Busting barriers to growth for credit unions

Credit unions struggling to reach their growth goals need to embrace the power of data, analytics, segmentation and personalization.

A year ago, industry predictions for 2014 were generally optimistic. Credit union executives have embraced the realities of the new economy and are once again setting their sights on growth. But their efforts haven’t paid off, and the results haven’t materialized. In fact, institutions with less than $500 million in assets (that’s approximately 93% of credit unions) have struggled the most with profitability and languid loan growth.

Why do smaller institutions fall short of their growth goals? Some of the most persistent barriers to growth are not the ones created by external forces. While the evolving business landscape continues to make growth challenging for smaller institutions, two of the more frequent obstacles are self-created: 1) unrealistic or misaligned growth expectations, and 2) a “shot gun” approach to marketing.

Barrier #1: Unrealistic or misaligned growth expectations

It is often too easy for financial institutions to set their goals arbitrarily, without accounting for the realities of the institution’s core strengths, major weaknesses, array of products, market conditions, brand stature, competitive pressures, along with a myriad of other factors.

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