Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 2 years 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 and I'm excited to share amy McGraw's Digital Growth Journey story with you here in a moment. Amy Is the VP of marketing and chief experience officer for Tropical Financial based out of south Florida, and she's been a member of the digital growth program for the past five years. When listening to her story, it's just so good to reflect on the progress that she's not only made with her financial brand, but also all the progress that she's made on her own personal journey of growth. Enjoyed this episode? You're listening to banking on digital growth with James Robert Laigh, a podcast that empowers financial brand, marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the digital growth journeys series, where James Robert Uncovers and explores some of the industry's biggest digital marketing and sales stories of success. Let's get into the show. Greetings in Hello, I am James Arber 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 to welcome amy McGraw to the show because she really has such an art type prepare for the worst, hope for the best story that's been unfolding over the past four or five years and as we are in these strange and dynamic times involving and I am evolving a dynamic welcome to the show, amy, thanks for being here. Thank you so chief experience officer, VP of marketing at tropical financial what is one thing that you're excited about? And and, and it sounds like a funny question, but I think as financial brand leaders, it's important that we keep maintain a positive mindset during times of chaos and crisis because we 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 happening right now with coronavirus, covid nineteen throughout the front the world. But I also know that, especially when I have my meetings, when I have a daily 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 terms of getting hub spot and workflows and emails and our members as contacts in our our home spot system, talking to our data warehouse, all of that has happened over time, but it also has positioned us perfectly to respond to what is still yet to come, with people's finances really being decimated by what's going on in the market place, in the economy. So it really the one thing, I think, that is hopeful for me and for my team is the fact that we are perfectly positioned to help our members now and going into the future with what we've built so far. You know, and you bring such good 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 the heart 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 dollars and sense and commoditize products, but a purpose that's been built around. I think it's going to be more important as we move beyond this covid nineteen health crisis and into the COVID nineteen financial health crisis one that's put you in a really good place. What is that purpose?...

It's interesting because years ago, before we really created the get beyond money mindset and movement, our purpose was educate for cell second. That was something that was put into place internally three years ago. So creating the idea of getting beyond money and getting beyond the stress 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 they were just two weeks ago and right now this stress is physical, mental, emotional, but that is easily going to lead into financial. There are so many people who are losing their jobs, and even those who have it lost their 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 other things and then add on top of it, how am I going to pay my bills after the money from the government runs out? What's going to happen next? That is going to cause more havoc to their emotional, to their physical beings going forward. So that's where we can take everything that we've built up to this point, because the concepts are going to remain true in terms 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 about the fact that if one of your things was how much money you spend on coffee every week, chances are you're not spending that right now. So what are you doing with that five, seven, eight dollars every day? What are you doing with that money that you can possibly put away and make it work for you? Those concepts are still going to remain true. It's just that we can take that content every purpose it for a new situation. You know, when hearing you walk through this, you and I were having a side discussion before we started recording and we talked about, and you mentioned this, the mental state, the emotional state, the physical state. As financial brand leaders, whether you're in marketing ourselves or just the leadership team, it's important to understand what's going on inside the brains of the people within the communities that we serve. And something that I shared with you was was a modified version of the kuble Ross model, because, you know, digital growth is a lot about change. Management. Well, there's seven stages of grief and those are we we get with shock, then we move into denial, anger, bargaining, trying to find a way out, depression. Then we're going to test some new solutions and finally, Hey, we're going to accept the new normal. Not only are we dealing with this massive change internally at this time, the people that were helping are also dealing with this personally, family, I mean community, small business. So you've been through that. You've lived 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 was it 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 going to lead your team through this chaotic and in time of crisis, I think one of the things I can point you right away is that don't be ruled by fear. That I've always said in terms of failure. Failures shouldn't be feared. It should be something that looks, that you look it's simply the isolation of 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 put your arms around to learn from. That's a learning experience. We all go through those things. Nobody's perfect. So there's so much to do when you want it, when you're making a digital transformation, and it's not something that you can go okay, here's my check off list of things to do and then when I check off this last thing on my list, I will be have digitally transformed, because as you check off things, there are more things that are being added. It is a journey, it is not a destination. Is the goal. The goal is...

