FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/16/11)--Credit unions must embrace key marketing trends instead of falling into a complacent "marketing means more business" rut, says a speaker at the Texas Credit Union League's Leadership Conference. "Credit unions must know what marketing trends are going to work in the future, not necessarily what has worked in the past," said Mark Arnold, president of On The Mark Strategies. His breakout session covered the top 10 marketing trends, which savvy marketing staff at credit unions should embrace, according to the league (LoneStar Leaguer Sept. 13). Among the trends: marketing and technology fields are merging; rules can be broken; innovate; differentiation deals success, mobile marketing is driving today's society, and shiftening demographics are deepening. More marketing doesn't necessarily equate to more business, he cautioned. "Innovation and differentiation will equate to more business." He challenged credit unions to focus on creating, instead of copying. "When was the last time your credit union launched a new product?" he asked, adding, "If the answer is longer than 12 months, you have serious strategic problems at your credit union." Arnold told attendees they can get ideas from multiple product suggestions from the Filene Research Institute. To differentiate, Arnold advised credit unions to dig deep. "Be real with your differentiation. Try answering the question 'What makes your credit union different' without the words service, people or community. That is cliché differentiation." Also, front line staff must be able to explain what makes the credit union different. In relating shifting trends in demographics, Arnold said that credit unions "have talked for years about getting younger, but the reality is we are heading in the wrong direction." Many front line staff are from a younger generation, but members using branches are from an older demographic, he said. "Credit unions must conduct generational training to help with this culture clash," Arnold said. He also suggested embracing technology products such as QR codes, video, live chat support, mobile banking, online-account opening and account-to-account opening to reach Gen Y. "The whole world is going 'e,' and marketing is no different," he said.