Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

The Launch of Loan Switch

September 12, 2013

EverythingCU.com’s new product, Loan Switch, is finally here!

Loan Switch is a brand new online product that enables your current members to refinance all of their loans that they have with other financial institutions, with you; all at the same time.

There has never before been a product like this, and it is only available to credit unions.

If your CU has the ability to compete on loan rates, promote a loyalty program or has a great loan department ready to re-capture loans; Loan Switch is for you.

• Loan Switch arms your member with the information they need in order to WANT to refinance with your CU
• Makes it ONE CLICK for your members to start the refi with your CU!

We can’t wait for you to demo Loan Switch because we are incredibly excited about its ability to simultaneously save your members money AND bring loans into your CU! The best way to understand why we think Loan Switch is a breakthrough in capturing loans that members have at other institutions is to just demo it yourself so that you can see exactly how it works. Click here to demo Loan Switch now!

Click here to view more information about Loan Switch, including pricing.

Email Matt with any questions or for further information about Loan Switch: matt@everythingcu.com

After you’ve to submit your loan info in the demo, Matt will play loan officer and send you a response. When you receive the response email, be sure to log in to your personal checklist with the username and password supplied. Then you’ll see how easy it is for the member to start the refi with just a mouse click. Once you’ve had a chance to demo it, let us know what you think!

It starts at home

August 30, 2012

Do you ever wring your hands that more people don’t know what a credit union is? You’ve sent newsletters, done radio ads, put up billboards, and still so many people don’t know?

Well, I’ve got a really important idea for how to take care of this.

As marketers, most of know that the number one source of new business is through referrals of existing business. So if you take care of your current members well, they will tell their friends and family. So let’s assume you are already taking care of your members.

Are you taking care of your employees too?

And what I mean is this: Employees are people. They are not bodies taking up space in an organizational chart. What could be more demoralizing to a person than being assigned an email address of Teller1@NotABankFCU.com. I bet YOU don’t have an email of CFO5@NotABankFCU.com or VPMarketing28@

So why do this to a teller? Because you have high turnover in the position? Of course you have high turnover in that position; it’s a hard job with low pay. But when you treat people like numbers, and EXPECT that they will be out the door soon, it becomes even worse. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and turn over gets worse, not better.

Yes, a big percentage of your tellers will eventually leave. But what about the ones that stay? What about the future CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and VPs of Marketing? Take a look at all the amazing programs going on for the future leaders of the CU movement, such as The Cooperative Trust’s Crash Events and CUES Next Top Executive.

I will offer this thesis: The best way to spread the word about what credit unions are is to treat every single new employee as if they are going to spend their career in the credit union movement, and eventually work their way up to being the CEO of YOUR credit union. If you treat every new hire in that way, sure, many of them will leave someday.

But here is the benefit: Even the ones who leave someday will enjoy their work more thoroughly. They will likely stay with your CU longer, thus reducing turnover. And most importantly, since you have educated them what it means to be a credit union, they will educate your members what it means to belong to a credit union.

AND….. for those one or two special people who grace your establishment for their entire careers…. YOU can feel special knowing that you have nurtured the next generation of credit union leadership. And it all starts with treating your new hires like they matter. Because they do.

Ed Filene on embracing social media

August 30, 2011

There has been a long-running topic on EverythingCU.com about how to get management on-board with social media when they are dead-set against it. Over the last couple of years, many suggestions have been offered about ways to accomplish this objective.

My favorite so far comes from Andy Anderson, a credit union marketer in Atlanta this morning. He quotes Edward Filene:

“If you are going to do business, you will have to do it in this new world; and I haven’t lived in this new world any longer than you have. It is stranger, in fact to me than it is to you.”

Andy informs us: “This was his speech before the School of Business Administration of the University of Buffalo in 1936.”

These words that Edward spoke 75 years ago are as true and relevant today as they were then. I think that had Ed Filene lived in this day and age, he would have whole-heartedly embraced social media, and used it to spread the word about credit unions throughout the land.

Thank you for sharing this with us, Andy!

Marketing your CU’s Credit Cards

December 16, 2010

Right now, it’s a little bit more than a month away, but I’m nevertheless already excited for EverythingCU’s next webinar, How to Determine Your Credit Card Portfolio’s Marketing Needs which will be presented by Ondine Irving, creator of the nationally recognized Credit Card Connection program.

Ondine is an expert in credit union credit cards and her consulting branch is Card Analysis Solutions. Because of her deep knowledge of this arena of CU business, she routinely saves her clients tens of thousands of dollars by eliminating unnecessary and redundant charges coming from the card processor.

