Why Your CU Needs A Marketing Budget
Does your credit union have a budget designed specifically for your marketing department? Here, we will go over why it is so important that your CU has allocated funds just for the marketing and advertising team. Some CUs take funds from other departments and give a small percentage to their marketing company, or even have a “slush fund” that is divided up among miscellaneous purposes throughout the CU. Setting aside a marketing budget may be a challenge for some smaller credit unions, but in the end, the return on investment will prove worth it.
While it is important to have an initial budget set for marketing, it is just as important to revisit the set budget monthly or yearly to help with setting up your CUs marketing strategy. A lot of companies tend to underspend when it comes to marketing and marketing materials, which in turn leaves your CU missing out on many opportunities for growth.
The budget set forth must include all relevant items such as printed materials, branding, event marketing, SEO, social media, website maintenance, email marketing, mailings, and ongoing projects. You will need to sit down with your team and establish a clear guide that includes what your CU wants to focus on when it comes to marketing, and ensure the budget covers all costs outlined.
You might be asking yourself, “How much is appropriate to spend on marketing and advertising?” The cost can, of course, vary from business size and by industry. The U.S. Small Business Administration defines the proper marketing budget amount to fall between 2% and 10% of overall sales. The normal average spent is between 4% and 6%. With a well-defined and concise marketing plan in action, the ROI should be well worth it. Also, before establishing your marketing budget, your CU should do some research on the following: industry and marketing research, competitor analysis, marketing audit, and internal marketing performance records. Having some knowledge on these topics will surely help guide you in the planning of your marketing budget and help outline the future course.
Still wondering why a marketing budget is important, or if your CU needs one? Here is a short outline of why your CU can benefit from having one:
- Forces your CU to prioritize marketing efforts
When a marketing budget gets looked over, you risk losing money and not reaching your targeted audience. Even if you start out with a smaller budget for the marketing department, at least you are prioritizing marketing needs. Setting the budget will ensure that these funds do not get used up by another expenditure. Providing marketing with a budget, instead of placing those responsibilities on someone in let’s say, the sales department will prove to be a win-win within the company.
- Motivates your CU to track your ROI
Setting a marketing budget and following that with tracking, your CU’s return on investment will be a great starting point, and going forward, determine if there is a need for a larger marketing budget or if you should be cutting back expenses. In starting out, though, a gamble may be required in order to set the pace. When done well and handled correctly, your CU should have a positive ROI and see the value of a set marketing budget as opposed to just trickling down funds from another budget when necessary.
- It can be great for sales
Your CU wants to get their brand and products out to their members and potential members, right? Well, having a marketing budget ensures just that, meaning that you will be seen and your CU is reaching exactly who their target audience is. As a credit union, you want to do everything you can to help your team promote your services. One way to do that is a good marketing strategy. If your current or potential member already has an idea of your brand and voice, it makes conversations for your team an easy and smooth affair. Chances are if you’re executing your marketing correctly, half the work is already done…selling them on your brand!