One blog that I read every post of every day in my inbox is the blog of best-selling business author Seth Godin. It is always insightful, thought-provoking, and relavant…the very things that I look for when seeking information to help me better serve my clients. It gets my highest recommendation and is something that everyone trying to grow a business should read.

Seth’s post today was particularly interesting in the context of a challenge facing many credit unions today (if you click his name in the previous paragraph you will be taken to the post).

Once upon a time, most credit unions had very well defined fields of membership that were often aligned with a single company. From a marketing standpoint, this made the whole sales and marketing effort fairly simple…you talked to everyone in the company and encouraged them to join the credit union, and because of their loyalty to the company and their pride of ownership, a large portion signed up.

But that’s not the way it works anymore.

Today many credit unions have moved to community charters, special employer group charters, or trade, industry, and professional group charters as a way to attract more members. And the fact is that it has been challenging for most, and few have seen the levels of membership growth they were looking for when they made the decision to change their charters.

The reason…as stated in the aforementioned blog post…is often that they have failed to answer the most important question in their efforts to grow their membership. Instead of focusing on a targeted group who share common characteristics, the tendency has been to focus on everyone in the universe of potential members…but as Seth Godin warns “Everyone is Clueless”…

Everyone doesn’t go to the chiropractor, everyone doesn’t give to charity, everyone has never been to Starbucks.Everyone, in fact, lives a decade behind the times and needs hundreds of impressions and lots of direct experience before they realize something is going on.

You don’t want everyone. You want the right someone.

Someone who cares about what you do. Someone who will make a contribution that matters. Someone who will spread the word.

ACTION ADVICE: Define the right ‘someone’ for your credit union. Identify their unique attributes and desires, then target your marketing efforts to reach them and bring them into your field of membership. Don’t worry about ‘everyone,’ just focus on ‘someone’ who fits…you’ll see better results, you’ll waste less effort, and you’ll increase the satisfaction of all of the someones that you serve!