Over the past few months, my colleagues have shared some of their advice on improving your business. Banking is such an interesting space these days with more to do than time to do it. Sometimes it feels like if it isn’t related to compliance, it is not on the list. But what compliance offers you in operating confidence, it lacks in member interest.
I started my career in advertising, not software. And those experiences taught me one very important fact: good marketing is about connecting with your audience. Miss the mark and you waste your money. Hit it and it changes your fortunes.
So today, as you sit at work during the dog days of winter (OK, maybe I am projecting my feelings of the snow in the Northeast on everyone else), let’s find a way to connect with your members. Let’s make them happier with you AND you happier with them.
But how? Where do you start? Start with Durbin and your data.
The two D’s offer great opportunities to any credit union willing to use them. First, Durbin gave nearly all credit unions an advantage over their larger foes by maintaining the interchange revenue generated from card payments. You are not subject to the Fed mandated interchange cap on every swipe which means every additional transaction translates into more non-interest income for you.
So how can you bring that opportunity to the bottom-line? With data and, more specifically, insights from that data. Every credit union is sitting on meaningful data on what your members prefer and what they don’t. How they use their cards and sometimes how they don’t use them. These insights are key to changing the performance of your members.
With all of the attention to payments, big data and analytics, your processor has likely invested in tools that you could use tomorrow. Let’s use this data to turn analytics into insights and insights into action.
But here is the most important, and somewhat basic, point that sometimes gets forgotten. The world is now personal. Said differently, your members expect you to know them. They expect you to deliver something relevant.
This means you need to go deeper than just a simple marketing campaign. If you want to change your members’ behavior, you must motivate them. And if you have kids, or manage people, or basically exist in this world, you know that everyone is motivated differently.
While there is a lot of talk about 1-to-1 marketing, you can accomplish a similar goal by segmenting your members by like usage patterns and interests. For example, you can cluster low and medium card users into groups by where they shop. This will enable you to then create more effective, targeted strategies for these different members, and offer relevant, tailored incentives that provide them value as well as influence decisions that are most advantageous to your credit union.
How might this look in practice? After you’ve identified a particular group – say those that use their debit card one to three times per month at a particular local merchant – you could then initiate a targeted promotion with that retailer: use your debit card for transactions at this retail location at least six times over the next month and receive a retailer gift card. This campaign can not only increase member spend at the retail partner, but it can also increase debit card use overall for this group and sustain usage at the retail partner post-campaign.
By analyzing your members’ card data, you can gain powerful insights to better understand your members’ activities and trends. Armed with this intelligence, you can stop scratching the surface and instead go deep on a marketing campaign, offering a customized promotion that simultaneously creates high member satisfaction and drives behaviors that are most beneficial to your organization.
We look forward to sharing more about this subject and other creative ideas while supporting the credit union movement at the Governmental Affairs Conference next month. Visit Saylent at booth 466.