Hiring a Marketing Firm in 2018

“We’re thinking about outsourcing our marketing, but…”
…is it right for me?
…how much does it cost?
…which firm is the right one for us?
…how will a remote firm be able to capture our culture and provide us with what we need?

So many questions, and they are all great. If you’re thinking of outsourcing your marketing in 2018, here’s a few questions you should be asking yourself to make sure you’re choosing the right firm.

What should I be looking for in a marketing partner?

Marketing today is very different than it has been in the past, even five years ago. It has become very specialized. It’s important that you find an agency that can do both traditional and digital marketing under one roof. One size doesn’t fit all, especially for credit unions. Don’t settle for just a “digital firm” or a “design agency.” You’ll get a few pieces of what you need, but they won’t be able to deliver the customized strategies you need to grow and succeed. Look for a holistic agency that has a complete arsenal of industry experts in the following: web development, branding, design, writing, social media, database marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), knowledge of the credit union industry, research/analytics, marketing automation, and strategic content generation. Those are a lot of skills to have, but that is what the right agency should bring to the table. Otherwise, your credit union will be getting an incomplete solution, with limited success. (Hint: YMC is the only credit union-specific firm that provides outsourced marketing solutions with all of those skills in-house – no remote/contract employees.)

Is the agency truly “strategic?”

Be wary of any agency who offers a plan or solutions before taking the proper steps and time to understand your credit union, your community, and your members. Even if the agency has experience in credit unions, your challenges and membership is unique to your community. In order to successfully craft a strategy and share your story, they must understand your credit union at a deep level to leverage your strengths and opportunities. Additionally, they must not only know your membership base, they must know how to reach them effectively and efficiently. (Hint: YMC is the only firm that includes travel cost in our retainers, and the costs are still less than other firms!)

Do they toss around the term branding haphazardly?

Branding is more than your logo and tagline. Brand positioning is the foundation of what you stand for, what makes you unique not just what you do. Your brand message should quickly and effectively relate your unique value proposition and it resonate emotionally with your members in such a way that it makes people think of your first and like you the best when it comes to financial needs. Every email…every brochure…every social post…should reinforce the value and solutions you bring to your members. (Hint: YMC has an on-staff team with varying skill sets that all work together to dig in deep, ask the tough questions to gain perspective, and provide strategic direction and relevant creative that gets results.)

Do they understand your financials?

Can your marketing team sit with your executive team and talk numbers? They should be able to understand the unique financials of your credit union to provide solutions that will result in growth, but the right kind of growth. This allows your marketing partners to identify new opportunities and then analyze the real-time numbers and results. The goal is to get smarter and smarter over time so that you can get the right messages to the right people in the right way. To do that, everything must be trackable beyond fancy ROI calculators. (Hint: We do this effectively and successfully for over 30 credit unions, from $14 million to $700 million every month.)

So what’s your plan for 2018?

If it involves growth but you’re struggling with finding the right strategy to make it happen, the most cost effective solution is hiring the team who understands and live the word relationship in everything we do. Give us a chance to hear your hopes and dreams for your credit union, and partner with you to make it happen in 2018.

Ready to rock 2018? Get in touch with us now and let’s make the new year your best year ever!