“Communication and language have changed,” writes Chris Brogan in his recent weekly business advice piece (which you can only receive by subscribing to his e-mail list, which I highly recommend). He goes on to say, “It has to be received and understood for it to be communication. Otherwise, it’s noise.”

As a credit union or bank, are your marketing messages getting lost in all the noise? Perhaps it’s because you have not changed your communication. If you are still using the same tools, same messages and same campaigns from even two years ago then you are not adapting.

Brogan identified the following five communication trends:

  • People aren’t reading as much. Nineteen minutes a day.
  • Language is shifting. From “conversational” to “informal.” From “in depth” to “as brief as possible.”
  • Visuals are more and more core to everyday language.
  • It’s even more brief. Like Facebook messenger brief.
  • Multi-touch communication across a variety of platforms is more the norm than “where’s that one place I know I can reach them” communication.

So what does all this mean for financial institution marketers? Plenty. Here are four steps you can take immediately to maximize your communication efforts in this ever changing fast-paced world.

  • Cut the copy—If you do nothing else, reduce all the words you are using in your marketing efforts. People just are not reading your stuff anymore. Enough said.
  • Conduct a marketing audit—The highest impact action step you can take to immediately improve your marketing efforts is to conduct a comprehensive marketing audit. While everything is audited in credit unions and banks, we rarely review one of the most important areas: marketing. Check out this video on how a marketing audit brings success.
  • Use more video—Newsletters, brochures and annual reports are old school. Your credit union or bank needs to adapt by using more video. Answer these questions: what percentage of your target audiences are viewing video and what percentage of your marketing materials is in video?
  • Use creative visuals—Images matter more than words. So stop using clip art and even canned, “perfect people” pictures. Instead, use real members or customers. The more creative and attention grabbing your marketing materials are, the more likely they are to be seen.

Think about your marketing efforts. Are you cutting the copy, auditing your marketing, implementing video and using creative visuals? If not, then you need to change how you communicate.