Your data belongs in your strategic plan

“We could double our assets without adding one member,” a CEO of a near-billion dollar credit union shared. “The answer lies in knowing how our data helps us create new systems of value for our members. We are, strategically, converting data into a practical competitive advantage.”

“Big Data” carries a number of definitions, most describing large sets of information that may be examined computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations. Big Data helps Amazon know that your research on patio cover materials, purchases of sports collectables, and partiality to 80s rock bands makes you a prospective candidate for a home brewing kit.

Where Big Data holds out great promises for credit union marketing, i.e. the ability to enrich target marketing, forecast next best products for members, and generate more efficient marketing budgets; it also yields great strategic value. Big Data – better said, Your Data, can create unrivaled value for your members. Your Data produces more than the next best purchase or transaction; it initiates models for loyalty and lifetime value from your members.

Knowing what its data could deliver, the above credit union established a strategic objective to “Understand, harness, and act upon in-house and business-partner supported data.” Rather than purchase add-on analytics software, the credit union worked with its core processor, CRM partner, and card services partners to produce business intelligence for marketing, process, and service improvements. The data existed; the credit union just needed specific support from its partners. “Our data gave us vital information about our members and operations. Our members are better served because of what we know, and what we act on; and, their credit union performs better with our real-time insights to operations,” per the CEO. The lion’s share of this credit union’s growth is coming from its existing sets of members.

A second credit union sought to shift its focus from growth through indirect lending to direct marketing. The scale required to compete in indirect lending was more than this credit union could support. It also realized that just one-third of its members were traditional members; the remaining indirect members were “top line customers, for all intents and purposes; and, our traditional members were three times as profitable,” said the CEO. Working with its CRM partner, the credit union learned which members were most profitable and loyal; and, it developed an original member acquisition, development, and relationship model. While still involved in indirect lending, the credit union’s growth now derives, largely and strategically, from direct marketing and business development.

All credit unions are in the information business. Your Data, already owned, can create value for your members and belongs in your strategic plan. Your Data provides information about longer term member loyalty and relationships. It offers much more than what will trigger the next purchase; it offers insights and opportunities to greater lifetime value. It creates utility for your members and, as a result, worth for your credit union. Include Your Data as a documented part of your strategic plan.

Jeff Rendel

Jeff Rendel

Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with credit unions that want elite results in sales, service, and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates ... Web: Details