The Roaring 20’s: How to make this decade the best yet for your credit union

As we hit the homestretch of 2019, we’re not just rounding out another year, we’re rounding out another decade – and that’s a pretty big deal. And while we may be well-practiced in analyzing quarterly and yearly performance, now is the time to also review your credit union’s performance over the past 10 years. But even more importantly, it’s the time to ask what your credit union can do to make this decade its best yet.

If you want to know how your organization can take command of the 2020’s, there are three key steps that you need to take: embrace change, take a risk, and think long-term. Do these, and you’ll be primed for a rip-roaring era of growth!

Embrace Change

The mobile experience is now more important than the in-branch experience. Peer-to-peer payments are as vital as cyber-security. And digital ad spend is higher than TV spending. If there’s one thing we can learn from the last decade, it’s that today’s marketplace is far different to what it was just ten years ago — and this rapid pace of change is only going to continue.

Nothing exemplifies this more than the onset of OTT viewing habits. According to eEmarketer, OTT users are expected to increase to 197.7 million by 2022 and more than one-fifth of the US population (55.1 million people) will have “cut the cord”, that is, given uptraditional TV.1What’s more, according to Magna Global, while OTT accounts for 29% of TV viewing, it only accounts for 3% of ad budgets!2Think about your brand; is it keeping up with the times?

If your credit union is still stuck in the “teens” way of doing business, it’s time to take stock of what is preventing you from getting ahead. If approvals from the top take too long, for example, start taking active steps to streamline the internal processes that allow for quick decision-making. If your media allocations have remained the same for as long as you can remember, review the industry average spends and determine where you can bring your brand up to speed, or better yet, find a gap in the market for your message.

The key is ensuring that your entire organization is ready to embrace the changes that will be inevitable this coming decade. Get your brand in the habit of trying new tactics and changing course as necessary, so that when consumer needs evolve yet again, you’ll be ready to meet them.

Take A Risk

Playing it safe will hold you where you are – and as we’ve seen, with market forces moving faster than ever, you need to be able to stay one step ahead. But gaining the competitive edge doesn’t happen by following the status quo. It requires a few risks. And while taking a risk might seem like a scary notion, it doesn’t have to be. The best way to start is to commit to doing just one thing differently – that’s all it takes!

For this upcoming decade, get in the mindset of regularly trialling new initiatives your organization has never done before. Never been on TikTok? Now is the time to give it a shot – it could be just the place to get the most traction on a college loan promotion. Always run auto loan campaigns in Q4? Try switching it up and running it in Q3, even if it’s always been the way you’ve timed your promotions.

By breaking out of the mold of ‘business as usual’, you’re giving your credit union a greater opportunity to accelerate growth at a greater pace. And should you take a risk and fail, all is not lost. Failures allow your business to learn key insights, meaning whatever step you take next, you have a much more informed outlook than you did before.

Think Long-Term

We mentioned earlier about regularlymeasuring performance in quarterly and yearly increments. And while this analysis is pivotal to any organization’s success, it’s essential that credit unions also consider their long-term objectives as well.

Long-term objectives help frame the short-term initiatives that credit unions need to take. They also aid in the decision-making process. Say, for example, your credit union wants to double its member base within the next five years and you discover that a competitor’s local branch is closing. While investing a good portion of your marketing budget in a local direct mail campaign may seem like a high cost, it will likely net a high response rate and greater member sign-ups than a few print ads in the local newspaper. Economically, the print ad option may seem more tempting, but in the framework of your long-term objective, the direct mail campaign will bring you closer to your ultimate goal.

Think about what your credit union would like to achieve overall by the end of 2029. Use this as the goal post to determine what short-term tactics you need to implement to help get you there.

Long Live The Twenties

As we say goodbye to one era and hello to another, it’s the perfect time to reset and embrace new initiatives with ambition. The Twenties are poised to be a wonderful period for the continued growth of credit unions, so let’s start — and finish — this next decade strong.



  1. eMarketer,
  2. Magna Global via Digiday,
Ben Prager

Ben Prager

Prior to forming Prager Creative, Ben worked with design studios, branding firms and advertising agencies to push great strategy and design for all his projects. His experience with all aspects ... Web: Details