Good marketers understand the importance of testing. Really good marketers design and execute tests that enable them to improve and optimize results.
But marketers can only test things they can control. And competitors’ actions don’t typically fall into the category of things a marketer can control.
Recent events in Texas, however, point to an opportunity to conduct an interesting marketing test.
Resource One Credit Union of Dallas recently launched a campaign it calls MyLifeMyMoney. According to The Financial Brand blog:
Contestants will submit a 500-word blog and video online during the first phase of the competition. Resource One will then select the top finalists who will have to solicit votes from their community of peers. The candidate with the most votes will then be selected as the MyLifeMyMoney “spokester” on October 31, 2008. The winner gets use of a Scion, a phone, laptop, video camera and part-time salary for a year. The campaign is almost identical to Common Wealth Credit Union’s Young & Free Alberta initiative that was launched up in Canada a little less than a year ago.”
Interesting. Especially because a few days later and about 240 miles to the southeast, Texas Dow Employees’ Credit Union in Houston launched Young & Free Texas, which is also almost identical to the Young & Free Alberta initiative. But that’s because Currency Marketing, the marketing agency behind the Alberta initiative, is also working with TDECU to launch the Texas initiative.
Currency’s game plan is to exclusively license the Young & Free to one credit union per state in the US and one per province in Canada.
Why go with Currency when, like Resource One, you can go it alone?
Because Currency is betting (knows?) that there’s a lot more to a successful Gen Y marketing campaign than just launching a contest, picking a spokesperson, and setting him/her loose. Accelerating the learning curve, understanding the budget implications, integrating the program with other marketing initiatives, and identifying the product needs are all part of Currency’s value proposition.
With the two credit unions launching similar types of initiatives, at roughly the same time, and in similar markets (? I have no idea if that’s true. I’m sure Trey will set me straight on this), it’s a great opportunity to determine if an in-house approach is superior to an outsourced approach.
Will Resource One suffer from learning curve issues? Fail to integrate the program with other initiatives? Will TDECU benefit from Currency’s expertise and accelerate its learning curve, budget appropriately, and effectively integrate?
We might not find out. But this could be one great marketing test.