...the journey to just stay on top of 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't going 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 fear and 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 hundred percent 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 tactics along the way that you may have to go at. Dip The toe on the water. It's not work and run the other way. Those little things are okay, but learn from them, pivot, try something different, but don't let it stop you, stroll you out from continue to move. So there's the number one thing. You cannot be ruled by. Courage would be the thing that you have to put your arms around whole type and, like you said before, it's contagious. You show it, your team will show it. Yeah, you know, I talked about this, the circle of chaos that a lot of financial brands, I feel like you're stuck in with a 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. And there are four steps that I call clarity, courage, commitment and ultimately that will lead to confidence. And so one of the things that I'm hearing from you, and a I've watched you over the years, is your commitment to learning. You are a lifelong student because as you move forward, the environment's going to change very quickly. In some cases, I was we're seeing now with this covid nineteen crisis. But also when you talk about failure, you know you've mentioned you tried this get beyond money thing, you know, two years in a row and it was a struggle. So talk to me a little bit about like learning, because even you, like Adam Sandler, you've gone back to school. Yes, I have. It's actually quite an eye opening experience being so one in their mid s and Grad school where the majority of the students truly are coming right out of college. But that's a whole other story. But yes, it is a lifeline, one learning process and when 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 because we've almost had a full year of working on get beyond money. But prior to 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 go and 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 two agencies and literally go back to the drawing board with my team, because we were not going to be deterred. We knew what we wanted to do. We knew we could establish it, we knew we could watch it, we knew it would be successful, least we hoped. You're right, and but we needed to be able to find some entity to help us get it to where we needed it, needed it to go. It took a while, we got there, granted, with your help. We actually you were the one who really helped put us on the right path for us to be able to 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. Go so we can work on other things. The way that you helped us approach it was, I'm going to help you think about the blueprint, but you guys are going to have to do it. It's yours. This is something that you have put your heart and soul into and only you know what you really want to do with it. You're the only ones who really know you're get so here's a blueprint. Now you guys do it, and that's what we ended up doing and it worked and it's working now. Well. I think that's the biggest learning of all of this is it's start with the end in 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 where we'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 from now and you're in a really good place. You got to smile in your face. What has to happen between now until then for you to feel good about the progress that you've made on your journey? And if we can like get into that, then we can determine what are the road blocks that are going to stand in away and then what are the opportunities that you'll be able to capture along the way? That provides so much clarity. Those three simple 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 really comes 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 we use this platform to educate, to empower, to elevate you? And now, in this time of crisis, it's Callie that the the opportunities are what endless. Yeah, it's interesting because I think one of the mistake that I made the two other times was I had put my full faith and force into a digital solution, HMM, but I didn't take the time to talk to people about the human context that digital was going to be put in. I actually saw a Ted talk just yesterday. was watching a Ted talk. I cannot 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 data to solve all the world's problems, but they don't think about the human context that 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 that was what we did this time. We kind of went let's start from the very 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, it was little conversations with individuals that were in our target audience to find out what is it that they want, what is it that they're looking for? And it comes down to, like the very first platform, we were trying to create a college online course of financial education. What they want? They want that at 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 this way. Want that. They've actually push back against that. They want to do things their way. They just want to be told how can they do what they want to do and be effective at it with the resources that they have. I think they wanted and that's what get they on. Money is all about. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumer shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long before they 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 wrote the 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 book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands, and it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show. I think another thing that is made get beyond money so powerful and it really has the transformative...

