Credit Union Marketing
Effective Credit Union marketing initiatives is more critical than ever as many Credit Unions have had a very challenings number of years and have worked hard to survive and thrive.
As we enter into a new era for Credit Unions, it sometimes can be difficult to see where to start when tasked with building a strategic plan for your credit union marketing initiatives to support a potentially challenging business strategy for a Credit Union.
Wheather your Credit Union is facing into a merger opportunity or needs to increase loan book, Marketing Clever can assist.
From discussions with a number of Credit Unions, the following areas have been identified when thinking about marketing your credit union’s offering particularly when focusing on growing the credit union loan book:
1. Address the fear factor – many Credit Unions acknowledge that applicants can be fearful of rejection, particularly when they know Credit Union staff personally. Methods of addressing that issue include setting simple criteria in place to allow applicants assess themselves before applying. For example successful loan applications usually are regular savers of €100 per month for a minimum of 6/12 months; loans repayments usually shouldn’t exceed X of your monthly outgoings etc.
2. Look to your membership. Review your membership and ascertain the loan penetration. Consider segmenting the membership based on potential loan applicants. Consider members who will repay their existing loan in next 3/6 months. Are they suitable applicants for a renewal of loan? Are there any regular savers that could be offered a loan facility?
3. Applying. Make loan applications easy to follow and available. Consider from the applicants perspective and ensure applications are available, easy to follow and not onerous to complete. The banks have dramatically changed their approach to loan application forms in the last 10 years to shorter forms, usually taken over the phone or online applications.
4. Ask. It sounds simple and it is. Once you have identified potential loan applicants, offer the loan facility to them directly. Direct mailing works, critical to its success are well written clear offers. The banks have previusly used pre approved and priority direct mailing campaigns successfully to build their portfolios. Key to this success is a strong direct follow up and reminders to potential applicants. Reinforcing the campaign in branch is very important as it allows staff to engage with potential applicants on a one to one basis. Ensure you comply with data protection requirements from when you captured the members’ details.
5. Tune in and think like the Applicant – Consider the applicant’s perspective as the year progresses and build your loan campaigns with that in mind. Many are keen to clear credit card debt in Spring or start saving regularly with a particular goal in mind anything from cars, holidays or education. Frame your loan campaigns with the end goal of the loan applicant.
6. Allocate a Resource – It’s important that there is a resource that can take responsibility for your plan, actions, follow through, tracking and reporting back on outcomes. As with any initiative, an owner is critical.
Many Credit Unions are facing similar challenges to grow loan books so reviewing what others do can also inspire.
As with any initiative, it’s important to track your progress and gain feedback over the 6/8 weeks of a particular loan campaign. Tracking the various stages of a campaign from letter issue, reminder, one to one follow up, completed application and drawdown can highlight areas where applications are falling away.
As with any marketing campaign, results are important and can take some time, so be consistent and persistent.