCIF or Data Systems information to qualify recipients and you'll produce fewer pieces, and of those, fewer will be wasted efforts. This saves money and improves your ROI.

Give a Campaign Depth
Once you've paid for your design concept and copywriting for your primary piece, it's very inexpensive to resize logos, layouts, and shorten copy. The graphic and headline can easily be turned into all kinds of print and electronic banners. A letter can be remodeled into highlights for an ad, statement stuffer, or email for follow-up. Tweet about your newest campaign.  Put a link on your Facebook page, blog about it, and don't forget your newsletter.

Switching Things Up or Same 'Ol, Same 'Ol?
As a marketer, we sometimes do things the same way because it's a habit. When our jobs are busy, it's fast. We understand how to do the work. But putting ourselves in the members' shoes makes us look at their needs and reminds us we want to keep members for life. We must try to keep up with these communications trends and find ways to use them to appeal to our current customers and the ones we're trying to acquire.

Communications tools are changing. FAST.  Email campaigns remain highly effective. PURLs (personalized URLs) and GURLs (generalized URLs) for instant responses are very convenient. QR (quick response) Codes are the newest way to marry print and electronic communications. (If you need more information about what QR Codes are, click here.) 

Some credit unions say their members don't like email marketing, or electronic response tools. If that's true, then why is mobile banking gaining such momentum and acceptance?  In 2010, approximately 17.8 million customers used mobile banking, according to data from TowerGroup, a financial services research firm. That figure is expected to jump to 27.4 million customers in 2011. By 2013, it's predicted that 53.1 million consumers will adopt mobile banking. 

Startling isn't it? What's driving the high adoption rate? According to TowerGroup, it can be attributed to:
  1. High smartphone penetration (wireless subscribers represent a mobile phone penetration of 90 percent of adults age 20 or older). It's not only the young crowd with these tools in their hands. It's also your core market, your most profitable segment.

    Consider that in the second quarter of 2010, smartphones represented 61.6 million (19%) of the 325.6 million mobile phones sold. This represents a sales increase of over 50% on the same time period in 2009. In addition, the Coda Research Consultancy predicts global smartphone sales of some 2.5 billion over the 2010-2015 period. This also suggests mobile Internet use via smartphones will increase 50 fold by the end of that same period.
  1. Changing banking preferences. ATMs and online banking are popular self-service models of banking. Mobile banking goes even further to provide access anytime, anywhere. Do you know any credit union members who don't appreciate convenience services?

  2. Faster networks, improved operating systems, and better interfaces add to the appeal of mobile banking services. Communications providers bombard consumers with the allure of high speed and reliable, time-saving connectivity. And it's cool. Judging by the number of smartphone sales and the ever-increasing speed of Internet connections, these providers are winning.
Repeated, Consistent Exposures are Crucial
Depending on which media you choose and your frequency, you might achieve awareness of your message in five to seven exposures. People might take action after 11 exposures. A combination of scheduling and media plays on the channel strengths, impacts your audience more effectively, and brings the highest response.

Confused? Let's say you sent a letter offering a fantastic auto loan rate. On the way through town, the member saw a billboard ad with the low rate. The next day, your CU's scrolling banner touted it again. A few days later, they received an email with the same fantastic offer.  In this scenario, you've achieved multiple impressions in different channels. This is likely to be more memorable than if the member had simply gotten three letters/postcards from you over the course of a few weeks or heard the same three radio commercials during the week.

Your budgets may be tight, but by slicing and dicing the delivery tools, you can make your campaign look bigger and you are likely to deliver a better ROI to your Board. Cross-media marketing is the way to go.

Think about it and then talk to us. We understand cross-media marketing and can help you with budget-friendly solutions.


  1. Lots of great information to be taken into consideration here! Definitely enjoyed the article.

    Ashley W.
    Online Community Coordinator

  2. Ashley, glad we could give you and TDECU some ideas. What are your most successful channels? Which do you use most frequently?


What's on your mind? We're interested to know.