Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: member growth (page 1 of 2)

The 3 Challenges Any Effort Must Overcome

This post began as I considered technologies emerging within the financial space. From chatbots to mobile app improvements, I don’t have to explain all the emerging…stuff.

We were going to have a nice chat about how people of different generations, careers, technological comfort, and more may react to all of it.

That’s fine. But it’s not for today.

It’s About You

I cast too small a net. I missed the point. The topic of this post isn’t about technology. It’s about you. Not you the humble, beautiful, and giving person reading right now. You the credit union. You the dentist. You the grocery store.

Where am I going with this? What I’m about to say is going to sound so simple that you’ll want to laugh in my face. Then you will realize it’s been in your head all along. As it has every one else.

3 Challenges

There are three challenges you must overcome in order to get someone to change their behavior. That could mean using your mobile platform. Or flossing. Or even just grasping that you exist as an entity. Those three challenges are as follows:

  • Don’t know
  • Don’t care
  • Don’t want to

Don’t Know

If you’re trying to attract new members, you have to overcome each of these challenges, in order, before they’ll make the switch.

First, it’s possible they don’t know you exist. How can you solve such a massive problem? Marketing? Word-of-mouth campaigns? That’s up to you.

Then, there has to be a reason for them to pay attention. Why care about opening a relationship with your credit union? Lower fees or interest rates are fine, yet when talking credit cards, security is the first priority for switching.

Help members by ensuring they know you exist.

Don’t Care

After putting all this glorious energy into reaching out, informing, addressing their pains, and making it easy to get started, there’s still another obstacle. Even after acknowledging their current strategy might not be ideal, they just don’t want to make a change.

I know people who refuse to use online banking (they’ll never go mobile). To them, it’s a security nightmare and just isn’t worth anything it can offer them. These people don’t care about what you are offering.

Help members by giving them something to care about.

Don’t Want To

You’re not going to attract everyone, no matter what you do. That’s why my readership is only 84% of the credit union industry (I’m estimating on the fly…probably close, right?) and not all of it. And that’s ok.

Though I still need to ensure more people know about my blog (and speaking), then give them a reason to care. Those who don’t want to care, well, that’s their choice. I’m still happy to extend honorary geek status to them at any time.

Help members by showing why they will want to grow the relationship with your organization.

TL;DR

(Too Long, Didn’t Read)

Everything you do has to overcome three challenges to succeed:

  1. Knowing.
  2. Caring.
  3. Wanting.

If you miss one, said thing won’t be a success.

How do you seek to overcome these Big 3?

A Mission You Can Bank On

Originally published on CUInsight.com

A recent post, Giving Back Has ROI, Too, linked your charitable efforts with your growth strategy. You can do the most for all parties when your “good” aligns with your mission. It keeps everyone more engaged, provides the best opportunities for cross-promotion, and clearly defines your purpose in the community.

Already well-aligned with the areas of community you support? That’s great! You can go even further.

Your product lineup is boring. It’s the same as every other credit union and bank. Checking, savings, lending, and maybe investments. On their own, these provide no differentiation or excitement. However, what if you designed these offerings to directly benefit those you help? A successful strategy can help gain new (profitable) members while making a difference beyond contributions.

A previous post dove into this concept with two interviews. One was of a credit union in California, CCCU. The other, Vancity, out of Canada. Both integrated their giving into their products. The former supported local students with scholarships, using funding from interchange fees. The latter donated a portion of their profits from their credit cards. Both times, members have a direct hand in the positive impacts of their credit union. In fact, if not for the members’ actions, these contributions would never have occurred.

Here’s another way to integrate closely with your core mission. A credit union local to me, Grow Financial, uses a leaf as their logo. This was not a random choice by the board. It was selected for two reasons (of which I’ve learned). The first you’d expect: I want my money somewhere it can “Grow”, and leaves are a tangible symbol of growth. The second is for their environmental focus. Grow’s headquarters is LEED certified (uses less resources to run, built with local materials, maintains high indoor air quality, etc.). They support environmental charities. Being “green” is who they are.

How about you? What’s your raison d’etre? Now it’s time to brainstorm how you can merge that into your “boring” banking solutions. Maybe that means working with one in your community (or a variety if serving large areas). Maybe that means starting your own! Besides making a positive impact, it can rally existing members and attract new ones!

Image credit: http://globe-views.com/dreams/charity.html

Giving Back Has ROI, Too

Originally published on CUInsight.com

Does your credit union give back? That’s a silly question. But does your community support program intricately tie in with member engagement?

A friend of mine used to work for the local chapter of the American Heart Association. After a few years there, she started her own company. It brings non-profits together with companies whose mission aligned with theirs. Essentially, she is a charity to corporate matchmaker.

At first glance, this seems pretty simple. Find company with money (usually through a foundation), bring together with non-profit which needs money. Now pay me a small consultant fee. Not so fast. It turns out, companies started looking at their give back campaigns differently. Instead of just “doing a good thing”, they wanted said good thing to do more. If we’re spending money, the thought process goes, why not have it improve employee satisfaction? Or serve as cause-based marketing to our current and prospective clientele? And charities began to have the same thoughts.

Just as two random single people are not necessarily a good match, the same goes between companies and charities. My friend learns about the core mission and motivations of every client before recommending a pairing. That way, everyone is more engaged, supportive, and excited about the alignment.

Take your credit union. Say you offer a need-based mortgage assistance program. Partnering with a pet rescue charity is fine. Woof. Meow. But imagine if you aligned with a non-profit which helps place struggling and displaced families into low-cost and subsidized housing? Their mission and that of your credit union are the same. You’re a match. And it shows with staff who are excited to volunteer and talk about it to their members (who are then encouraged to help where they can). Heck, some of those members might even be beneficiaries of the charity. Think of the legen-wait for it-dary social media campaign you could set up. So much good can be done for so many, and your credit union can grow in the process. I think it’s safe to say all the families helped by the charity would become members of your credit union. And based on how you treat them like family, they’re not likely to leave. In fact, they’ll probably tell their friends and family about you.

When you get out of the daily grind and remember why you exist, these types of alliances seem so obvious. And it can give your entire team the motivation to serve at their peak abilities. Giving back really does have an ROI.

Since this post is already too long, a future one will dive into some stories of credit unions following this path. Spoiler: Their staff and members love it. So does the bottom line.

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