Jenifer McFadden is Northwest Community Credit Union's Marketing Manager. Jenifer is a leader in her industry, so we asked to pick her brain for our Spotlight Series to share with us some of her knowledge, expertise and challenges she has faced during her successful career.
Now for the Q & A...
Thank you for being a part of our spotlight series Jenifer, can you tell us what you do for Northwest
Community Credit Union?
I oversee an incredibly talented group of people who are focused on marketing, brand management, digital content, design, communications, business development, community outreach, and deposit products. I also get to work with branch environments to ensure our brand is represented well in our spaces. My primary focus is to share our brand experience with the communities we serve. I’m also involved in credit union advocacy because I truly believe that if everyone joined a credit union our world would be more financially stable.
How did you get your start in marketing?
This is one of my favorite stories. Way back in the day, when Facebook and other social media channels were just starting to pick up momentum for businesses, NWCU started a blog team. I signed up
to be a part of the team and then quickly learned the importance of content marketing, social media, and being a part of something bigger. As a blog team, we researched all kinds of things that sometimes
pertained to finances and sometimes didn’t. My most popular post focused on the role/responsibility of photographers and journalists not to interfere with their subjects. I fell in love with the role and as social
media picked up popularity it became a full-time job that I happily accepted. I’ve continued to grow in my role and look forward to every day that I get to come to a job that I love.
The banking industry is so often just about the numbers, but NWCU is clearly a place that puts its members first. How do you engage NWCU members?
A: One of my favorite quotes from our executive team is that our success isn’t defined by profits, it’s defined by our member satisfaction. Because this is how we define our success we engage with our members every day, whether it’s in a branch, online, or over the phone. We engage with our members in unique ways based on the communication channel and where they’re at mentally as they’re on that channel. For example, our Facebook messaging is focused on helpful financial advice and community involvement while in-branch messaging is much more focused on how our products and services can help members meet their goals in life.
What trends are you seeing in the banking industry and how does that affect your day-to-day?
Right now we’re hearing a lot of buzz about cryptocurrency, FinTechs, and the ever speculative possibility of Amazon Bank. As these new banking options enter the market, it keeps us engaged and excited to see the evolution of banking possibilities. All of this comes down to remaining relevant and distinctive and being a cooperative in the financial industry is what will always keep us above the noise.
Where do you go for inspiration—on the web, in print or in the world?
I find inspiration in so many places! I’m a nerd for inspirational quotes with lovely backgrounds so often times I’ll just log in to Pinterest and see some beautiful calligraphy quotes and feel inspired. Quite contrary to that, I also find a lot of value in searching for inspiration inward by closing my eyes and meditating. There’s so much “noise” around inspiration and I’ve found that my own original thoughts and insights are often times the most inspiration for me. When that fails me, I love finding inspirational articles from peers on LinkedIn.
What are the marketing trends that you’re most excited about? What are your top marketing pet peeves?
The marketing trends I’m most excited about are the ever-growing possibilities of content marketing. Content marketing has grown to be so much more than blogging and SEO and I think it truly is focussed
on making consumers lives better by providing knowledge rather than simply selling. My biggest marketing pet peeve right now is this obsession with “big data.” Data is incredibly powerful but only when used right. When it’s not used strategically thought through and applied, it’s just a bunch of data.
What marketing goals do you have for NWCU in 2018?
Our marketing goals are focussed on content marketing and concentrating on purpose over product. I am also focusing on marketing only what I can measure.
What has been one of your biggest wins for you at NWCU, and what did you gain or learn from it?
One of my biggest wins at NWCU was the launch of our new website in November. It was a project that impacted the entire organization and we were able to launch it efficiently and effectively. I learned the importance of collaboration and delegation as well as, the importance of listening to my instincts. There are so many decisions that need to be made during a big project like this and I learned early on how to make the best decision for the moment by listening to my instincts rather than over analyzing or over thinking it. (P.S. Thank you Harlo for the amazing site!!)
What is the most useful tech tool that you are obsessed with and why?
I’m honestly not a big tech person but I have to say that I am obsessed with Slack. I’m on a variety of committees and it helps me stay organized/sane because it keeps all of the conversations in one place. I’m also super old school and still have a planner because nothing replaces the feeling of writing and drawing.
What do you believe are the 3 most important rules to remember when it comes to marketing a business?
The first most important rule is to know who you are. Know your brand, what you stand for, and why you stand for it. Second, always focus on purpose over product. If it serves no purpose or benefit, don’t market it. Third, know your audience. Know their needs and wants so you can speak to them and meet their needs.
How do you help NWCU win the hearts of its members?
I (and my amazing team) help NWCU win the hearts of our members by ensuring everything we do and say is focussed on making our member’s lives better financially. Nearly everyone’s hopes and dream
are attached to their finances (retiring, homes, vacations, college, etc) so it’s our responsibility to ensure we’re helping connect members to their dreams.
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