Credit unions are a viable alternative to the traditional bank, but many still prefer to use the services of the latter. Your credit union has a lot of advantages going for it, including member ownership, lower fees, and even better lending terms. For many organizations, the problem isn’t the services being provided. It’s the fact that very little has been done to market those services!
Letting people know how much money they could save and earn by having an account through your credit union is always a good place to start. People think with their checkbooks, so providing value in this area will always work.
Top Marketing Ideas for Credit Unions to Grow
1. Know your members and potential members because without this knowledge, there’s no way to begin forming relationships. You’ll need to know how to speak their language and that comes from knowing what it is that they want.
2. Reach out to people in the way they communicate the most because otherwise your message will never be heard. Younger potential members will more likely to see your marketing efforts on social media or through SMS text marketing rather than a newspaper advertisement. For those who are living paycheck to paycheck, on the other hand, marketing the value of your products, along with their affordability, is a message that will resound.
3. Talk with your existing members to determine what service gaps there might be in your current menu of options that are offered. Response rates are usually quite low, so consider holding a get together like a member barbecue or offer tickets for a raffle for each response that you receive.
4. Offer a seminar on your campus so you can show your community first-hand the value of using a credit union. Give them financial tools that they can use right away and you’ll provide a sense of value in their mindset that will often drive them right back through your doors.
5. The staff of a credit union are the organization’s best ambassadors, so make sure you provide each employee with the tools to provide world class customer service. This could mean an incentive program, special days for training, or opportunities to expand their professional career will bring about the desired client interactions that you want.
6. Get to know your local media and make sure the local reporters know about you and the credit union. Make sure each media representative has a personal point of contact for any information they may need. You won’t get free press unless you can provide a media outlet with value that they can use, so consider stories or testimonials that will help them drive sales too.
7. Think about included low cost or even free products or services that members could use, like a gift card or even postage stamps, to drive in new members with the increased value of the product.
8. Keep your loan approval process simple and easy because people consider themselves to be busy, even if they are not. If your process of disbursement is fast and good, the credit union will be seen as good too.
9. Market your lending products in an effective way that provides people with good information so they’ll walk through your doors. Zero percent financing, for example, isn’t going to likely happen for someone with a credit score of 620. If it does, they might lose any rebates or other perks that normally come with a purchase. Compare the full repayment schedule to your products and show people how they’ll save money and you’ll make money.
10. Offer educational and literacy programs to your local schools so that you’ll attract future borrowers to your location. Kids will bring these educational items home with them as well, which means you may get current business too thanks to their parents who may see the value in the info that you’re providing their children.
11. Make sure you’re participating in as many community special events as possible so that you get as much exposure in the community as possible. From sponsoring a Little League team to providing the marketing support for the grand opening of a new business, your name will be associated with good things in the community. That will create good things for you.
12. Join the local Chamber of Commerce and if you have more than one in your area [city and county], join both of them. Participate in their activities, like the business after hours events, and you’ll drive awareness of your services to your target audience every single time. The only danger in this is that if you leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth, they’ll make sure everyone else knows it.
13. You need a strong social media presence because nearly 800 million people are on Facebook right now and will be for at least four more hours this week. It’s an easy way to engage people, forge relationships, and provide another level of value if you providing them with informative links to articles, websites, or tools that can help them save even more money.
14. Plan out your marketing efforts on a yearly basis so that you’ll have an idea of what you’ll need to do and when you’ll need to do it. This is the perfect job for a marketing intern from your local center of higher learning or it could be a great way to engage a high school class that is learning marketing as well. That way it won’t all be on your plate, you’ll still get a quality result, and you’ll get to market yourself in the process.
15. Look to extend your presence in branches throughout your community, even if non-traditional places like inside another business or even in a school. Look for ways to extend a brand, such as offering discounts to employees of specific businesses. Even creating a direct deposit form for a business with your logo on it is a simple enough way to help people take care of a chore while still giving your credit union exposure.