The ‘Big Guys’ Don’t Always Win

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This year more Americans watched the World Cup being held in Brazil than ever before. Perhaps because it was in a Western timezone or because we believed that we could win. But the thing that has many Americans baffled by this game of soccer is how the biggest countries with the most population and resources don’t always win. In fact, it is often the most fanatical country that wins. Germans love their soccer.

Social media marketing is a lot more like soccer than it is like conventional war.

If you are one of the thousands of community banks and credit unions in the US that compete against the big 5, here are a few things that may help you to think about the competing with social / digital strategies.

Advertising Spend alone is a ground war.

Avoid thinking about pure advertising spend. If you think you can outpace national advertisers with better crafted ads, you can’t. But, you can target in a way the ‘big guys’ can’t. Targeted Facebook ads and online ads through Google’s ad network can be great ways to capitalize on your local market. It does not matter how rural your market, consumers are often utilizing Google to find the phone number for their next call and the ads are inexpensive.

“Quickness is the essence of the war.” – Sun Tzu  If you are going to change strategies, do it quickly. The bigger the competition, the less likely they are able to adapt quickly.

Own your turf, no matter how small it is.

Large brands cannot effectively brand themselves with a local market. Sure, they will try, but it is incredibly difficult for them to be seen as the “Bank of Smalltown or Smallstate” while still being the bank of America everywhere. Chances are good consumers, especially millennials, do not have any concept of the size of your organization. Asset size and number of employees is not their concern.

Omnichannel Marketing is Not About Forced Redirectionb1fbBill

Make sure your following knows that you are paying attention in every channel where your customers are participating; however, changing their channel of choice is not in your court. If they like reading billboards, you are not going to get them to find you on Facebook while they are driving. Instead, target Facebook users while they are using Facebook and target readers of newspapers while they are reading the newspaper. It’s fine to suggest other channels while you are there, but you don’t have to force it.

Start them young.

In Germany, soccer skills are taught universally to every 6 year old. That’s right 6yrs old and at 8 years old scouts are looking to see who could be a standout. Gotze who scored the winning goal for Germany was born in ’92. According to Wikipedia, his soccer career started in ’95. If you are to win your market and gain loyalty, supporting youth should be a primary focus. And helping the community to find talent, specifically young entrepreneurs will help create long-term success. If you are thinking about a 15 year plan, think about how your market is built.

Regardless of the size of your organization, you can win. But you will have to find your own niche and learn what it takes to exploit that niche and you must be fanatical about your desire to win that market.

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