Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year ago

35) #DigitalGrowthJourney: How to Keep a Positive Mindset During Dynamic Times w/ Amy McGraw


As financial brand leaders, it's important that we maintain a positive mindset during times of chaos and crisis. We have to lead with courage because courage is contagious.

On this episode of Banking on Digital Growth, Amy McGraw, vp marketing and chief experience officer at Tropical Financial Credit Union, joins me to talk about keeping a positive mindset during dynamic times.

Here's what Amy and I discussed:

  • Defining a purpose that transcends dollars and cents
  • Seven stages of transformation on the digital growth journey
  • Escaping the circle of chaos through a unifying idea
  • The one thing Amy recommends to all financial brand leaders

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Hey guys, it's James Robert andI'm excited to share amy McGraw's Digital Growth Journey story with you here in amoment. Amy Is the VP of marketing and chief experience officer for Tropical Financialbased out of south Florida, and she's been a member of the digital growthprogram for the past five years. When listening to her story, it's justso good to reflect on the progress that she's not only made with her financialbrand, but also all the progress that she's made on her own personal journeyof growth. Enjoyed this episode? You're listening to banking on digital growth withJames Robert Laigh, a podcast that empowers financial brand, marketing, sales andleadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loans anddeposits. Today's episode is part of the digital growth journeys series, where JamesRobert Uncovers and explores some of the industry's biggest digital marketing and sales stories ofsuccess. Let's get into the show. Greetings in Hello, I am JamesArber Leigh and welcome to another episode of the banking on digital growth podcast.Today's episode is part of the Digital Growth Journey series, and I'm excited towelcome amy McGraw to the show because she really has such an art type preparefor the worst, hope for the best story that's been unfolding over the pastfour or five years and as we are in these strange and dynamic times involvingand I am evolving a dynamic welcome to the show, amy, thanks forbeing here. Thank you so chief experience officer, VP of marketing at tropicalfinancial what is one thing that you're excited about? And and, and itsounds like a funny question, but I think as financial brand leaders, it'simportant that we keep maintain a positive mindset during times of chaos and crisis becausewe have to lead with courage, because courage is contagious. HMM. Yeah, you're absolutely right. It's sort of strange to think how far we've come. Is All sort of being up ended in a way with what is happeningright now with coronavirus, covid nineteen throughout the front the world. But Ialso know that, especially when I have my meetings, when I have adaily meeting with my team right now, since we're all obviously working from home, about not losing sight of what we've started with our get beyond money platform, and I think that it's taken us for years, not only in termsof getting hub spot and workflows and emails and our members as contacts in ourour home spot system, talking to our data warehouse, all of that hashappened over time, but it also has positioned us perfectly to respond to whatis still yet to come, with people's finances really being decimated by what's goingon in the market place, in the economy. So it really the onething, I think, that is hopeful for me and for my team isthe fact that we are perfectly positioned to help our members now and going intothe future with what we've built so far. You know, and you bring suchgood points there, because it's been a journey, it's hasn't happened overnight. It's built upon the foundation upon foundation upon foundation, and really at theheart of all of that is a purpose, a purpose that for you personally,for your team, for tropical financial that has transcended the promotion of dollarsand sense and commoditize products, but a purpose that's been built around. Ithink it's going to be more important as we move beyond this covid nineteen healthcrisis and into the COVID nineteen financial health crisis one that's put you in areally good place. What is that purpose?...

