While marketing was being revolutionized in the 1960s, Bob Dylan sang, "The time's they are a-changin'." It was true at the time, but not more so than today. Some people lament the change brought on by new technologies and new generations, but without it, we'd still be crawling around in a cave. So, make that change work for you, and stand out from the crowd while looking for new credit union members.
Diversifying your membership is a great way to stay both relevant and financially stable. However, different demographics have different interests, financial concerns and even different cultures altogether. Here are a few strategies for targeting different demographics for your credit union membership.
Start With Small Business
Strangely, one of the best ways to get new credit union members is to go after not individuals but small businesses. People are loyal to small businesses; they trust them and the choices made by the owners. If they find out that their favorite antique store or local coffee shop is a member of yours, they'll trust you too. The credibility of a small local business goes a long way.
Don't Neglect Word Of Mouth
There are practically infinite ways to get the message out to your credit union members, and this can be daunting. It's important in this deluge that you don't forget about the oldest marketing tactic in the world: word of mouth. The best part is that this method carries so little risk that you can experiment with it, try to work it in different ways.
Highlight the Benefits Over Banks
Many people don't understand the difference between a credit union and a bank. They think they're two words for the same thing. Fight this misperception by highlighting the differences, specifically the benefits of a credit union, to let people know that they have options. Sometimes you have to show people exactly what you want them to know.
Don't Forget The Younger Generation
There's a common misconception about younger adults that they don't know about their finances and they don't care. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, millennials are more aware of their finances than any generation before. It's also common to target older customers or traditional families, but that leaves out a huge portion of the population. Don't forget them; help them by showing and educating them!
For more ideas on how to do this, check out our blog on 5 Ways Financial Institutions Can Connect With a Younger Audience.
Take A Hint From Addictive Apps
We've all played silly little games on our phones. They give you small mental rewards for something, followed by something you have to wait through to continue the dopamine drip. We're not saying take out advertising space with game companies, but look at the way those games work, then apply that to your marketing for new credit union members.
Harness Social Media To Get Potential Customers Involved
This should go without saying at this point but never neglect your social media presence. It speaks directly to younger potential credit union members while engaging older demographics. Use popular tropes and memes in your media. Most importantly, if you decide to jump on a bandwagon or trend, don't wait. If you come in too late, it might work against you.
Read Social Media for Financial Institutions: What's Relevant? for more tips on creating your social media strategy.
Use Your Existing Customers To Spread The Word
Back to word of mouth. Start that word with your existing customers. Educate your current credit union members so they can tell their friends and get them on board. No one will be more credible to spread your message than a current believer. Dave the barber will be able to recommend your credit union more credibly and with more fervor than any ad you can run.
Finding and retaining new credit union members can be difficult, and you might not see results immediately. It’s important to have patience, just remember that it’s best to use a few different tactics in tandem to best retain your customers. A combination of old methods and new will ensure your success, one customer at a time.
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