No, it’s not another zombie marketing campaign. They’re young adults with scratches and bruises from their run-in with the big banks. And they’re part of McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union’s($285.9M, East Windsor, NJ) cooperative marketing campaign, “We Hear You.”
The campaign is asking members and non-members to send in short videos – whether they have a degree in filmmaking or are using a cell phone camera – about how they’ve been hurt by the banks and why the credit union model is different.
McGraw-Hill understands its community has been beaten up by large, for-profit financial institutions and wants to give people a platform to speak.
“The campaign allows us to communicate the value of financial wellness through financial literacy,” says Shawn Gilfedder, president and CEO of McGraw-Hill. "The credit union partners with our members to help them understand the value of working with a cooperative financial institution."
After the recognition gained from Bank Transfer Day, Gilfedder is interested in creating another viral campaign that rallies people together for cooperatives.
He’d like groups such as CUNA, CreditUnions.com, and other trade associations to share the campaign effort. Gilfedder has no problem letting other credit unions and groups use the idea as a way to give their members a voice.
Gilfedder wants individuals to recognize the options in the marketplace, and support those options enough to move their money. The credit union is focused on financial education, and the campaign is another way members learn about the benefits membership. It also helps the credit union learn about the benefits consumers need.
The campaign’s imagery – three adults with tire tracks on their face and black eyes – was an effort to prod consumers into switching financial institutions.
Members are able to relate to the marketing imagery because they’re discovering what advantages cooperatives offer over big banks.
“We felt that’s how many of our members today feel as they are coming to the epiphany,” says Gilfedder, “… recognizing that we’re focused on their financial health and wellness first, beyond the profitability of a group of share owners that they don’t know.”
The credit union launched the campaign at the end of July.
Because the credit union used only social media and email marketing, it kept the campaign costs low, says Robert Carabelli, marketing manager at McGraw-Hill. The campaign has cost about 50% less than a typical marketing campaign.
“We’re able to send Facebook posts for free and do multiple email drops, which helps keep our costs low and minimizes resources while also helping us carve out our niche in the social space,” says Carabelli.
So far, members and non-members have submitted a total of 60 videos.
“This was effective because we were targeting socially driven individuals,” says Carabelli. “Going after these individuals via direct mail might have proven ineffective; instead, we targeted them in the online space where we know they spend more of their time."
The credit union is offering incentives for creating videos in addition to reaching people in their preferred channels. The submissions will be judged by a committee from the credit union with first, second, and third place winners, receiving up to $1,500 in prize packages.
The campaign ends in mid-September.
“We’d love to see thousands of submissions,” Gilfedder says. “It would be positive for us as an industry to experience that type of recognition in knowing that members and non-members alike are looking for a better alternative in banking, and that’s credit unions.”
Shawn Gilfedder shares 5 ways credit unions can compete with the advertising dollars of large banks by increasing awareness of the cooperative movement and highlighting its advantages. read more.