MDC’s summer owner meeting brings new participants, research findings

Updates on competitive forces and education on topical issues

COLUMBUS, OH (September 8, 2015) — MEMBERS Development Company’s Summer Owner Meeting, held here earlier this month brought together leading credit unions, industry professionals, and outside innovation, marketing and strategy experts. Topics like multi-channel maturity, social local mobile technology, customer engagement and growth strategies played out in the conference agenda, along with a “State of MDC” report and project research findings.

“This summer’s meeting had our largest turnout ever, with more than 100 attendees, which speaks to owners’ high level of involvement in MDC, as well our thought-provoking speakers and timely topics,” said Jeff Kline, CEO. “90 percent of MDC’s owner credit unions participated, often with more than one person,” he said. “We also were delighted to have 18 credit union professionals take part for the first time, including 12 guests from eight credit unions that are considering MDC ownership.”

Jeff Kline_MEMBERS Dev Co

Lee Butke, MDC Board Member and President/CEO of Corporate One Federal Credit Union in Ohio, said he felt it was one of the best Owner Meetings yet.

Lee Butke_Corporate One

“Putting 40-plus credit union industry leaders in a room with top-notch speakers and subject experts made for lively discussions and lots of new information,” he said. “The panel on “Modern Marketing” offered stimulating ideas we don’t normally hear in conferences focused on financial industry issues,” Butke said. “Facebook’s Steve Biddle said today’s reality isn’t about bringing customers to us; it’s about us going to them. And Paul Marobella from Havas Worldwide said credit unions can’t expect to compete on the same plane as Citibank, but we can turn the narrative to where we succeed.”

One owner credit union that is changing the conversation is Affinity Federal Credit Union in New Jersey. Product Development Manager Pam Schluter shared a clever “Fat Cat” ad campaign Video, depicting greed and self-interest at big banks and ending with, “All the services of a bank … without the bank.”

New to MDC’s Owner Meeting this year was live tweeting, with comments from attendees such as “innovation taking place all week,” “feeling accomplished after another successful Innovation Council” and “the best Owner Meeting from a content perspective I’ve attended.”

Following are some of the other takeaways conference attendees enjoyed:

  • Keynote speaker Amanda Lannert, CEO of JellyvisionLab, presented “Everything is Marketing,” saying her company is on a mission to make communications more “human.” Lannert encourages companies to connect with consumers by writing as if they’re talking face to face, and she should know – Jellyvision has served mostly Fortune 1000 companies for more than 10 years, offering interactive communication solutions for desktop, mobile and other emerging platforms.

“Write like you talk, and talk to you,” Lannert urged. “Then read your message out loud; if you’re bored, others will be, too.”

  • A hot topic from Kurt Schroeder, a Principal at Baker Tilly, was “Member Experience.” Schroeder spoke on overcoming barriers to a positive member interaction, as well as highlighting tools for understanding behavior and measuring progress.

“A good customer experiencer addresses both the rational and emotional needs of the customer,” he said. “Many times the experience begins prior to the customer having contact with the company. Being aware of the entire customer journey and the customer’s feelings during the journey will help companies provide the best possible customer experience.”

  • A team of owner credit unions, Baker Tilly and MDC presented on “Channel Maturity,” which provided an update on one of several MDC R&D projects underway.

Andrea Brown, Director of Market Data for Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union, says the branch is still the clear leader for engaging members today, so make best use of it. “Your branch can be a trusted source of information when members need more attention,” Brown said. “But for routine transactions, position your mobile channel to be convenient so members will want to use it. This will free up branch personnel to assess members’ needs and match them with the products and services that are best for them.”

MDC’s owners and guests also discussed member retention strategies through intentional design, as well as onboarding best practices, generational marketing and competition from tech innovators.

“There’s no doubt the financial industry is facing disruption by new, interactive technologies that are making it easier and faster for consumers to do their “banking,” Kline said. “Credit unions have a lot on their plates – adapting to the speed of change, dealing with cyber security, the proliferation of data – all while working to keep high member satisfaction. I’m grateful for the foresight of our owners for launching MDC and allowing us to be the collaborative force that is making today’s challenges easier.”

About MEMBERS Development Company

MDC is the credit union network’s multi-million-dollar R&D department. We scan the horizon, research the issues, and create actionable solutions to solve problems for today –and tomorrow. By pooling the resources of 83 credit union and CUSO owners, MDC is able to deliver meaningful solutions efficiently and affordably. We learn the lessons of what does and doesn’t work —without exhausting our owners budgets and resources for exploration and development. We also believe that our research must be driven by our owners, for our owners. While we do the heavy lifting, our credit union and CUSO owners both advise and participate in the work not just as investors, but as trusted partners.


Merideth Miller, M2 The Agency

Kerri Schlottman, MDC

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