The difference between financial literacy and education-based marketing


Classroom-OldThe NFCC has announced that April is Financial Literacy month.  They’re pulling out all the stops by making trips to Capital Hill and launching two new websites, one in Spanish – www.termineconsudeuda.org – the other a blog providing debt advice – www.debtadvice.org.  Many banks and credit unions should join in with NFCC in supporting this cause.

I’ve had many people ask me, “Luke, you guys talk alot about using education as part of your marketing initatives.  How is that any different then the financial literacy campaigns that banks and credit unions conduct throughout the year?”  For starters, one of the main reasons we stopped using the term “education-based marketing” was because of this close relation in semantics to financial literacy.  As you may know from reading our company blog, we’ve been using the term Content Marketing to better explain how the process works.

I think the best way to look at it is to think about your days in school.  You may have been a go getter and strived to learn but lets face it, the majority of our peers are not all that excited to get up in the morning and take that yellow bus into the morning classroom.  No one wants to be forced to learn and terms like “literacy” and “education” bring back those memories.

Don’t get us wrong, people are interested in learning.  As the old saying goes, “you learn something new every day”.  And it’s this simple yet unassuming process of learning that is essential to an effective content marketing strategy.  Instead of encouraging customers to sign up for classes or to read books on financial literacy, your job is to make them WANT to learn about their financial lives.  I always say that education or rather content alone is boring.  People need a reason to walk into a library, open a book or enter their name into a form to download a helpful guide.

Marketers have been doing this for years only the focus has been on products.  Now that the times have changed and the masses no longer want to be sold on products you must refocus your marketing expertise on the content you have stored in your library (that is, if you have a library).

(Picture Source: Wiki Commons)