Educommerce: Educational Marketing Sets New Trend in Marketing and Sales

Educommerce is the means to creating branded content which engages members. Learn how educational marketing delivers value to the target audience through effective messaging.

 

By The Infirmary Federal Credit Union

 

In the late 90’s the buzz in most financial service organizations was how many products per customer am I selling and how do I compete with my competition who is calculating lifetime value of a customer. As we are now almost 10 years into the buzz, credit unions are making good strides at offering more products to members, or at least creating more awareness. But what are they still missing?

For credit unions to succeed, a shift must be made from product focused strategies to member focused strategies. For most credit unions, however, this awareness has not yet hit home. Adopting the integration of member data for an organization is only half way there. Companies are now realizing that they must provide information and education for their consumers 24 hours a day. If you take away the channel and remove technology, what you have is the value your company brings through educational messaging (marketing) to your new members.

Educational marketing can provide content for your audience that helps them make an educated and informed decision about the life event or product they are researching. As the marketplace continues to evolve and change, it’s clear that people want simple, searchable results that deliver what they are looking for in an efficient, timely manner. They are looking to a means for self-learning.

As the trusted financial institution, this provides you with an automatic head start to become the company of choice as your members’ needs change. Educommerce is the means to creating branded content which engages your member by delivering useful, relevant and compelling information which they value and associate with your brand. Educational marketing is the connection between your products and the information the member is seeking to improve their life.

Your ultimate goal is to engage members at the right time into buying products and services, create brand loyalty and retain your member base. The ways and means of engagement are to utilize all channels to deliver educational content which leads to a good decision and choice in buying behavior.

Valuable content delivery should include:

  1. An understanding of your products and how they fit into a member’s daily life. Look at the life events or need that would cause a member to want to use your service. Remember, keep it simple.
  2. Educate your member. Today most consumers are short on time but want to know that they are making educated and wise decisions, especially when it involves money on a recurring basis. Provide pictures and links to help them feel comfortable and drive them to learn more through the process.
  3. Link the right products with the right educational content. Don’t try to sell every product you have for every situation. Provide options but don’t be overwhelming. Providing valuable information where you may not have a product fit is okay as well, it reassures the reader that you are not just here to sell them a product. You are here to help inform and educate, and most importantly to let them be in control of the buying and learning processes.
  4. Provide a means of feedback. Member feedback enables you to continually gain information and answer questions that may be relevant to them and their situation, but may have benefit to others members as well. This will help you grow your educational marketing content in a means you probably never anticipated.
  5. Set measurable objectives. Objectives offer a means of measuring usefulness as well as a driver for sales. Remember that measuring requires flexibility, especially in the beginning. Don’t be afraid to change your metrics to more accurately measure your success.

Remember every member experience, through whatever channel, needs to be a positive one to keep them coming back. Consumers care most about how a company interacts with them; right medium, right time, right message.

Lending Solutions, Inc. (LSI) is a leading provider of lending services to the credit union industry. For more information on how LSI can help your credit union connect your products with your members' needs, contact Bill Hultstrand at (888) LSI-NLPC (574-6572) or bhultstrand@nlpc.com.

 
 

Nov. 8, 2004


Comments

 
 
 
  • This article hits the bull's eye! Bravo!
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Excellent article!
    Anonymous