A New Age For Marketing

Social media ROI, agile marketing, market expansions, and more this week on CreditUnions.com.

Credit unions today are finding new ways to reach members old and young, new and established. That’s important because a September 2014 Pew Research Center study shows people’s behaviors are changing.

When it comes to social media, Facebook still reigns supreme in regard to depth and reach. However, other platforms are blooming. As use and engagement levels continue to increase, social media channels remain a marketer’s dream a large and diverse arena in which to promote a brand. But the return on investment is elusive. Some companies, credit unions among them, focus less on finding a quantifiable financial return from social media marketing and instead look at it as a tool to engage potential members with interesting branded content. Here are three examples.

The marketing team at Seattle-based BECU frequently must communicate with a combined current and potential membership that reaches well into the millions, says Tom Berquist, the Seattle, WA, cooperative’s senior vice president of marketing and cooperative affairs. An audience of that magnitude might seem like a dream, but resonating with many different members during many different life stages has required hard choices over the years.

BECU is one of the country’s largest credit unions, but Berquist says his credit union has never had the luxury of unlimited marketing resources. So when forging a brand that could stand the test of time, BECU leaders carefully decided on three things: Who it was as an organization; what it means to its members and its communities; and how it shares that vision with the world. Read more.

NavyArmy Community Credit Union has a proud history of meeting the financial needs of area civil servants. When base realignments and military installation closings prompted the Texas-based credit union to search for new ways to protect its future, it converted to a community charter to reach into underserved counties in which it had a presence and some name recognition. A second expansion in 2011 taught it that even the most thorough research and market data can’t beat boots-on-the-ground experience to learn all about a new membership. Read more.

When Bank of America announced it was leaving Roanoke, VA, another well-known financial institution in that market the $665 million Member One Federal Credit Union responded with a well-timed message. It posted We’re From Here And We’re Staying Here on a billboard along Interstate 581, the city’s main throughway.

This billboard was not the result of an annual strategic planning session and the board of directors didn’t fuss over it. Instead, Member One’s marketing team started brainstorming the day after the Bank of America announcement and created it on the fly.

We want to be in the moment, so we’re messaging on a daily basis, says Daniel Bliley, the western Virginia credit union’s director of marketing and segmentation. Plans change, initiatives change, the voice of the media changes. Rather than put all our resources into a campaign that requires a month or two of planning, we constantly engage with our target audience. Read more.

Finally, for a graphic look at the bottom dollar, check out 4 Trends About Credit Union Marketing Spend.

Happy Reading.

April 13, 2015

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