Writer: Max Crampton-Thomas
3 min read September 2021 — “While the power of influencers cannot be ignored, traditional marketing still has its place in the market,” Laura Sterling, vice president of marketing for Georgia’s Own Credit Union told Invest: when speaking on keeping traditional marketing competitive. During the conversation she also credited her success to having a strong team around her, as well as discussing what initially attracted her to the marketing industry.
What initially got you into marketing in the first place?
I was a Communications major in college and my long-term goal was to become a professor of Communications and/or Public Relations. As I was completing my Masters, I worked in several related positions. Towards the end of my degree, I took a job with Georgia’s Own Credit Union. My goal was to take a few years off before getting my Ph.D. As my career began to grow, and I was able to take on new challenges, I found out how much I enjoyed marketing and working in the credit union space. More than twenty years later, I am still at Georgia’s Own.
How would you define a successful media and/or marketing campaign in today’s climate?
A successful media and/or marketing campaign can be evaluated by three things: awareness, consideration, and conversions. In the financial space, not everyone is looking for an auto loan or mortgage that day, so awareness and overall impressions is critical. Consideration, whether it’s tracked by click-thru rates or some other method, shows that the messaging is working. Finally, actual conversions, which typically equates to the number of applications received or products opened, is a final indicator to determine success.
In the age of influencers, what is the key to keeping traditional marketing competitive?
While the power of influencers cannot be ignored, traditional marketing still has its place in the market. To keep traditional marketing competitive, it’s important to know your audience and create a compelling message. If you have great products and services to offer, the challenge is letting people know about them in a way that they know and trust.
What is the biggest challenge you face in accomplishing your day to day?
Staying on top of trends and data has been increasingly challenging. The digital space changes at record pace, and finding the time to stay ahead of promotional trends, explore the right digital tools, and effectively use the abundance of data out there can be a balancing act.
What do you believe has made you successful as the Vice President of Marketing for Georgia’s Own Credit Union?
I believe the key to my success has been having a great team of people around me. Having employees you can trust, employees who are dedicated, and employees you can challenge and that will challenge you back helps create a thriving work environment. Having the support of leaders and decision-makers who allow me to take risks and try new things has also been instrumental to my success.
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