Three Tips for Creative Marketing for Credit Unions

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Ready to hit the New Year running with a brand new marketing strategy? Well, maybe you’re still in the research phase. For your benefit, we’ve reviewed trending credit union marketing strategies for 2014 from the Credit Union Times and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Read on to find out how you can make the best of a limited budget to capitalize on the latest, most effective marketing techniques. Successful examples of our recommended techniques are included to demonstrate how, using said techniques, a creative and personal approach to credit union marketing can match and even surpass the big-budget efforts made by banking giants.

Thinking Far Outside the Box

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Creativity is the best weapon in the arsenal of a credit union’s low-budget marketing department. This has always been the case. Recently, however, credit unions have been taking creative marketing to a whole new level with bizzaro humor, as seen in this commercial for Bucks Credit Union: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYD6Jej5BFs.  Check out even unusual modes of advertising, such as Arizona State Credit Union’s recent campaign: Distribution of Vegas-themed door hangers with slogans like “Caution. (Haven’t showered since Vegas)” and “Do Not Disturb. (Recovering from Vegas)” to promote their student checking accounts.

Raffles and free coffee alone just aren’t going to cut it anymore. To create a competitive marketing strategy for 2014, you will have to explore beyond what is known in the industry today. Look to other industries and to popular culture for fresh ideas that resonate with trendsetters. Why not make a big splash with flash mob or an interactive display or installation?

Build that Emotional Connection

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We like to think of ourselves as highly logical, reasonable creatures. However, research has shown that to simply be untrue. It’s a well known fact that even though we would like to believe that the choices we make are results of careful, reasoned analysis. In reality, emotions powerfully influence decisions. What implications does this have for credit union marketing? Simply put, when two banks are competing for a customer, an emotional connection will trump lower rates almost every time. With the right training MSRs can win new members over simply by making strong emotional connections through an exclusive process we call the Quality Conversation.

As a local business, a small credit union already has a leg up over a corporate bank in terms of developing emotional connections with customers. Build on this excellent foundation in 2014 by integrating further into the community and building a brand around the things your customers care about. For example, the Teachers Credit Union in South Bend, Indiana, gave out comprehensive teacher planners to all teachers in the city at the beginning of the school year. Another example is giving out pet insurance, as was done by Lemon Tree Marketing Group in Arizona. “What a warm and fuzzy, right?” commented Lemon Tree president Nicolette Lemmon when discussing the project.

Nothing can beat an emotional connection to a brand because of the trust and loyalty it inspires. In 2014, the value of your company will grow if you strengthen that emotional connection customers feel with your brand.

Rediscover Social Media

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Social media is old news. Many credit unions have been on the social media bandwagon for at least five years now. However, despite the fact that most modern companies have Facebook, Twitter and Youtube accounts, few companies employ these tools effectively for marketing purposes. To improve your company’s web presence, simply apply the previous two tips to your social media marketing efforts. Give people something they want to spend time looking at by making it interesting, or appealing to them personally. The Navy Federal Credit Union Facebook page is a great example of a brand making personal connections with more than a million Facebook fans.

If you like some of the strategies for credit unions we’ve shared, we can help you make the most of your market advantage with our call center training developed exclusively for credit unions. You can also read about how we helped one credit union increase their offer rate from 24% to 84% on our case studies page.