In today’s fast and furious age, we are always looking for quick ways to improve. Fast diet plans that guarantee you can drop 20 pounds in two weeks. Quick exercise regimens that offer ways you can move from the couch to a 5K in a month.

Do those “get rich quick” type schemes work when it comes to marketing for credit unions and banks? Actually it does. While strategic shifts in your branding, culture and training take months and even years to fully execute, there are actually several things you can do immediately to increase your marketing’s effectiveness.

Here are five ways to improve your marketing starting today:

  • Use stronger visuals—People are drawn far more to pictures than words. In fact, they probably won’t read everything you write but they will see your photos and illustrations. Whatever you are trying to communicate, try to communicate it visually first (not as an afterthought). Lead with your pictures. And here’s another tip: use real consumers and not stock photography.
  • Rinse & repeat—Never ever do a “one and done” campaign. If you send one e-mail, one insert or one of anything, then don’t expect any results above a one percent return. You may get tired of saying the same marketing message repeatedly, but most consumers need to see your message at least seven or eight times before they even recognize it is from you. Repetition of message is a must.
  • Tell a story—If you want to connect rather than market (and trust me, you do), then try telling a story. Facts and figures are nice but stories are better. When was the last time you told a story about how one of your members or customers benefitted from your products? People are drawn to stories. So tell them.
  • Show the benefits—It’s an old adage but it’s true: features tell and benefits sell. Stop giving the features of your financial products (rate, terms, etc.) and offer how it helps the consumer (saves time, saves money, etc.). Show what your products do for people.

So there you have it. Five things you can do today to immediately improve your marketing. These are simple steps that provide powerful results.