At a recent fundraising dinner, I found myself sitting next to the CEO of a credit union. Since I am a marketing and social media consultant, we hit it off and launched into a conversation in earnest.
He admitted that he was particularly challenged by the new opportunities in the social media arena. I assured him that most small business owners feel the same way. His marketing is regulated, so he needs to stay in compliance but didn’t know how to go about it. After a bit of research, I was able to help him out with a few tips from “Marketing Tips, Techniques and Tools for Credit Unions with Limited Resources” by the National Credit Union Administration Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives.
Each Credit Union is Unique
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing your products and services. Credit union officials must first consider their membership base, member demographics, the local environment, and other characteristics that make up the uniqueness of their credit union when creating an effective individualized marketing strategy and plan.
“Know your member” is the first rule of credit union marketing. Knowing your member includes understanding the demographics of your membership such as age, income, and education level (your data processor may have the capability to compile and report on member demographics), and then using that information when marketing your products and services.
Effectively reaching the typical member of one generation may involve a hard copy of a brochure –a marketing message that may not appeal to the typical member of a younger generation who may respond more favorably to messages delivered electronically.
Loan Growth for Credit Unions
First and foremost make sure you have the loan products at rates and terms your members desire and that are profitable to your credit union. When introducing new loan products begin by taking small steps, considering costs, and confirming adequate staffing levels. Make getting a loan an easy process for your member.
Marketing to Encourage Member and Share Growth
Marketing to encourage members and share growth depends in large part on your field of membership. Simply making your products and services more convenient and available can increase your credit union’s membership penetration. If your membership base is widespread, consider taking the credit union to the members through satellite and branch offices, or even a mobile branch.
Internet Marketing and Social Media
The advent of the Internet changed the rules of engagement. Today, monitoring and managing your online presence is crucial to maintaining a competitive advantage. The ability to deliver marketing messages, interact with members, and facilitate information sharing about your credit union 24–7 at the member’s convenience is invaluable and is becoming increasingly the standard.
Social media marketing is more than having a Facebook page. For credit unions, it is a critical component of an overall communication and marketing strategy. This strategy must be committed to writing with clear goals and measurements for success. To begin, credit unions must define, through analysis, trends with their target audience.
The most important thing for credit unions to do before charting out a social media marketing strategy is to consider its business goals and where social media can have the most significant impact. Concentrate on three key objectives:
- Member Acquisition
- Community Engagement
- Member Service
For an impressive roundup of details, tips, tricks, and techniques, review the National Credit Union Administration’s excellent guide. NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives would like to thank Economic Development Specialist Manager Victor Costa and Economic Development Specialists Ronald Jones and Malia Peel for developing the guide.
Do you have tips that have worked for your Credit Union?
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ABOUT Lisa M. Chapman
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Lisa M. Chapman serves her clients as a business and marketing coach, business planning consultant, and social media consultant. She helps clients establish and enhance their online brand, attract their target market, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert online traffic into revenues. Email: Lisa @ LisaChapman.com