Five Ways to Make Credit Union Growth Your #1 Priority in 2017
According to a 2016 TransUnion survey, credit unions are growing at 6.35% annually--a rate which far outpaces the growth of active credit consumers overall. However, this substantial rate of growth is highly concentrated, with almost four-fifths of the increase in membership ascribed to credit unions with assets of more than $500 million. How can smaller credit unions take advantage of the favorable conditions for growth? By emphasizing five key strategies, you can help your credit union make 2017 a tremendous year for growth.
Understand Your Value Proposition
No credit union can be everything to everyone, and understanding what you can offer to your members--and, indeed, who your target group of members are--is key to continued growth. Figuring out what your core offerings are, creating a "brand" and aligning your marketing efforts accordingly will help build your name among your clientele.
Take Advantage of Digital Marketing
Traditional marketing efforts are often quite expensive, and most credit unions find the costs associated with expanding their physical presence by opening additional branches to be prohibitive. Embracing digital marketing--and social media in particular--can allow a credit union to reach a broad group of potential members without needing the spend nearly as much as physical expansion or a traditional marketing campaign would require.
Target Your Marketing Efforts Toward Millennials
TransUnion's recent study found that millennials are a key demographic driving credit union growth. In fact, millennials counted for approximately one-quarter of all credit union members in the first quarter of 2016, up from just one-fifth of members in 2013. In particular, millennials are potential new mortgage candidates, an important factor for credit union growth. By targeting millennials through digital marketing and social media, credit unions have a direct and clear path to growth.
Improve Your Online Features
Many credit unions fall into the trap of thinking that their standard website with basic bill payment and at-home banking features is adequate for attracting customers in today's market. However, as potential members across all age groups embrace the features offered by robust mobile banking sites and apps, credit unions must keep pace with their competitors' offerings. Evaluate your web presence with a critical eye to ensure that your site meets your customers' needs for all of your credit union's products.
Refresh Your Physical Facilities
While a credit union's online presence and digital marketing campaigns are extremely important growth drivers, it is also essential not to underestimate the effect that well-maintained branch locations can have for growing a credit union's customer base. Branches with well-kept exteriors and inviting interiors are one of the best advertisements for potential members--as well as an important tool in retaining current members. If the resources are available, a credit union would be well-served to evaluate their current branches' immediate neighborhoods to determine if a move to a different neighborhood--or even a different market--might attract more members.
About Meredith Olmstead
Meredith Olmstead is the CEO and Founder of Social Stairway, LLC, which provides Digital Marketing & Sales services to Credit Unions and Affiliated Organizations. With experience working with financial institutions in markets of various sizes around the United States, and as an experienced Director of Online Marketing, she has helped design and implement numerous marketing and sales campaigns. Since 2013 Meredith has led the Social Stairway team, working exclusively with Credit Unions, taking staff step-by-step through the process of launching all of their Digital Marketing efforts, as well as implementing full Inbound Marketing campaigns and providing Sales Enablement training and support. Meredith recommends a very clear and measureable strategy to all of her clients, and then works with them to re-evaluate the success of these efforts on a continuing basis, all with an eye on moving toward a clear return on your online sales and marketing investment.