It's Time To Reinvest In Marketing & Training

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SAN ANTONIO-Remember the cuts credit union management made to the marketing and training budgets? It might be time to put that money back.

That is the message from Cory Jefferies, VP Business Development for the Financial Institution Group at SWBC. Jefferies said credit unions "can and should" put efforts and resources into employee training and development, and marketing.

"These are two areas that typically get cut when companies are challenged financially," he noted. "However, when done correctly and with a focused approach they both can bring exponential results to the bottom line. You cannot save yourself into prosperity by cutting expenses-which typically means cutting products and services to your members."

When employee development and marketing are done correctly, Jefferies continued, credit unions usually see a "great return" on investment of time and money.

Some keys to effective programs are to ensure the training courses and expected results are communicated from the top down, he advised. The training should challenge the participants to "step out of their comfort zones" to learn and demonstrate new skills. "If the training is sales and service based, the participants should practice and be able to demonstrate the desired behavior in the classroom so they are confident when they get back to the branch or contact center," he said.

Effective marketing can be done more inexpensively now than ever before, Jefferies said. E-mail and web-based marketing not only has improved from a design and delivery standpoint, they have increased in penetration as well.

"Targeted marketing campaigns through e-mail and marketing through social media continue to be more and more effective," Jeffries observed.

SWBC is a diversified financial services company providing a range of insurance, mortgage and investment services to financial institutions, businesses and individuals.

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