Four Reasons Your Marketing Fails

By Mark Arnold02.11.2019

ROI. Every C-suite executive demands it, yet few marketers deliver it consistently. While ROI traditionally stands for “return on investment,” in some circles it can unfortunately mean “results are only invisible.”

In other words, sometimes our credit union or bank marketing succeeds and sometimes it fails.

As John Wanamaker famously said, “I know half my marketing works—I just don’t know which half.’”

Don’t let this guessing game happen to you.

One of the best ways to identify what’s working is having a good understanding of what’s not working. Below are several common traps your marketing efforts might be experiencing that you can quickly correct.

1. Your copy is too long.

We tell almost every one of our marketing audit clients to “cut the copy.” Rather than reading, most consumers today are skimming. The average American reads only 16 minutes a day, including texts and emails. You must make your copy “skimmable.”

Quick fixes: reduce how much you write, use bullets/numbers and write like you’re talking to someone.

2. You’re not using video.

People no longer read information: they watch it. Cisco predicts that by 2020, more than 80% of all web traffic will be video-oriented. Do a fast review of your website and calculate what percentage of it has video.

Quick fixes: short (30 seconds or less) video testimonials, a video message from the CEO, and BombBomb for e-mail marketing.

3. Your focus is wrong.

This refers to making your marketing about you and not the consumer. Your marketing must remember the acronym WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Your website has roughly .05 seconds to make a first impression on consumers, and if during that time all they see is you, they’re not coming back.

Quick fixes: emphasize benefits over features, tell stories about how your credit union or bank made a difference in someone’s life, and showcase your community involvement.

4. You don’t use a call to action.

This is a classic mistake but one that happens to even veteran marketers. What do you want consumers to do (call, visit your website, apply, etc.)? As Alex Goldfayn teaches in his book Selling Boldly, you can assume consumers want to do business with you, but you cannot assume they automatically know how to. You must ask.

Quick fixes: put a call to action on EVERY marketing piece, make online calls to action “clickable,” and give more than one way to take action.

If your marketing results are inconsistent or totally failing, then it’s only going to get worse if you don’t do anything.

As mentioned above, one sure way to avoid marketing failure is to conduct a marketing audit. A thorough review by an independent third party will offer immediate feedback on your specific efforts, along with ways to improve your ROI.

Mark Arnold is a brand expert and strategic planner who helps credit unions achieve their goals through brand development, strategic marketing, and training.