In this webinar, Ondine will show you how to analyze YOUR current card portfolio to determine what course of marketing action will maximize your ROI. Sometimes your card processor wants to sell you something that will benefit your credit union, but sometimes they are trying to sell you something which is in their best interests, which is not necessarily yours. Attend this webinar to gain the knowledge to put yourself in the driver’s seat of your card portfolio. You might even end up being able to save your CU some money on the expense side as well.

In the meantime, make sure your credit union is listed in the national database of the Credit Card Connection by registering here (which is FREE). Suze Orman continually promotes this site through her latest book and tv appearances, and credit unions that are featured get a steady flow of new card applications.

To learn more about the webinar including pricing, or to sign up for it, register yourself on EverythingCU.com (which is quick, free and easy) if you haven’t already, and check out this webinar’s detail page here.

Social Media is not a waste of time for most Credit Unions

November 30, 2010

Fully five years into the social media revolution, a job opening for a social media position at a credit union was posted on EverythingCU.com just a week ago. I was very excited about this development, because as many of you know, I’ve been involved in social media and credit unions for… well, before there was even such a thing as social media.

When we started EverythingCU.com back in 2000/2001, we wanted to enable credit union marketers across the country (and even a few other countries too) to be able to share and communicate. We quickly realized that it would be great to attach a face to these names flying across our computer monitors, and thus photo uploading was added. (In the early days we even scanned photos sent to us by mail.) In addition, we created easy document sharing, as well as individual profile pages.

When the words “social media” started cropping up in credit union and other online sources back in 2005/2006, I started investigating this newly emerging trend and discovered it was very similar to the peer-to-peer networking and communication we were already enabling with EverythingCU.com, only on a more personal and “regular consumer” level. “What an exciting development!” I thought to myself. “Now that social media is emerging as an entity in its own right, we’ll be able to help credit unions understand the power of this medium for themselves that we’re experiencing here at EverythingCU.com.” In the subsequent years, I’ve spoken at many CU conferences and conducted workshops on social media for credit union leagues around the country; something which I truly love doing.

So based on the job posting, the subject on EverythingCU turns to “how can you calculate the ROI of this new social media position?” What an interesting question!

It can indeed be extremely difficult to measure ROI for marketing. You can measure overall results for a marketing campaign for a specific product by comparing that product’s sales with the previous year’s results. But as was pointed out on EverythingCU by Mia Perez, how do you measure ROI for the second year of the campaign, when you had successful adoption of the product in the previous year, thereby reducing the pool of people who would have bought the product based on your spectacular new marketing campaign? It’s going to necessarily be less than year 1. But you did as great a job creating the marketing campaign in year 2, but you’ll have less to show for it. Hmmmmmmm.

Another commenter in the Social Media-ROI topic pointed to the Financial Brand’s Why Social Media is a waste of time for most banks and credit unions.

I can’t prove the ROI of social media, but I fundamentally believe social media is not a waste of time for most credit unions. If your credit union behaves like a bank, then absolutely, you should skip social media. But I find the values of most credit unions line up perfectly with what makes social media a fantastic venue. Let’s take a look at where and why this makes sense from a “values” point of view:

Social media is all about empowering individual people. Each person in entitled to their own voice, their own opinion, and can create their own network of friends, family, and colleagues. Everyone is on an even playing field in terms of putting their message “out there.” In the credit union world, all members are treated equally, i.e., every member has an equal vote in electing the board of directors who are charged with overseeing how the credit union is run. Credit unions open their doors to everyone who is eligible to join; they don’t discriminate. Credit unions are cooperatives; social media is fantastic because of the cooperation and sharing that occurs. Credit unions originally were created for employers or organizations in a single location, in other words, a location-based community of people who had something in common. Social media flourishes because people everywhere are finding and/or creating their own online communities based on criteria that are important to themselves, whether it be political, religious, occupational, or centered around comon hobbies, passions, pasttimes, locations, and all sorts of other common interests.

Social media is fundamentally democratic and cooperative, as are credit unions. Credit unions were born of communities; social media is community brought online.

But before diving further into Social Media and its ROI, let’s examine exactly what social media is, since it means different things to different people. I view social media as any way that people communicate with each other online. This is done on an individual as well as a group basis. Well, this was happening long before MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter started becoming popular. So why did the phrase “Social Media” catch on starting around 2004/05? At this point, Facebook wasn’t open to the general population; blogging and podcasting were the new and hot things. Bloggers and podcasters were starting to build community with their endeavors and were excited that they were creating what the authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto had talked about in 1998.