...potential, not only for what you're doing 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 studies going 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's such a powerful, like three word forward almost actionable call to action. We spent so much time here studying story and narrative, but you really are calling people to action to three things. Get beyond money. So talk to me about how you're applying this purpose, not only externally with marketing, but as you're moving forward internally culturally, because people have to be at the center of this. Yes, externally, but don't for we also have our internal audience as well. Right. Well, we had to do when we launched it beyond money, we did training in inside because there is there's a part of the get beyond money money coaching session where our employees are interacting with these members or potential members to create a plan for them. So that that was important that they had that training. But we hadn't started doing the whole cultural change yet because we needed to approve of concept. We needed to be able to pilot this thing and see it doesn't actually resonate with the market. Really hard to know. You go with you go in with your Daddy, you go in with your results of the focus group and get build around that, but it doesn't necessarily mean what you build is actually going to work, considering no one's ever done it before. So it's really hard to know. So we've created 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 speak with the member service Reps. so now we're start before we put out another big Bush out in the media. Now we're working on internally the idea of get beyond money as part of our culture. What used to be educate for cell second is being replaced with helping people get beyond money. So even to the point where we're not there yet, but at some point, even when somebody 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 beyond money today, those kinds of things, this little things that can help really integrate the platform, the idea of the movement into who we are at tropical financial credit. You talked about the pilot program and I think that's such a great lesson to consider and take away at other financial brands, because how much, you know, if we look at legacy operations. We spend all of this time, effort and energy thinking that we're going to launch something and that's going to be that's going to be it, we're going to just we're going to get behind it. And in today's fast pace, ever changing, exponentially changing world, driven not only by digital but consumer behavior, competition and now things like the environment, how have you been able to pivot quickly to deal with this change and almost kind of throw out previous plans? I think you're almost because I know how you operate your program that way, because I know one of the diagnostic tools we use is colby, and it looks at your your the way that you operate yours. You're operating system. You have a nine quick start so you can really rapidly adjust to changing environment. But talk to me a little about about what's going on right now and some of the changes that you're having to make and how you're having to to communicate that to other people. I think it's interesting because when you say right now, right now is such an odd time because literally,...

...if we'd had this conversation a month ago, it would be completely different than what I would be saying today. Course, and a month from now might be completely different again. The thing 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 and we 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 to help our members down the line. We are doing our checklist for today. The definitely know what branches are closed, what branches are open, what hours are there, blah, Blah Blah. All that absolutely is necessary and all that 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 weeks months 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 to happen. But we're trying to anticipate what's going to happen and what those needs are going to be, beyond the emergency loans and things like that, to keep people level set and stable, some stability rather than feeling like they're going to be lost in swimming in a see of the unknown. Yes, so there's I think it is very positive that my little team is very, very good 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 for dear life, and we're encountering that and we're dealing with that oneonone. A lot of just coaching, a lot of coaching that's not a part of our culture now is. There's a ton of coaching going on to get people in the mindset that this is the new normal. You can't go backwards. Backwards yesterday is never going to happen again. Learn from yesterday, but don't hold on to yesterday. So there's a lot of coaching going on about embracing this new reality and this new future. And I mean that not only with the whole covid crisis but also with just the get beyond money and this whole idea of culture of helping people to get beyond the stress of everyday money to get to the more important things in life. So it's an ongoing conversation. I do it with our leaders every quarterway of a quarterly managers meeting with all of our leaders, and then I'm also going into the different departments. Our team is actually going to different branches. Before this all happened anyway, it was a once a week or every month. Each one of us will have visited at least one branch, if not more. Hopefully we visit all the branches every month to reinforce the get beyond money messaging that we're doing, as well as answer any questions that they have. It's a process. So, when you think about everything that's going on right now, if you reflect on where you'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 can recommend to other financial brand leaders? Their marketing teams are still see because look, I the futures bright. I feel there's a lot of opportunity over the next six, twelve, eighteen, twenty four months. But what is one thing that you could recommend to them as they look to move forward and make progress along their own digital growth journeys? One thing would be just to believe in yourself and believe that you can do this. Doubt is something that can absolutely destroy plans and destroy goals. Now I understand you know you might have to move things, change things in your journey. Understand that. That's not the same thing as doubting yourself. Just keep believing, look to other people who have been successful, look to them like a mentor almost, to come in and sort of help guide you or at least encourage you along your journey, because if you give up,...

I remember that checklist. I talked about it, it's going to keep growing because there's no end and if you begin to doubt yourself, install yourself out, you won't. It won't. It won't happen and you'll be your own worst enemy. So just don't give up, believe in yourself and look to others who've been successful to help encourage you 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 internally and then just across the industry as a whole one. How might someone just be able to get in touch with you if they have a question, they just want to connect with you with the best way for them to connect with you? Best way is you can always check me out on Linkedin. I don'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 the credit even I'm more than happy to reach out to anybody, and that's the fastest 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 do well. Your financial brand will continue to do well in the weeks and months to come as we all get through this together. Thank you. Appreciate it. Until yeah, until yeah, until next time. Be well, do good and wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Laigh. Like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcast, Google podcast or spotify and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practical, improven insights, visit www dot growthcom to grab a preview of James Roberts best selling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and your 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 times more loans and deposits. Until next time, be well and do good.

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