Today’s Credit Unions Adopting New Marketing Strategies
A recent webinar sponsored by Equifax showed how today’s credit unions (CUs) are adopting new marketing strategies to make them more competitive. Here’s what the webinar revealed:
Higher Marketing Expenses Force Broader Customer Reach
Marketing expenses have ramped up at a higher rate than total operating expenses. This has helped some credit unions to broaden their customer base by marketing across a broader range of outlets, including digital and social media channels. The fact is, today’s credit union organizations are embracing dramatic changes in how they approach marketing.
ROI is King
Today’s forward-thinking credit union should adopt ROI, or specifically ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment), as its new marketing mantra. It should use its reservoirs of data to track marketing efforts. Some are utilizing personalized URLs (PURLs) on their overall digital marketing efforts and not just on specific promotions. This has the advantage of being able to track visits to a specific site and monitor click-through rates, allowing credit unions to analyze which digital content is performing more effectively.
Driving Growth Organically
Mass media efforts have taken a back seat to more organic community events and more interactive strategies for projecting a credit union’s presence. Specific member groups are now being targeted, especially those who have “fallen under the radar” for 6, 9 or 12 months. Members who have cleared their loan balances down to zero are being sent thank you notes by some credit unions. Being able to more accurately monitor the impact of everything from community events to newsletters has eased the often-adversarial relationship between controllers and marketing leaders within the credit union.
Rebranding and Revamping Websites
Based on a consumer’s point of view, a Florida-based credit union rebranded and revamped its website. It now features member product reviews as well as product information, even offering tools one normally finds on such sites as Amazon. Today’s new customers need a reason to visit a credit union, which must respond to the preferences and expectations of increasingly “promotion-savvy” consumers.
Identifying Hidden Opportunities
“Credit unions should expect their marketing budgets to remain the same,” said Alvin Green, VP of finance for Equifax’s IXI Services division. “But moving forward, those budgets will continue to be allocated differently, so CUs must identify hidden opportunities to maximize ROI.” The key is to focus on building stronger relationships with existing members, which can be less costly than adding new members. This means fully leveraging existing membership data, such as age, gender, address, products and services and how members prefer to do business, to focus marketing messages more accurately.
“Some clients may not be tracking age or interaction preferences,” noted Green. “Those two in particular can be important as we look at the millennial population, who will become a large part of our financial growth in the future. Tracking interaction preferences (ex. branch, online, mobile, phone, etc.) helps us to understand how to communicate with them, as well as recognize where they’re transacting overall.”
Overall, the webinar revealed insights into new credit union marketing strategies that can help credit unions grow their member base.
Image source: Flickr
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