Stepping into the world of conferences offers me a remarkable opportunity to expand my knowledge and establish connections with industry experts. Recently, I had the privilege of attending the Marketing Association for Credit Unions (MAC) Conference 2023 in Nashville, where I gained invaluable insights into the realm of marketing. The conference was a hub of enlightening sessions, captivating speakers, and innovative concepts. MAC 2023 culminated with the MAC awards, where our credit union owner, Simplicity CU was honored with several awards. But before I brag about the hardware, here are a few key takeaways for any marketer that might inspire you to look for your next marketing conference.
One of the pivotal takeaways from the conference was the significance of data-driven marketing techniques. Several speakers underscored the importance of leveraging data to gain comprehensive insights into member behavior, personalize marketing campaigns, and measure return on investment. There were so many great examples of analytics tools and methodologies that credit unions can employ to unlock valuable insights, enabling them to make informed decisions in their marketing endeavors.
Delivering outstanding member experiences is a crucial objective for credit unions. The conference featured numerous strategies and compelling case studies that showcased how credit unions can create tailored, seamless, and unforgettable experiences for their members. Attendees were enlightened on utilizing technology, implementing loyalty programs, and going the extra mile to forge robust relationships and surpass member expectations at every interaction.
The rapid evolution of the digital world means credit unions have to embrace change and stay relevant. Some bright minds shared a range of tools and platforms that facilitate task automation, including email marketing, social media management, and lead nurturing. This automation empowers marketing teams to concentrate on strategic initiatives, fostering growth and innovation. Gone are the days when credit unions (or almost any business) can be satisfied with doing digital and automation at half measure.
Social media is key to virtually any successful marketing strategy. We took a deep dive into the latest trends and best practices for leveraging social media platforms to connect with members and promote credit union services. Whether it was a breakout session dedicated to social media or conversations over coffee between the sessions, I'm always so happy to gather ideas for creating captivating content, amplifying brand visibility, and driving member acquisition through social media channels.
Ok, the real-world formula might not be so simple. But the simple truth is that for marketers to be successful, trusting others to help is a big part of that formula. Collaboration emerged as a recurring theme throughout the conference, with sessions emphasizing the power of partnerships and strategic alliances. We heard stories of successful collaborations between credit unions, local businesses, non-profit organizations, and other credit unions. This might feel obvious with our model as financial cooperatives and the typical structure of credit unions having marketing teams that have limited resources like, time, dollars, and people. It feels so good to know that our team at Exclamation is serving a critical need of providing that extra support in the realm of marketing. Being a partner to credit unions, small businesses, and non-profits is a small way we can help people and change the world.
I was honored to represent Simplcity CU and receive awards for some really cool work that was done over the last year. Sometimes (a lot of the time), the amazing work of marketers appears to happen in the background, so moments like this, where good work gets the spotlight, is super fulfilling. Especially when the recognition is awarded by the best of the best in your industry. There were 409 entries from 137 Credit Unions across the country! Simplicity CU received four awards at MAC 2023:
The event offered a treasure trove of knowledge and insights into the latest marketing strategies and trends for credit unions. We're always learning and these ideas and strategies will undoubtedly help us better serve our clients, and their members, achieve their goals.
I'm looking forward to MAC 2024 in Hollywood!
About the Author: Ben Bauer works closely with Exclamation clients and Board of Directors to ensure that Exclamation consistently delivers on the promises of innovation, collaboration, and growth. He’s been instrumental in building the organization, guiding the team, and fostering collaboration and creativity with their clients. Ben is a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE), a Credit Union Certified Marketing Executive (CUCME), a member of the Marshfield Community Foundation Board of Directors, a graduate of the Filene i3 program, was selected by CUNA as a 2017 Credit Union Rockstar, and is a devoted Rotarian.