Knowledge is Power

How your Core Data Processor can pay for itself.

As a credit union, it’s not a question of will you have a core data processor, it’s which processor to choose.  Do you lean on a big name?  A credit union CUSO?  A reliable reputation?  The functionality to plug into multiple systems and not be handcuffed by technology?

“There’s a lot to think about.”

There sure is, so who leads the charge in identifying the right provider?  A CEO’s legacy can be tied in many ways to the core they select.  The IT area makes sense; after all, it is technology, right?  What about the CFO?  Don’t all of your credit union’s numbers pull from the core?  Operations?  Your teller’s and MSR’s efficiency is dependent on an easy to use system.

Yes, yes, yes and yes … these are all reasonable and common players in the decision.  But what about Marketing?  They are the voice of the member and the team responsible for bringing the credit union to life in the member’s eye.

“What?!?!  The newsletter folks?  Really?”

Yes!  Everything your credit union does ends up in the processor database.  Every ounce of data … every penny of a member’s relationship with you.  However, your core system can do much more than simply count members and dollars.  It will tell you HOW members use you and, if you know what to look for, which members are ready to bail out on you.  It can also identify your best members so you can target other folks that look just like them.

This intelligence, in the hands of the right marketers can turn your core from a cost to the bottom line into an investment.  Without marketing, the best you can hope for from your core is savings in efficiencies.  But with smart marketing, you can transition your core’s data into information and add to the bottom line with incremental growth and more targeted member use.

Here’ s a crazy idea, the right core in the hand of the right marketer might be able to PAY FOR your core system in incremental revenue generation.

“Pay for my core?!?!  I’m intrigued.  Tell me more.”

In addition to functionality, limited down time, flexibility, reliability, ease of use and everything else that falls into the core decision, analyze the core provider’s MCIF (Marketing Consumer Information File) system.

Here’s the secret … nearly all cores will tell you that they have an MCIF … and most, by definition, do.  However, most stink in their functionality and their ease of use.

When I was a credit union Marketing VP, we went through a core conversion.  This big name core (that was recently bought by an even bigger-name core) said they had an MCIF that would, “Do everything we needed.”  So, Marketing wasn’t involved with the decision.  In the end, they were unfulfilled promises … a clunky system that did not provide the necessary household data.  And we were left with a member counting system and lots of data and not enough knowledge.

Unfortunately, this is a common scene played out in credit unions all over the country.  As a consultant, I’ve seen it far too often.

In the end, Marketing should have an equal voice with Operations, IT and Finance in the core decision.  Let your marketer get their hands dirty with demos and ask the tough questions.  Then listen to their concerns and recommendations.  Remember, Marketing is the voice of the member and is charged with growing the credit union.

If you don’t know what to look for or what to ask, there are core providers out there that will provide marketing assistance as well as the data analysis.  One provider has even recently offered an ROI guarantee that their analysis and marketing strategies, based on core data, will pay for the core system.  Now, that’s a game changer!

Eric Gagliano

Eric Gagliano

Eric is a leading credit union marketer with more than 17 years of marketing experience. Coming from the advertising agency world, as an account executive focused on strategic planning, branding, ... Web: Details