It's interesting because years ago, beforewe really created the get beyond money mindset and movement, our purpose waseducate for cell second. That was something that was put into place internally threeyears ago. So creating the idea of getting beyond money and getting beyond thestress of money was what get beyond money was created for now more than ever, because people right now are at a completely different level of stress then theywere just two weeks ago and right now this stress is physical, mental,emotional, but that is easily going to lead into financial. There are somany people who are losing their jobs, and even those who have it losttheir jobs. They don't know what the future is going to look like,what is the new normal going to be? So that stress of all those otherthings and then add on top of it, how am I going topay my bills after the money from the government runs out? What's going tohappen next? That is going to cause more havoc to their emotional, totheir physical beings going forward. So that's where we can take everything that we'vebuilt up to this point, because the concepts are going to remain true interms of how to save money, how to not have it rule your life, how to accept goals, how to take even today we were talking aboutthe fact that if one of your things was how much money you spend oncoffee every week, chances are you're not spending that right now. So whatare you doing with that five, seven, eight dollars every day? What areyou doing with that money that you can possibly put away and make itwork for you? Those concepts are still going to remain true. It's justthat we can take that content every purpose it for a new situation. Youknow, when hearing you walk through this, you and I were having a sidediscussion before we started recording and we talked about, and you mentioned this, the mental state, the emotional state, the physical state. As financial brandleaders, whether you're in marketing ourselves or just the leadership team, it'simportant to understand what's going on inside the brains of the people within the communitiesthat we serve. And something that I shared with you was was a modifiedversion of the kuble Ross model, because, you know, digital growth is alot about change. Management. Well, there's seven stages of grief and thoseare we we get with shock, then we move into denial, anger, bargaining, trying to find a way out, depression. Then we're goingto test some new solutions and finally, Hey, we're going to accept thenew normal. Not only are we dealing with this massive change internally at thistime, the people that were helping are also dealing with this personally, family, I mean community, small business. So you've been through that. You'velived through kind of those seven stages of transformation on this digital growth journey.If you can go back in your mind for five years ago, what wasit that helped you guide yourself? Number One, but guide your team,because this is not something that that you can do Alan. If you're goingto lead your team through this chaotic and in time of crisis, I thinkone of the things I can point you right away is that don't be ruledby fear. That I've always said in terms of failure. Failures shouldn't befeared. It should be something that looks, that you look it's simply the isolationof that which does not work. That's what I always tell my kids, my team. It isn't something to fear. It is something we putyour arms around to learn from. That's a learning experience. We all gothrough those things. Nobody's perfect. So there's so much to do when youwant it, when you're making a digital transformation, and it's not something thatyou can go okay, here's my check off list of things to do andthen when I check off this last thing on my list, I will behave digitally transformed, because as you check off things, there are more thingsthat are being added. It is a journey, it is not a destination. Is the goal. The goal is...

...the journey to just stay on topof it and keep moving. But if you, at any point in time, encounter want something on your checklist that scares you or that you're afraid isn'tgoing to work or you don't believe in or you're afraid to move forward,if you stop there yet things continue to add to your list, you're done. You're dead in the water. You cannot let yourself be ruled by fearand you have to make sure that the team, your team that you're leading, as well as your fellow leaders, also are on board for one hundredpercent and don't dip their toe in the water want to run the other direction. And there are, I mean, yes, there are little like tacticsalong the way that you may have to go at. Dip The toe onthe water. It's not work and run the other way. Those little thingsare okay, but learn from them, pivot, try something different, butdon't let it stop you, stroll you out from continue to move. Sothere's the number one thing. You cannot be ruled by. Courage would bethe thing that you have to put your arms around whole type and, likeyou said before, it's contagious. You show it, your team will showit. Yeah, you know, I talked about this, the circle ofchaos that a lot of financial brands, I feel like you're stuck in witha look at digital is something that they're dabbling in, but they're confused,they're frustrated, they're overwhelmed, they're living in the state of conflict. Andthere are four steps that I call clarity, courage, commitment and ultimately that willlead to confidence. And so one of the things that I'm hearing fromyou, and a I've watched you over the years, is your commitment tolearning. You are a lifelong student because as you move forward, the environment'sgoing to change very quickly. In some cases, I was we're seeing nowwith this covid nineteen crisis. But also when you talk about failure, youknow you've mentioned you tried this get beyond money thing, you know, twoyears in a row and it was a struggle. So talk to me alittle bit about like learning, because even you, like Adam Sandler, you'vegone back to school. Yes, I have. It's actually quite an eyeopening experience being so one in their mid s and Grad school where the majorityof the students truly are coming right out of college. But that's a wholeother story. But yes, it is a lifeline, one learning process andwhen I think back to the get beyond money, what we tried to do, it was actually this is our third we're coming into our fourth year becausewe've almost had a full year of working on get beyond money. But priorto that we had two other platforms that we're working on with different agencies,but they couldn't grasp the idea, they couldn't get where we wanted to goand they were creating things that already existed. Well, that didn't that doesn't help, and so we had to cut ties with both of those other twoagencies and literally go back to the drawing board with my team, because wewere not going to be deterred. We knew what we wanted to do.We knew we could establish it, we knew we could watch it, weknew it would be successful, least we hoped. You're right, and butwe needed to be able to find some entity to help us get it towhere we needed it, needed it to go. It took a while,we got there, granted, with your help. We actually you were theone who really helped put us on the right path for us to be ableto do it ourselves, and I think that was part of it too.We were trying to say this is what we're thinking to Mr Agency. Goso we can work on other things. The way that you helped us approachit was, I'm going to help you think about the blueprint, but youguys are going to have to do it. It's yours. This is something thatyou have put your heart and soul into and only you know what youreally want to do with it. You're the only ones who really know you'reget so here's a blueprint. Now you guys do it, and that's whatwe ended up doing and it worked and it's working now. Well. Ithink that's the biggest learning of all of this is it's start with the endin mind, like what is the ideal future look like for a financial brand? If we can come to a common...

