BY BILL HULTSTRAND
What Is Internal Marketing?
There’s been a lot of talk lately about “Internal Marketing.” But what is it and why is it important for credit unions? Businessdictionary.com defines it as the “Management philosophy of promoting the firm and its policies to employees as if they are the (internal) customers of the firm.” I think that’s a good start, but credit unions must take internal marketing to a deeper level if they are going to succeed.
I recently had the chance to discuss internal marketing with the management team at Launch Federal Credit Union (Merritt Island, FL; Assets $736M). Lorrie Candiotti (Senior VP/COO), Gary LeVar (VP, Consumer Lending), and Margie Mitchell (Senior VP/Chief Lending Officer) were gracious enough to share some of their experiences.
Q: What are you doing in the realm of Internal Marketing?
Lorrie: Gary sends out a daily email to the entire staff. The email provides everyone with an update on where we are at in relation to our monthly goals and provides specific data. The emails are positive, motivating, and always include a dose of fun. We also conduct a “Triple L Call” (Leaders Launching Loans) call every Wednesday morning with branch managers and lending personnel to review our progress and get feedback from team members. And we get a ton of feedback. Our employees are very open.
Q: Sometimes it’s difficult to get people to share. How did you get people to open up?
Lorrie: It all starts with the culture. After joining the credit union a few years ago, our CEO knew that we needed to nurture a more accountable, open and collaborative environment. We started asking for employee feedback, and most importantly, we listened and implemented our employees’ideas. We recognize team members who submit ideas. That has led to further openness and collaboration and it’s been a positive snowball effect ever since.