With the advent of social media, the marketing industry has taken a whole different shape altogether. Marketing personnel have an additional benefit of showcasing their products and services on different platforms to create awareness among people. One leader in the marketing industry who completely comprehends the importance of it and takes it to the next level is Sharon Cook, the Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer for Mountain America Credit Union.
After acquiring a degree from Westminster College, and receiving a certificate in Leadership and Negotiation from Harvard Law School, she held a number of positions as Director of Brand Strategy and Director of Marketing in the finance industry before becoming the Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer for Mountain America Credit Union. in 2009. Apart from this, she Co-Chairs the annual fundraising event sponsored by Mountain America which raises money for Primary Children’s Hospital.
Infusing Creativity and Innovation
Sharon blends a successful mix of digital, social, and traditional marketing tactics with innovative ideas and multiple technologies. She advocates technology, data, AI, and strategic communications. Sharon has a fascination for new technologies and has implemented a full-stack at Mountain America while building new cornerstones and digital platforms.
Sharon leads numerous departments including Public Relations, Social Media, Creative Services, Content, Analytics, Web & Online, Channel Management, Sponsorships, and Financial Literacy. Adding to this, she also contributes to the strategic planning of the overall credit union as a dedicated member of the senior executive management team.
She advises the executive team as well as the Board of Directors on how her multiple teams and the associated technologies support and drive growth in every facet of the organization. The results of which are evident in the unprecedented growth of the organization as it is recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the financial industry for the last 8 years.
Supporting the Communities they Serve
Mountain America Credit Union was founded in 1936 in the midst of Great Depression with a commitment to guide their members to achieve their financial dreams. Mountain America Credit Union provides consumers and businesses with a variety of convenient, flexible products and services, as well as sound, timely advice. This includes checking, savings, mortgages, home equity lines of credit, business accounts, commercial loans, personal loans, auto loans, visa cards, Express Debit cards, student loans, small business loans, and wealth management.
Members also enjoy access to secure, cutting-edge mobile banking technology, over 90 branches in five states, thousands of shared-branching locations nationwide and more than 50,000 surcharge-free ATMs.
Today, Mountain America’s essence —‘guidance’— remains the focal point of the company’s identity. It’s a purpose-driven identity to ensure that everything else Mountain America Credit Union does, moves its members safely along their journey. With more than 760,000 members and $7.5 billion in assets, Mountain America Credit Union assists its members on the right path to aid in identifying and achieving their financial dreams.
Voyage of a Market Leader
Sharon’s love for writing landed her an early career, working in strategic communications where she learned to deliver messages that built a brand and delivered exponential growth across several industries. The ability to understand audiences led her into marketing and her ability to tell compelling stories, led to big brand development. She realized what technology and data could do when combined with strategic marketing knowledge and connected all the dots.
In order to imprint this vision on the organization, Sharon methodically introduced changes and technologies that produced results, one step at a time. She achieved this by implementing sophisticated layers of processes into projects while simultaneously growing the expertise on the team, creating a unique combination of talent and technology over time. Sharon’s commitment to help those in need has led her to work with numerous non-profit organizations in both fundraising and serving in numerous board positions within the community.
A Potential to Achieve Milestones
Sharon always had a fascination for innovation. She is a recognized industry leader and early adopter in the marketing technology, analytics, and social media space. As an early communications professional, she quickly saw the potential of social media. Sharon was a pioneer in the credit union world in understanding the importance this channel has for developing member engagement and loyalty.
Mountain America Credit Union’s social media campaigns have achieved national recognition from several sources, including thefinancialbrand.com as an example of outstanding Facebook campaigns. Sharon has also been able to monetize this channel through new accounts and loan growth. Her ability to implement a communication strategy, member targeting and compelling offers has delivered world-class results in short time frames.
Because of Sharon’s contribution, Mountain America Credit Union currently ranks number 3 globally for Credit Unions using social media and has held this spot for the last several years. It also ranks number 2 globally for Credit Unions using Facebook.
Golden Words for Emerging Trailblazers
Sharon believes, in order to be a successful leader, one must be intellectually curious and should understand what makes you successful and keep replicating it. Being aware of your competition and not copying others’ tactics will always help maintain originality and thus, achieve success. She states, “follow your own strategies because you know what works for your business.”