...agreement of Hey, this is wherewe'd like to be, and that's one of the reasons I ask this question. Let's assume that we're having a conversation, we're having coffee cocktails two years fromnow and you're in a really good place. You got to smile inyour face. What has to happen between now until then for you to feelgood about the progress that you've made on your journey? And if we canlike get into that, then we can determine what are the road blocks thatare going to stand in away and then what are the opportunities that you'll beable to capture along the way? That provides so much clarity. Those threesimple questions, but really deep thinking facilitation around that. But most importantly,when I think back of the progress that you've made personally with get beyond money, is you went and you you know you talk to people and it reallycomes back to the purpose to begin this conversation. You went and well,what's bothering you? What's what's keeping you up at night? How can weuse this platform to educate, to empower, to elevate you? And now,in this time of crisis, it's Callie that the the opportunities are whatendless. Yeah, it's interesting because I think one of the mistake that Imade the two other times was I had put my full faith and force intoa digital solution, HMM, but I didn't take the time to talk topeople about the human context that digital was going to be put in. Iactually saw a Ted talk just yesterday. was watching a Ted talk. Icannot remember the woman's name, but she was talking exactly about how people,so many people, put so much, so much faith in too big datato solve all the world's problems, but they don't think about the human contextthat has to be added in the thick data. As she referred to it, as if you don't take the human, if you take human completely out,you're not going to be able to have a solution meant for humans.So you have to be able to put the human back in, and thatwas what we did this time. We kind of went let's start from thevery beginning and we held multiple focus groups, both online and over the phone,with individuals that we were we were targeting and ask them series of questions. So it wasn't just a survey of check this, check this, itwas little conversations with individuals that were in our target audience to find out whatis it that they want, what is it that they're looking for? Andit comes down to, like the very first platform, we were trying tocreate a college online course of financial education. What they want? They want thatat all. They want somebody to help them with their unique situations,but not regular finger in their face and say you got to do it thisway. Want that. They've actually push back against that. They want todo things their way. They just want to be told how can they dowhat they want to do and be effective at it with the resources that theyhave. I think they wanted and that's what get they on. Money isall about. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumershop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long beforethey walk into a branch, if they walk into a branch at all.But your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits. We get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand,marketing and sales leader. But it doesn't have to, because James Robert wrotethe book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey. Visit www dot digital growthcom to get a preview of his best selling bookbanking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and yourteam from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written totransform financial brands, and it is packed full of practical and proven insights youcan start using today to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Nowback to the show. I think another thing that is made get beyond moneyso powerful and it really has the transformative...

...potential, not only for what you'redoing at tropical through marketing, but also culturally as the chief experience officer,even within the communities and in this is something that's you learned through your studiesgoing through your master's program the unifying idea, the central idea from story scaping,story escaping at that. Yeah, it's the the unifying idea. It'ssuch a powerful, like three word forward almost actionable call to action. Wespent so much time here studying story and narrative, but you really are callingpeople to action to three things. Get beyond money. So talk to meabout how you're applying this purpose, not only externally with marketing, but asyou're moving forward internally culturally, because people have to be at the center ofthis. Yes, externally, but don't for we also have our internal audienceas well. Right. Well, we had to do when we launched itbeyond money, we did training in inside because there is there's a part ofthe get beyond money money coaching session where our employees are interacting with these membersor potential members to create a plan for them. So that that was importantthat they had that training. But we hadn't started doing the whole cultural changeyet because we needed to approve of concept. We needed to be able to pilotthis thing and see it doesn't actually resonate with the market. Really hardto know. You go with you go in with your Daddy, you goin with your results of the focus group and get build around that, butit doesn't necessarily mean what you build is actually going to work, considering noone's ever done it before. So it's really hard to know. So we'vecreated the proof of concept. We pilot it three months and it was working. It was resonating at people were signing up, they love the quiz,they loved it was just it definitely was working. The next step, though, because there was a disconnect of actually getting people into the branches to speakwith the member service Reps. so now we're start before we put out anotherbig Bush out in the media. Now we're working on internally the idea ofget beyond money as part of our culture. What used to be educate for cellsecond is being replaced with helping people get beyond money. So even tothe point where we're not there yet, but at some point, even whensomebody is walking in the door and sitting down with your pick up the phone, thank you for calling tropical financial. How can we help you get beyondmoney today, those kinds of things, this little things that can help reallyintegrate the platform, the idea of the movement into who we are at tropicalfinancial credit. You talked about the pilot program and I think that's such agreat lesson to consider and take away at other financial brands, because how much, you know, if we look at legacy operations. We spend all ofthis time, effort and energy thinking that we're going to launch something and that'sgoing to be that's going to be it, we're going to just we're going toget behind it. And in today's fast pace, ever changing, exponentiallychanging world, driven not only by digital but consumer behavior, competition and nowthings like the environment, how have you been able to pivot quickly to dealwith this change and almost kind of throw out previous plans? I think you'realmost because I know how you operate your program that way, because I knowone of the diagnostic tools we use is colby, and it looks at youryour the way that you operate yours. You're operating system. You have anine quick start so you can really rapidly adjust to changing environment. But talkto me a little about about what's going on right now and some of thechanges that you're having to make and how you're having to to communicate that toother people. I think it's interesting because when you say right now, rightnow is such an odd time because literally,...

