Sage Social Media Advice From A Maverick Mazuman

Tips from a Kansas City credit union that speaks to its community via multiple channels and creative branding.

Being different is a great way to stand out in the crowd, but it does go against the conservative grain that characterizes the typical financial institution.


Mazuma credit union
Data as of 06.30.15

  • HQ: Overland Park, KS
  • ASSETS: $524.3M
  • MEMBERS: 55,444
  • BRANCHES: 10
  • 12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 5.63%
  • 12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 9.38%
  • ROA: 0.71%

Mazuma Credit Union ($524.3M, Overland Park, KS) is Exhibit A. Although it’s had an unusual name Mazuma is Yiddish slang for money for nearly 20 years, the Kansas City institution has gone all-in with a rebranding that includes an aggressive use of social media and entertaining marketing that speaks to the happy-at-heart.

Everything about the credit union is part of that branding effort, including its headquarters move from a stodgy building downtown to an open, airy, and playful facility in an upscale, suburban office park.

Mazuma’s home page also reflects a new attitude, as does the credit union’s blog, MazumafyKC, where canned copy has no home. At MazumafyKC, the credit union goes out of its way to personalize its posts with articles such as 8 Super Weird Things Only Kansas Citians Do. One example: We watch tornadoes from the safety of our driveways.

Communicating its new mantra of Bank Happy is job one for Mazuma’s marketing executives, and brand manager Andy Dickhut dishes on just what’s going on with this Paris of the Plains credit union.

Andy Dickhut, Brand Manager, Mazuma Credit Union

Brightly colored staff T-shirts, funny signs that direct members through teller lines, humorous TV ads you’re up to something different. What gives?

Andy Dickhut: Our comprehensive strategy is to get our brand personality out in all channels possible and to connect with people wherever they are. That can be on social media, in the branches, on the phone, on the web, on their smartphones, wherever. We spend a lot of time talking about how to better connect with our members.

How do you choose what channels do you use?

AD: You have to know the rules of each platform and then decide where you feel you will make the best connection with your audience. It can be as simple as a tweet or a full video production. That’s why YouTube is a big deal for us, too, especially for Mazuma Mike. We’re also heavy users of Facebook and Twitter, and we’re really fond of our MazumafyKC blog. We’re investigating Instagram.

Who is Mazuma Mike?

AD: He’s a local actor who has become our spokes-guy. We started using him as part of our 2014 rebrand, when we began advertising on television for the first time, and it’s taken off from there. His YouTube videos have become quite popular. He ad libs a lot, which has made these videos more interesting to make and watch.

Mazuma Mike has become the face of Mazuma and brings a new approach and personality to banking in our market. There’s no one else doing something like this. It’s another way to differentiate ourselves. From his Facebook pageand the offbeat things he says there, he’s really engaging.

Mazuma Mike’s TV ad for Mazuma’s Sporting Blue credit card is part of the
credit union’s
marketing partnership with Kansas City’s professional soccer team.

How has moving to Overland Park changed the credit union? How have things stayed the same?

AD:We’re the new kids on the block, and we’re focusing a lot of our messaging on introducing ourselves. We’re supporting local causes and putting our name out there with popular things like sponsoring our major league soccer club, Sporting KC.

But no matter what we’re doing, we keep the same message and the same fun, creative tone across all our geographies.

Who comes up with all this stuff?

AD: We create some of the content ourselves and we partner with the BYM Agency for a lot of projects, too. That’s a CUSO that lives inside our new building. We have a lot of autonomy, which is nice, but depending on what the content is, sometimes we take approvals all the way to Brandon [Michaels, the CEO].

It’s important to note we don’t re-purpose content. We produce everything for us. That’s how we stand out, by having a voice of our own. We would like to be able to take our logo off any communication piece and have people still say, That sounds like Mazuma. That’s exactly their style.


Even Mazuma’s buisness cards have that Mazuma style.
Here, Mazuma Megan shows exactly what it looks like to Bank Happy.

Your lobbies have local traffic and community activity updates on screens. Who does those, and what kind of reaction have you had?

AD: We do those internally and with BYM, using software from a third-party vendor. We make sure to keep the in-house stuff on screens away from the lobby, things like credit union-only meetings. But all of it is well-received, and it’s a fun way to communicate.

How much outside help do you use?

AD: BYM does our web development, but we do all our own graphic design in-house. We pretty much split the social media content writing with BYM. Depending on what the project is, we find the right people to do the job. We also use a third-party media buyer and a local production agency for our television commercials.

How do you measure your marketing effectiveness?

AD: There are different ROIs for different channels and campaigns. We don’t measure social media, for instance, the same way we measure digital marketing. For social media, we measure the average engagement rate, how many people view it and share it and comment and like it.

You have to experiment to see what works, but it’s worth the effort.

We average 9% to 10% and have gone as high as 15% on some of our content. Facebook’s average is about 2% for paid content, so that’s pretty amazing. I think it’s because what we put out there is fresh and original and local.

We measure digital marketing by click-throughs and conversion rates to applications and loans, typically. We have really just started dabbling in that this year so far so good. We’re seeing ROI as high as 150% on an auto loan campaign where we’re measuring Google searches that drive to landing pages.

What best practices for how to use social media in marketing would you share with other credit unions?

AD: Original content. You have to use original content. If you’re just re-purposing stuff, why wouldn’t your audience find it at the other place, too? You have to experiment to see what works, but it’s worth the effort.

Second, you need to have an opinion and perspective that people can respond to. You can’t be scared to have an opinion. We’ll start discussions on things like, Who has the best barbecue in Kansas City? That’s how you get engagement, and that’s what you want.

Last, you have to be consistent. You have to integrate your brand into everything, down to the sign that says the branch is closing on President’s Day. We put our personality into everything we do. Don’t be afraid to do that. The details matter when you’re trying to be more than just another financial institution.

L: Original content, like this interview tips video from spokes-guy Mazuma Mike, is what helps set Mazuma Credit Union apart from other financial institutions. R: Mazuma shows potential hires this Pure Imazination video to demonstrate its distinct internal culture.

October 5, 2015

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