Determining Your Marketing Budget

Just read an article in the WCUL’s weekly e-newsletter about simplifying marketing budgets by calculating a current member’s net worth. Since this is information is of a very foundational nature, and is one perspective on how to do it, I feel compelled to provide some solid additional info.

I will keep things simple (a rarity for me) and answer the original question, “Are there facts and figures out there regarding typical marketing budgets for credit unions?” The answer is yes. I submit three great sources for your evaluation. The first source is the stellar discussion on the subject from leading VPs of Marketing and Marketing Directors at credit unions across the country. There are 57 messages on the subject there. This is direct information from people who are DOING it.

Source number two for DETAILED, SPECIFIC marketing budget analysis is EverythingCU’s credit union marketing budget report. Instead of giving ranges that are so broad as to be meaningless, or giving averages for a range of credit union assets sizes that are so broad as to be meaningless, this report gives you what you want to know: what YOUR peers are spending. And there are a number of ways you can determine your peers, by asset size, membership size, and compare within your state, region, or nationally. Lots of ways to slice and dice! I was tickled that recently I was able to show VP of Marketing, Jon Reske, that his current marketing budget was $100,000 below his peer average in the northeast. That’s what our report is designed to do– give you the ammunition you need to get your marketing budget increased.

And the third great source for marketing budget information is our latest webinar on the subject, Time to Talk Marketing Budget delivered by Mark Arnold, SVP of Neighborhood CU in Dallas.

After checking out these three outstanding sources of Marketing Budget knowledge, I doubt you’ll want to look at CUNA’s gross generalizations again. (Oh, by the way, for year-end 2006, the national average marketing budget for the twenty CUs between $216M and $220M in assets is $322,611. Four out of these twenty CUs have a marketing budget north of $500k.) I hope that my credit union friends can get word to the Washington CU in question.

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3 Responses to “Determining Your Marketing Budget”

  1. Brian Scott Says:

    Thanks for this information, this is something I get asked about all of the time and can only provide anecdotal evidence. These tools are very helpful!

  2. Morriss Partee Says:

    Hi Brian, thanks for the comment. Very glad that this is useful information. There is a wealth of credit union marketing information, conversation, and documents inside EverythingCU. While there are already 3,000 credit union professionals participating, they represent only about 50% of the country’s credit unions. Many CUs don’t “believe” in marketing… for those CUs interested, EverythingCU is a deep resource with loads of valuable, revenue-generating ideas. As an example, a president of a small credit union told me that she learned about a program that generates upwards of $15,000 net income that members love, and is easy for a CU to implement, by attending one of our EverythingCU conferences.

  3. Tony Mannor Says:

    Hey guys, in talking with my clients, budgets are usually calculated using a % against assets to determine their budget “ballpark”.

    But what has always frustrated me was that they would come up with this magic number and then add on things like branch openings or new product launches that the marketing department is just supposed to absorb into that budget. How would you suggest going to the board or CEO and making a compelling argument to augment the budget for the special programs?

    Sometimes it feels like the marketing department is nothing but the bastard child of a previous relationship that the credit union drags along because they have to instead of the income generating leg of the business that they actually are.

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