The Beginning Of A Beautiful Friendship

Infinity FCU’s marketing and business analytics teams collaborate on product-specific initiatives as well as long-term branch expansion plans.


Infinity FCU
Data as of 09.30.18

HQ: Westbrook, ME
ASSETS: $349.2M
MEMBERS: 17,487
ROA: 0.25%

Kathy Guillory, director of marketing at Infinity Federal Credit Union ($349.2M, Westbrook, ME), joined the Pine Tree State cooperative in January 2017. That’s when she met Fred Lizotte, the credit union’s business intelligence officer.

Lizotte introduced Guillory to Infinity’s data warehouse and showed her several real-time reports and dashboards culled from various data sources, from core to Google Analytics.

Since establishing its data warehouse in 2015, Infinity has been busy filling it with rows and rows of source data that would stretch 10 times taller than the Empire State Building. Learn more in 27 Trillion Ways To Make Better Decisions.

My eyes lit up, says Guillory. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


For Guillory, this treasure trove of data is the starting point for much of her marketing work. When she needs to identify or make the case for a new product, she starts with the insights Lizotte’s data warehouse provides. Today, the marketing and business intelligence teams at Infinity work closely together to the clear benefit of members and the cooperative.

Here, Guillory and Lizotte talk about the partnership between marketing and BI, product-specific collaborations, branch expansion planning, and more.

When did the partnership between marketing and business intelligence start?

Kathy Guillory: On my first day, Liz [Hayes, CEO] and I were talking about the strategic plan. She said, You have to meet Fred. He showed me some of the dashboards, and I thought it was amazing that we have access to so much information.

Kathy Guillory, Director of Marketing, Infinity FCU

He’s now my starting point. When I’m making the case for a new product or whatever else, I have data to back up my decision. I don’t just say, I think this is a good idea. I can set goals and expectations for everything we do.

Is that how you, Fred, want people to use the data warehouse?

Fred Lizotte: Yes. One of my goals with the warehouse and our reporting is to get staff comfortable making decisions based on data. In the past, people might say, I feel like we should do it this way. I’d ask, Why is that? and it was a hard question to answer.

Fred Lizotte, Business Intelligence Officer, Infinity FCU

I know people are using the warehouse now because when I ask them why they can back up their decision. They say they know they want to do something because the dashboard shows if we do it, we’d be more efficient, or gain more members, or something to that effect. It’s created more-informed employees who make better decisions that impact the member experience.

What are some products or promotions on which your teams have collaborated?

KG: Earlier in the year we partnered to find out which products really get people through the door and lead to more active memberships. We found out auto loans and checking accounts.

What have you done around auto loans?

KG: We can see in the warehouse members who have an auto loan, mortgage, or credit card payment somewhere else. We’ve been successful getting members to refinance their autos with us because all it takes is a quick phone call and online application. And we started a more formalized mortgage cross-sell initiative in March.

What does that mortgage initiative entail?

FL: When a consumer loan closes, the warehouse reviews the borrower’s credit report to sees if there’s an opportunity to refinance a mortgage. If the logic fits and the member could benefit from a refinance, the warehouse automatically generates an ongoing monthly campaign written by marketing to encourage that member to move their mortgage.

KG: It’s a template letter from the consumer loan originator. Our open rates on these emails are 49%. We’ve brought in more than $1 million in first mortgages from this initiative since March. People open the emails and see there’s a good offer, whether it’s a rate or a discount on closing costs.

When I’m making the case for a new product, I have data to back up my decision. I don’t just say, I think this is a good idea. I can set goals and expectations for everything we do.

Kathy Guillory, Director of Marketing, Infinity FCU

What have you done around checking accounts?

KG: One of our signature products is our High 5 Checking it’s like a Kasasa checking account. We have nearly 3,000 members using it. We created a spin-off from High 5 called College Pathfinder Checking. Fred was critical in developing that.

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FL: It’s similar to High 5 but geared toward the profile of a college-age student 18 to 24.

KG: We looked at the High 5 balances in the accounts of our college students and saw they have, on average, $60 in there. The interest rate incentive of High 5 didn’t mean much to them, so we incent active usage with $5 or $10 at the end of the month. That’s a cup or two of coffee. It’s a half-a-tank of gas.

Infinity’s branch expansion plan includes openening a new branch every 18-24 months. How has business intelligence helped you understand where to place these locations?

KG: We opened a branch in Portland in the summer of 2017 and have another one coming this summer. As we looked at our potential branch markets, the logical step was to ask where our members live. We can look up all our members’ home addresses, but Fred can take it a step further and look up their daytime transaction activity. He pulled a list of the top towns where members transacted between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

We found out where our members live and where they work are vastly different sometimes 20 or 30 miles different. They work in Portland, south Portland, Westbrook, and Scarborough and live in the smaller, rural towns. This information helped us ask smarter questions about where to build a branch: Do we want to be where our members are at night when we are closed? Or do we want to be where they are during the day?

What role does the data warehouse play in onboarding or re-boarding?

KG: Fred built a marketing campaign manager that shows me the results of all our activities. It gives us the whole picture of whether some of our activities are worth it or not.

We try to guide our members to the right products and services early in the relationship. After they’ve been with us for three months, we transition into ongoing member engagement where we mine ACH data and look at the different products and services they use or don’t have and tailor messaging that way.

We also target members who are at risk for leaving because they fall into one of several buckets. Either they have a single loan product maturing within six months and no checking relationship, or their direct deposit or other loan product was poached. We try to be proactive in getting to them before they close their account. By the time they say, I’m closing my account, they’re gone.

And then we have a re-boarding program for truly dormant members who haven’t used their account in six months. In the past, we wouldn’t talk to them for two years. When we tried to re-engage, we wouldn’t have their email or mailing address. We’d have no way to track them down when we could have been communicating with them all along.

This article appeared originally in Credit Union Strategy Performance. Read More Today.

January 1, 2019

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