State of Bank/CU Marketing—CUNA News Now, Feb. 13

Insufficient budgets and/or manpower and difficulty in measuring performance for a return on investments (ROI) are the two major challenges, in 2013, facing credit union and bank marketers, reports a new survey. Top priorities for marketing staff are loan growth and deepening relationships or improving share of wallet.

The Financial Brand, a website that covers retail banking marketing topics, conducted the survey with 300 banks and credit unions. Half the survey respondents were credit unions of all sizes.

Of those surveyed, 33.8% cited budget challenges and 29.9% cited ROI challenges. It was the second year that budget was seen as a major challenge by at least one-third of the respondents, said the website.

Inadequate marketing customer information files (MCIF)/customer relationship management (CRM) was the third largest challenge. "Clearly, the financial industry is in no position to capitalize on the promise of "big data" this year," said The Financial Brand's report. "Banks and credit unions have a long way to go before they'll be in any position to wield terabyte-sized data sets."

For 2013, about 41.89% of financial marketers surveyed said their marketing budget would stay about the same as 2012, with 20.2% saying their budget would increase by up to 10% and another 11.1% indicating it would decrease by less than 10%.

The group was surveyed about marketing priorities for the year. About 36.7% of the respondents cited loan growth as the top priority while nearly 60% placed loan growth in the top three priorities. Second top priority was cross-sell, deepen relationships, improve share-of-wallet, or increase persons per household (about 65.1% ranked this priority in the top three).  Customer/member acquisition rated third, with 32.8% ranking it among their top three priorities.

Although financial marketers ranked loan growth as their top priority, loans weren't the most important product or service they would promote. Instead, mobile banking solutions took the top most important products/services spot, with 63.3% saying it was important. Auto loans, with 58.5%, and mortgage loans, with 57.6%, were the second and third most important products/services to promote.

Click here to see this report on The Financial Brand website.