Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Author: Joe Winn (page 1 of 68)

Personalization & Relevance…And Going Overboard [Audio Post]

“Yay! The return of Joe’s voice!” is obviously what you’re thinking. And you’d be right. I’m no Morgan Freeman, but getting new, helpful content out to you is still exciting for me.

Listen here:

Press Play to begin 3:55 of geeked-out awesome.

This post is about personalizing your credit union member’s experience. And delivering relevant content at the right time. And also my bathroom remodel.

I’ll be honest; there’s a lot about my bathroom remodel.

Joe's Bathroom Remodel
The towels and mat coordinate great, right?

Delivering personalization and relevance is all the rage right now. For good reason. We all want to be exposed to what we care about.

Just make sure you don’t cross into “cringey-face” hyper-personalized. Or when the information you have is so specific that people wonder, “how did they even get that?”

Listen above to hear my own experience, then get tips to make your own one of delight.

Note: I received a reply from their Twitter account and they explained their system can link mailed coupons with customer e-mail addresses (still not sure how, as the ones used didn’t even have my name on them).

I’m being assured they do not use credit card numbers for personalization, but they’re using a lot of other data nonetheless. Meaning, even paying in cash wouldn’t prevent this link.

Maybe that’s cool for some people, but I prefer knowing when my info is aggregated for someone’s use.

Here’s the e-mail referenced. How cool is that flip-flop mat?

Bed Bath Beyond In-Store Purchase E-mail

The Importance of CU Staff in New Program Launches

Originally published on CUInsight.com

Hooray! Your credit union finalized another service partnership! It’s been a long road of due diligence, contracts, negotiations, board meetings, and conference calls, but you’re done.

The time has arrived for implementation!

“I get the feeling Joe is going to say the hard part is just starting.” How do you always know what I’m thinking?

While it doesn’t have to be the “hard part”, making a strategy work is always more than set-and-forget.

Marketing

Let’s start with building a marketing plan. Unless you don’t want anyone to know about it. Which is…odd, but your choice.

For everyone else, it’s time to decide the target audience for your new service. Is it every member? Possibly, but more likely, there’s something that makes some better prospects. Figure that out, and tailor your messaging and outreach to them.

We call it a “buyer persona” and it will help you focus your efforts most efficiently.

Staff

What about staff? Do they have any role in the success of this new service? Maybe just a tiny bit. Or a lot. Even staff who don’t regularly meet with members can play a massive part in making or breaking a launch.

So how do you educate them while building buy-in, excitement, and support? Great question.

Staff Need To Love It

There are a lot of systems that keep your credit union operating. From your core to the LOS to cash counters, it’s a lot of tech. But you and I know what really keeps the credit union running: Your dedicated staff.

Which means that new service needs them to love it, too, if you want it to succeed. What is your strategy to build this relationship?

Seems simple enough: Distribute a staff FAQ to ensure they’re aware. Then hold branch manager trainings. It’s a golden recipe for success, right? I mean, who doesn’t love training sessions?

Your Staff Are Members

Let’s back up a bit. When your credit union first approached this program, there was a clear member benefit, right? Of course. And your staff? Many of them are members, too.

What does that mean? Well, treat them as extra-lucky members! How cool they get to use this awesome new program before anyone else!

Soft-launch your new service with them. Not only is this an engaging way to educate them about the service and its benefits, but it also connects them to it. (Plus, it lets you work out any kinks without the risk of customer service crises.)

Now, when your members have questions, they’ll feel comfortable talking about it (and possibly even excitedly recommending).

Remember, staff are members.

Let Them Play

I run training sessions for our own services, and always conclude with this statement:

“We encourage you to use this system on your own; in test mode, you can play all you want. Get comfortable, because what’s comfortable for you becomes easy to recommend to your members. You’re helping, not selling, and isn’t that why you’re at a credit union in the first place?”

Your staff is the front line to your members. As trusted advisors, they can make or break any initiative. Understanding that unique relationship, we bring them into our launch and ongoing promotion efforts.

Rewards

For example, over the holidays, we run campaigns which raise money for their foundation. It may not directly educate about the service, but it definitely helps associate it positively with your team.

Through the year, we encourage our clients to give staff ownership in the programs. If it fits your culture, staff incentives, giveaways, and other rewards are fun ways to ensure the service stays top of mind.

In Sight. In Mind.

Over the long-term, we aim for in-sight, in mind. This can mean different things at your institution, and also depending on what the new service is.

One option is having a physical marketing piece of functional value. That way, each staff member can refer to it when speaking with members.

Involve Staff

Marketing is an essential way to reach your members. But it’s evolving. Inbound marketing strategies let you address their challenges without intrusive pieces. Staff also play an important role.

Their engagement and training is crucial to build trust and ensure consistent growth. Together, you have a solid plan for success.

Disclosure: My company works with credit unions and their staff for promoting services to their membership. When our partners use these strategies, they improve their results, thereby causing me to benefit financially. Looking back, this seems like the most obvious disclosure I’ve ever written.

Old School Thinking

You’re not old, just maturing like a fine wine.

We all do it, no matter our age. “Because it’s always been done that way.” How much sense does that make? Say it aloud. Would such a declaration inspire confidence in your team? It is tempting; humans are creatures of habit. Do you have a morning ritual? How about a specific way you tie your shoes? It’s very easy to switch from active thinkers to passive participants in our own lives.

Good thing this has nothing to do with our work. What was that? We get into habits there too? Impossible, we’ve always done it this way and it has worked…oh boy, you got me! Is there refuge from a life of pre-set habits?

Stop everything. Breathe, but differently than normal. Place your hand over your abdomen and feel it rise and fall with slow rhythm. In…and out. In…hold…and out. No chest breathing; keep your shoulders in a relaxed position.

Now, were you focused? In the moment? Out of a habitual stupor? Wonderful, now it gets hard.

This happens every day, in all areas of work. And some may be sapping your success.

It’s time to look at everything through the senses of a baby. Imagine how they perceive the world…no preconceived notions, no judgment, just wondrous absorption and processing. The first time they toss something and it falls down…remember, they weren’t sure where it would go…up? To the side? Hover in place? (We all know the answer…mom or dad picks it up, of course!)

Whatever you have done in the past, reassess to see if it truly makes sense in achieving your goals. This may involve member communication, marketing strategies, or workplace organization. Nothing is out of bounds, including how you evaluate…that may be tainted as well!

Remember, your business (be it credit union or otherwise) and your life are active experiences…why be a passenger?

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