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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.