Leveraging SEG relationships is a cost-effective way to focus your marketing energy and dollars. Average annual marketing expense per net new member is down amongst all charter types (SEG, Community and All US CUs). However, at 3Q 2009 SEG chartered credit unions spent $154 less than community chartered credit unions.
If you're a community chartered credit union, consider re-focusing on your SEG groups as a means to improve marketing efficiencies. To give you some food for thought, here are 3 tactics that can make your SEG outreach more effective:
Exclusive Products – Everyone likes to feel special! Credit unions are creating buzz when visiting SEGs by promoting one-time, SEG-only product offerings. Products can be positioned on either side of the balance sheet. Some examples include a $1,000, 6-month CD paying an eye-popping 7% (only $35 in total interest payments) or take an eighth of a percent off your loan rates.
Financial Education – On-site seminars are popular. As the economy makes a slow recovery, make note of employer groups in industries that continue to be adversely affected. Offering brown bag services are a great way to soft-sell product offerings while also providing invaluable knowledge to financially stressed SEG employees. Be sure to precede these visits with as many promotional materials as possible, including flyers at the office, a notice on the company intranet, and email marketing with outlook calendar notifications to be sure employees remember to attend. Of course, attendance will always increase if you can provide the lunch!
Viral Marketing - Campaigns can become buzzworthy when concentrated in an employee environment. Cutting Edge FCU ($34M, Milwaukie, OR) sponsors one such campaign on International Credit Union Day hides "Brady Bucks" all over the office. Brady Bucks look like faux $25 bills featuring the picture of CEO Brady Howe all over the offices. The "Brady Bucks" can be redeemed for a $25 savings account at Cutting Edge or passed on to a friend to do the same. To make sure employees are on the lookout, the credit union posts flyers with information about the campaign around the office.
While great for efficient marketing, don't forget about the positive effect SEG relationships will have on current member's satisfaction. Forrester Research just released their annual Customer Advocacy rankings which placed credit unions well ahead of their banking brethren as 70% of members surveyed indicated their financial institution put their interests first. Improving your SEG outreach is another way credit unions can capitalize on a competitive advantage other institutions can't compete with.