...if we'd had this conversation a monthago, it would be completely different than what I would be saying today. Course, and a month from now might be completely different again. Thething that I that I love about my particular team, the marketing team itself, is that we all agree change is something that is to be embraced andwe are ones that really love change and can adapt to it very quickly.When we're having our daily meetings now, because they used to be weekly meetings, now we're having daily meetings, we're talking about what we can do tohelp our members down the line. We are doing our checklist for today.The definitely know what branches are closed, what branches are open, what hoursare there, blah, Blah Blah. All that absolutely is necessary and allthat communication avoiding fraud and rowing scammers. That's all very, very necessary.But we also are are doing those checklist little things, but also looking weeksmonths down the road of what's going to change. And there's guess work because, let's face it, nobody this is unprecedent and nobody knows what's going tohappen. But we're trying to anticipate what's going to happen and what those needsare going to be, beyond the emergency loans and things like that, tokeep people level set and stable, some stability rather than feeling like they're goingto be lost in swimming in a see of the unknown. Yes, sothere's I think it is very positive that my little team is very, verygood at change. Now Span that out to the Credit Union in general.There will always be those legacy people who are holding on to the past fordear life, and we're encountering that and we're dealing with that oneonone. Alot of just coaching, a lot of coaching that's not a part of ourculture now is. There's a ton of coaching going on to get people inthe mindset that this is the new normal. You can't go backwards. Backwards yesterdayis never going to happen again. Learn from yesterday, but don't holdon to yesterday. So there's a lot of coaching going on about embracing thisnew reality and this new future. And I mean that not only with thewhole covid crisis but also with just the get beyond money and this whole ideaof culture of helping people to get beyond the stress of everyday money to getto the more important things in life. So it's an ongoing conversation. Ido it with our leaders every quarterway of a quarterly managers meeting with all ofour leaders, and then I'm also going into the different departments. Our teamis actually going to different branches. Before this all happened anyway, it wasa once a week or every month. Each one of us will have visitedat least one branch, if not more. Hopefully we visit all the branches everymonth to reinforce the get beyond money messaging that we're doing, as wellas answer any questions that they have. It's a process. So, whenyou think about everything that's going on right now, if you reflect on whereyou've been over the past four or five years along your digital growth journey,you've made progress every step of the way. What is one thing that you canrecommend to other financial brand leaders? Their marketing teams are still see becauselook, I the futures bright. I feel there's a lot of opportunity overthe next six, twelve, eighteen, twenty four months. But what isone thing that you could recommend to them as they look to move forward andmake progress along their own digital growth journeys? One thing would be just to believein yourself and believe that you can do this. Doubt is something thatcan absolutely destroy plans and destroy goals. Now I understand you know you mighthave to move things, change things in your journey. Understand that. That'snot the same thing as doubting yourself. Just keep believing, look to otherpeople who have been successful, look to them like a mentor almost, tocome in and sort of help guide you or at least encourage you along yourjourney, because if you give up,...

I remember that checklist. I talkedabout it, it's going to keep growing because there's no end and if youbegin to doubt yourself, install yourself out, you won't. It won't. Itwon't happen and you'll be your own worst enemy. So just don't giveup, believe in yourself and look to others who've been successful to help encourageyou along your way. Well, you've done that today in today's conversation,and I know that you are. You're such a positive force, both internallyand then just across the industry as a whole one. How might someone justbe able to get in touch with you if they have a question, theyjust want to connect with you with the best way for them to connect withyou? Best way is you can always check me out on Linkedin. Idon't spend a lot of time on linkedin nowadays just because of what's going on, but also anybody at any time is welcome to email me at at thecredit even I'm more than happy to reach out to anybody, and that's thefastest way because I'm always checking my email at work. Awesome, awesome,amy. Thank you so much. Thanks for joining me. Great Story,great conversation, and I know that you and your team will continue to dowell. Your financial brand will continue to do well in the weeks and monthsto come as we all get through this together. Thank you. Appreciate it. Until yeah, until yeah, until next time. Be well, dogood and wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode of bankingon Digital Growth with James Robert Laigh. Like what you hear, tell afriend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcast, Google podcastor spotify and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practical, improveninsights, visit www dot growthcom to grab a preview of James Roberts best sellingbook banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you andyour team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint,framed around twelve key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate ten timesmore loans and deposits. Until next time, be well and do good.

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