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There are no magic wands, and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate success, but with time, energy, and determination you can get there.” – Darren Rowse

Dave Robinson, CEO of O’Leary and Partners, started the session with above quote and other insights from marketing experts that emphasized how marketing has transformed in the last few years.

Debbie Larson, branch manager of Dakota Plains FCU in Enderlin, ND, faced interesting challenges: A small market, customers afraid of change and an extremely limited marketing budget. She transformed that challenge into an opportunity:

  • We all have a box – the way we used to do things.
  • We need to step out of the box and turn things upside down.
  • We need to tap into our creativity and come up with innovative ideas by tapping into the minds of your employees and stakeholders.
  • Find outside inspiration, be silly and enjoy yourself. (Free Father’s Day Car Wash, Christmas in July, Free Dog Wash during the Dog Days of Summer, etc.)
  • Reward the cooperative spirit: Teaming up with local fire department, teaming up with the food cooperative, etc.

Jaime Crooks, Marketing Director of Ohio HealthCare Federal Credit Union, discussed how to create buzz. Ohio HealthCare Federal Credit Union looked for the Next Top Credit Union Member to participate in an upcoming marketing campaign. They asked people out of three categories (Doctos, RNs, etc., Office/Admins and other) to tell their story and possibly win $500.

Here’s one winning entry:

Participants were very engaged and tapped into their social graph to get votes for the individual video. The 8,000 member credit union received 47,000 votes on their mini site. The marketing campaign extended the reach of this initiative by putting a face to the credit union and its members. Less smiling people, more real members, more authentic.

Troy B. Hall, Chief Operations Officer South Carolina Federal Credit Union, introduced the term Gernernomics and asked the question: “How will genernomics change in the next 5 to 10 years?” CUNA notes that credit union members’ average is 47 and it will go up over time due to increasing life expectancy. 3.8 million will turn 30 every year for the next 20 years – a major opportunity for credit unions because these are your new loan customers.

You need to change your marketing strategies based on generational preferences: Baby boomers, Gen X and Gen Y expect different marketing tactics and communication channels.

How are you going to address these facts: 17% of the population is between 18 and 24. Only 4% are credit union members. 24% of Gen Y does not care about the difference between banks and credit unions. 38% of Gen Y are very satisfied with their current banking relationship. 16% of Gen Y believe branches are important.

A lot to think about. The next few days will help the audience to address these facts and answer many questions.

“What we really need is a mindset shift that will make us relevant to today’s consumers, a mindset shift from ‘telling and selling’ to building relationships.” – Jim Stengel