Consider the diversity of your financial institution membership. Now consider the diversity of the greater community you serve. More than likely, you are made up of, and can draw from, a vast pool of different people, including a spectrum of ages, nationalities and interests. To effectively reach these people, to stay top of mind in financial services for consumers, banks and credit unions must maintain a healthy mix of what some might call “old school vs. new school marketing.”

Often when a hot new way to advertise or reach people comes along, people are quick to dismiss established methods as ineffective. While it’s true that media and advertising must adapt and evolve to meet new times, most established methods still have a place in your marketing arsenal. It all comes down to the people you are trying to reach, your demographic niche. At the same time, however, bank and credit union marketers and leaders must refrain from immediately dismissing newer communication methods as valid ways of reaching consumers. It’s all about striking the right balance.

Old school marketing methods that can still pay dividends for your bank or credit union include:

  • Direct mail
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Billboards
  • Special events
  • Website

These more established methods of marketing still generate results when done with the proper forethought and diligence. You must also keep in mind your specific market and the targets you wish to reach. For example, in an age where people’s email boxes are flooded with spam every day, receiving an actual direct mail piece might stand out in a consumer’s mind. If there is heavy traffic around an intersection near a new branch, a nearby billboard represents a chance to generate brand and location awareness. And special events are typically a good way to the build community awareness, goodwill and brand recall.

New school marketing that deserves similar thought includes:

  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Email
  • Video (think Vine or YouTube)
  • Data mining (consumer demographic segmentation)

The Digital Revolution represents perhaps the most powerful new method of communication since the invention of the printing press. Now more than ever, marketers have access to consumers through a vast array of online platforms. When combined with the advent of smart, portable devices (such as smart phones and tablets) these new school marketing methods constitute an exciting and powerful way to market to your bank or credit union consumers.

Blending of new school methods is as important as the combination of old school methods. For example, your bank or credit union might want to do a series of email communications to consumers about a terrific new auto loan promotion. At the same time you could use your blog platform as an educational stage to discuss the importance of good credit scores and how they can impact interest rates consumers receive all loans. Simultaneously, you could cull your internal consumer data, pulling the individuals most likely to be in the market for a new auto loan in the immediate future (e.g., those with existing auto loans paying off in the next few months).

Mixing old and new school marketing is important in today’s competitive financial marketplace. Your limited marketing dollars must stretch in an effort to reach and sway as many consumers as possible. It’s all about finding the right mix for the right audience. If you’re going for a younger crowd, direct mail and radio probably aren’t good ideas. Consider social media and email. On the other hand, if you’re looking to reach a more mature market, blogging and video might not work.

Keeping your marketing options open is important to achieving success in campaigns and consumer communications. When planning a campaign, think about the people you’re trying to reach and then marry that with the best possible marketing methods, whether they’re old or new school.