So if we define social media as online communication, conversation, networking, and media sharing, then it’s been happening for quite a number of years, as email, AOL, chat rooms, listservs, the web, and the like are not new by any means. And even more fundamentally, human communication has been happening via technology since cave drawings were painted, and continued on through smoke signals, telegraphs with Morse code, pony express, the telephone, radio, tv, 8-tracks, albums, cassettes, CB radio, VHS, DVDs, and many others.

Let’s examine the telephone for a second. The telephone is basically a one-to-one non-persistent communication technology. (Although via voice mail, it can also be persistent and asynchronous.) At one time, I’m sure the telephone was very expensive, and businesses were loathe to adopt a new technology that very few of their consumers possessed. But now we don’t question the ROI of every person having a phone, whether it’s on their desk, a mobile phone, or now a smartphone. And yes, we have people dedicated to running businesses’ telephone infrastructures. But we don’t dedicate one person or one department in an organization, put all the telephones in their office and say “you are our telephone department! You’ll be operating and handling the telephones for everyone in the organization! Anytime anyone needs to make a call, they’ll come here to use these telephones, and seek your guidance in how to use the darn things!”

Well, I think social media is about where the telephone was many decades ago, in terms of how businesses are thinking about being involved with it.

Also interesting is how everyone views social media differently depending on their background. Marketing looks at social media as an advertising channel, while journalists view social media as a threat to the traditional way of bringing people news. Customer service people see social media as a new method of communicating with people.

As for ROI, well, there have been quite a few Credit Union success stories in social media already. And there have been quite a few success stories for non-CU businesses in social media.

We don’t necessarily measure the ROI of attending an in-person networking event such as a Chamber of Commerce mixer. But we all intuitively understand how important networking is. Well, as William Azaroff has pointed the way, perhaps a better term for social media is online community, or maybe even better, online networking.

Bottom line: Social media is definitely not a panacea, cure-all, or get-rich-quick scheme. But it works great for businesses when it’s used as a way that makes sense for both the business and its customers. After all, communication is fundamental to human nature, business, and marketing, and these online channels, media, and community are all fantastic communication avenues. And oh, by the way, social media, and online channels, have in many respects transformed the way people interact with each other.

Second bottom line for credit unions: Did you notice how your physical community dispersed over the last ten years or so? Yes, a majority of your members still reside within a five mile radius of a branch, but c’mon, don’t tell me you weren’t excited when you discovered you had a handful of members several thousand miles from your nearest branch. Well, I’ve got news if you hadn’t figured it out already. While location-based communities and geographies are still important, and are more important than ever in some ways (The New Geography), there is a new community and it’s online. People belong to multiple communities online and are excited about them. There may be an opportunity for your credit union to also be a part of the online communities that make sense for your credit union, based on what makes your members tick.

Post Script: (As if this blog post weren’t long enough already), I think that while there are huge areas of credit union function that are in the process of being transformed by online communication, the most exciting one, which has the most potential for bringing credit unions back to the member-centric powerhouses they once were, is in governance. Right now, credit union governance is a closed-door black box despite the efforts of pioneers such as Ginny Brady. But it’s in governance that credit unions have the opportunity to engage with the members like never before; to bring better transparency, to throw open the doors to the board room, and get meaningful, frequent member interaction with the board and management decision making. I truly believe that’s what Ed Filene would have envisioned had he been alive in this generation instead of his own. While you can’t measure the ROI of social media/governance interaction by the members, it gets to the FUNDAMENTAL reason why so many people LOVE their credit unions:

Because it feels like it’s MINE.

If you spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on a “traditional” branding campaign, you won’t make nearly the impact as ACTUAL online engagement with your members about the way THEIR institution is run. This is also an advantage that credit unions will ALWAYS possess over banks. PRESS YOUR ADVANTAGE TO THE MAX!

Video tutorial: CU Marketing Budget Report

October 1, 2010

This video is quite a bit longer, 10 minutes, but it explains in depth the Credit Union Marketing Budget Report, how it works, and some of the many methods of peer comparisons it offers. These comparison pages include marketing budget, loan growth, share growth, PFI, Net Income, YTD Marketing Budget, and more. It enables you to compare your CU to your peers in your state, region, or nationwide. If you’ve never checked out the CU Marketing Budget Report, this video gives you an inside look!

Oh yes, and every page can be exported to Excel too.

