Is Your Credit Union Stuck in the Mud?

Jay Kassing, President, MARQUISby: Jay Kassing, President, MARQUIS

Growth is key.  You cannot be a viable long-term player in any business without it.  Yet many businesses are struggling, including some credit unions.  They are finding loan growth hard to come by.  Yet most of these enterprises have done precious little to change the way they do business.

Change is good.

When you are behind in baseball, the rally caps come out.  Card players sometimes get up from their seat and walk around the table to change their luck.  I am sure you can think of a few other “change your luck” voodoo that you do.

Yet we aren’t really talking about how to change your luck.  We are discussing how to change reality.  Albert Einstein once said something like, “Doing things the same way and expecting different results, is the definition of insanity.”  This notion applies to a host of credit union activities, including marketing.

If you want loans, you need to identify the members you have and want, and the products they are likely to buy.  This analysis is relativley simple. Yet most credit unions (growing and otherwise) don’t do it.  They should.

Here is just one example.  If you knew the name of every existing member that was applying for a loan today at some other institution, what would you do?  This data is available today.  You can even get this information for high value prospects, every day.  Folks, these are people who are in the market NOW.  If you need loans to fuel growth, stop doing what you have always done, and try something else.  What is the worst thing that can happen?

Is your membership growing?  Are too many members leaving?  One idea that works both ends of these problems is on-boarding (new member cross-selling, not to be confused with a welcome letter.)  If you aren’t doing this, you are bungling your best chance to be of even greater value to your membership.  How can this be?  80% of all cross-sales with your membership should happen within the first 120 days of a new relationship.  If you aren’t on-boarding, you are losing out on most all of these loan and deposit opportunities (and likely 80% of your cross-sales don’t come from new members.)

Shake things up.  Try something new.  Listen to a new idea that has merit.  Try to eliminate every tired program where you have nominal if any provable return on investment.  Get your marketing un-stuck…it is in the mud.

Growth isn’t easy.  But it isn’t hard either.  You just have to be willing to change your approach.  In the end, marketing (like every other area in your credit union) has to prove real, measurable results.  If you aren’t growing, your marketing isn’t getting it done.

Jay Kassing is President of MARQUIS, a Texas based provider of marketing solutions including MCIF/CRM software, MCIF services, consulting and direct mail creative/fulfillment.  He makes his latest book, “Change Your Marketing, Change Your Results,” available for free at his website.  He can be reached at

Jay Kassing

Jay Kassing

Jay Kassing is President of MARQUIS, a Texas based provider of marketing analytics solutions including MCIF/CRM software, MCIF services, profitability, compliance, consulting and direct mail creative/fulfillment. Jay has ... Web: Details