Credit unions often struggle differentiating themselves from the competition. Credit Unions offer similar services, often use the same marketing tactics and target fairly similar demographics. Using different marketing strategies can help your credit union differentiate itself from competitors and move past them by offering new technologies, offering the same services in different ways, or otherwise targeting different people in innovative ways.
These 5 credit union marketing strategies will get you on the right path:
Today, an estimated 77% of the U.S. population has an active social media account. The same percentage of Americans also own smartphones. Many people are now moving away from in-person banking and towards digital banking, which is convenient, easy to use, and often significantly faster. If you have a quality digital app or web portal and ideally both, you should push it and market it to your entire audience. You can do so by creating marketing campaigns and social media campaigns, but also by offering training, safety information, and tutorials geared towards older users who might not be as tech-savvy as younger generations.
Why is this a great credit union marketing strategy? Americans are becoming less and less interested in going to physical credit union locations and by telling them you have digital services, you’re informing them they don’t have to.
Customer outreach is increasingly important as a marketing strategy, simply because many credit unions are focusing on digital and social media marketing. Connecting with consumers on a one-to-one basis and actually making human connections can do significantly more for customer relationships than any amount of online marketing. However, you will have to add real value to customer outreach. For example, you can choose to offer courses and workshops on financial literacy, online security, or even mobile banking. You can also choose to give quick one-on-one consultations, offer insight into investment portfolios, or whatever else suits your credit union’s brand and customer demographic.
It’s also important that your representatives at outreach events have the training to offer warm, friendly, and most importantly, helpful advice and assistance without selling your products and services. Outreach should always be about building relationships, not about making sales.
Not every new technology will benefit your credit union but staying on top of technology trends will help you to stay competitive. For example, large credit unions are integrating automation and AI to create 24/7 customer service, automated approval for loans and mortgages, and even custom and personalized services. You should, at the least, offer strong digital banking and an app to cater to millennial and Generation Z audiences. However, if you do choose to adopt the technology, you should ensure that what you are offering is high quality.
Can chatbots and similar technologies actually help? If you look at your chatbot as something of an interactive FAQ, they’re often much more helpful than an exhaustive FAQ, simply because customers can find answers more quickly and can ask questions in more intuitive ways.
Prioritize Customer Experience
Modern marketing and consumerism are all about the experience. If you can’t offer customers a quality experience, from your digital platform and app to your physical credit union locations to calling customer service, you won’t succeed. Focusing on creating a positive, helpful, and quality experience for each customer, every time they interact with your credit union is possibly the most important thing you can do. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to exceed expectations or delight the customer, it only means that you have to offer strong, stable, and quality solutions, should consistently offer value to the customer and should focus on being there for the customer first.
Your credit union’s marketing strategies will define how you approach your customers, how customers see you, and even who you market towards. However, adopting the right strategies will put you on track to getting ahead of the competition.
Integrate Personalization with Big Data
Most credit unions have more data then they know what to do with. Yours is no exception. Making big data part of your credit union’s marketing strategy is an important consideration because you can use it to offer better, more tailored, and more personalized products and services. For example, you can use simple automation algorithms to recommend products and services to customers based on the previous usage. You can auto-approve individuals for loans and mortgages, so they can see what they qualify for and their interest rates before they ever shop with a competitor. You can also use big data to recommend account upgrades and changes at key moments, such as when individuals are graduating from college, buying their first home, or purchasing a car. You already have the data, you just have to use it.