And big props to EverythingCU member, (and EverythingCUJungle Fantasy Football League winner in 2005), Doug Ralston, VP of Hermantown FCU in Minnesota for being a great sport and long-time CU Marketing Budget Report user!

Geolocation is now rewarding

September 7, 2010

Family photo at Camden Yards, Oriole Wall of FameThis past weekend, I travelled with my family down to Baltimore for a reunion, including catching a ballgame at Camden Yards. While we were there, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Timonium, MD. I’ve been using geolocation service Gowalla since Baer Tierkel turned me on to it in November of last year (2009). So upon arrival at the hotel, I opened the Gowalla app on my iPhone to check in. I immediately noticed that instead of a generic hotel icon, the Crowne Plaza had its own snazzy custom icon.

Crowne Plaza Gowalla iconSince the icon was so cool, I decided to send my Crowne Plaza check-in to Facebook and twitter. Within a short time, I noticed that a company I had never heard of sent me this tweet in response to my check-in:

Hi @mmpartee, join Topguest to get 50 Priority Club points for your next Crowne Plaza @gowalla check-in

Since I was busy with a family reunion, I didn’t have time to investigate this meaning behind this tweet until I returned home. So this morning, I visited the Topguest site, and noticed they had a Facebook page, which is good since there is very little about them on their own site. Via their Facebook page, I discovered this is a very new (4 month old) start-up based out of NYC.

They have 4 hotel reward programs under their belt, and they accept check-ins from all the major geolocation services: Brightkite, Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places, and Twitter location. Topguest ties your geolocation check-in method(s) of choice to your hotel reward program(s) of choice. Since I love Gowalla and am already a Priority Club member, it was a snap for me to link the two. Priority Club encompasses the InterContinental Hotels Group (ICHG) which includes: Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites, and another recent discovery I love: Hotel Indigo.

Geolocation: it’s not just for mayorships and games anymore…

Social Media Marketing University

June 18, 2010

We here at EverythingCU.com have built up quite a library of recorded webinar workshops on social media. In fact, taken together, you could say we’ve created a Social Media University for credit unions.

Here are links to the full curriculum. Take them either individually, or as whole, for a thorough understanding of marketing your credit union via online community channels:

Spiderweb: This foundational 101 webinar covers creating your Facebook account, Facebook fanpage, setting up an event on Facebook as well as twitter basics. Also covered in this webinar is using both twitter and Facebook to drive traffic back to your credit union’s web site.

Twitter 101: This foundational 101 webinar covers setting up a twitter account the right way, things to keep in mind when choosing your twitter handle, how to find other twitterers within a specified radius of your branches, and how to drive traffic back to your credit union’s web site using Twitter.

Bring Your Binoculars: This advanced 301-level webinar assumes you have the knowledge covered in the previous two webinars, and shows you how to tie your social media efforts together for greater impact. You’ll learn about tools to monitor what’s being said about your credit union online, and how to promote your credit union event using a number of free online resources.

Look Who’s Talking: This 101-level webinar covers how to handle responding to negative comments made online about your CU, and is geared for both CUs already participating in the online conversation as well as those on the fence who are looking for reassurance that diving in will not bring the end of the world.

Click on any of the links or graphics above to order and instantly download these recorded webinars!

Can we leave behind the term “home banking” yet?

May 6, 2010

online bankingIt has come to my attention that some credit unions are still using the term “home banking” as the name for conducting online transactions. I’d love to see this term vanish from the face of the earth. This has NEVER been a good name for this function. Yes, a huge number of people, perhaps even a majority, do their online banking from home, but a huge percentage of people access it from work. This has been true since the early days of teh internets. Not to mention that in this day and age, millions of people have laptops and/or smartphones, thus enabling “home banking” to be done from such non-home or work places like their car, the nearest Starbucks or Panera Bread, city parks, the beach, a restaurant, the public library, at a hotel, etc.

Please please please don’t call it home banking! Purge the term from your vocabulary! “Online banking” is far more appropriate.

Communicating Your Strength

January 30, 2009

It’s a scary time for the U.S. economy, and an awful time to be a bank. On the other hand, there has never been a better time to be a credit union than right NOW. This is our moment to shine, a beacon of hope and goodness in a sea of greed, corruption, and billions in bonuses doled out on sinking ships.

Join us on Thursday, February 5, for this timely EverythingCU.com webinar, Communicating Credit Union Strength to your Members. Lynn Giuliani will be giving us ideas and initiatives to communicate our CU’s strengths, no matter what the marketing budget.

This is our time, let’s make the MOST OF IT!