April 19, 2010


  • Why does Yelp! cost them $250 a month? It's a free listing and posting a review is free for the reviewers. I'm assuming the $250 is for Yelp! advertising, which is not "zero dollars" and does in fact acknowledge the importance of external marketing and external marketing spending, even if it is a nominal cost.
  • Interesting article. While I don't question the value of word of mouth marketing I believe credit unions have been able to trim promotional expenses in these tough times and get away with it in the short term since the entire industry has enjoyed a strong influx of membership due to anti-bank sentiment and a flight to quality. I would hesitate to point to some sort of causality between the recent reduction in marketing outlays and the increase in membership growth as the basis for the conclusion that external marketing budgets are a thing of the past. When the economy does recover you can bet that CU competitors will be spending the dollars necessary to recapture customers from the CU industry.
  • Strong SEG based CU...bad example!!
  • To comment 3:

    "Well" before the financial meltdown? The official recession was called at the end of 2007 with the period of easing of the fed funds rate beginning several months before. It would be interesting to see a credit union's results during 2002-2005 and instead look at market penetration numbers ( a much better guage of effectiveness) compared to industry rather than absolute growth rates
  • Interesting approach but one I would respectively disagree with. While Ms. Dystra is seeing membership growth she is missing loan growth which has been on sharp decline since 1Q of 2005 along with a flat growth in credit card penetration for her CU. Direct mail and marketing helps reinforce the point of contact meeting with new members to keep the credit union “Top of Mind.” Additionally-- with so many different ways of accessing financial needs many net generation members will not revisit branching outlets as frequently as their parents, preferring to conduct their business online or via more convenient channels. The credit union is missing opportunities and relaying too much on frontline staff to generate business. A more balanced approach would result in huge gains for the credit union and hopefully pull up that loan growth to reflect the share draft percentage to members.
  • True, the credit unions have benefitted from recent sentiment. I don’t mean anything ‘snarky’ though as this growth started well before the meltdown and I think there will always be people that doubt any causality while others succeed… I wrote about this at http://waypointgroup.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/customer-intimacy-creates-roi/

    (Full disclosure, I'm part of a team that helps companies implement voice-of-the-customer programs and measure the ROI. This is more great validation!)
    Steve Bernstein, Waypointgroup.org
  • Wow.

    I am surprised at how many of the comments so far are negating Diana's results. Not surprised that they are all anonymous.

    To Comment #1: You should read The Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld, the author of the Net Promoter Score. There is a direct correlation between high NPS and high growth. The key drivers of this growth is not related to traditional marketing methods. They may not be entirely ineffective today - but this article is meant to show a trend.

    Comment #5 - Look at her comments on Yelp! To date she has 63 reviews with an average rating of 5 stars. Patelco comes in second with 24 reviews and a 3.5 rating. The majority of these folks are not branch groupies - these are your "net generation" and they are fiercely loyal because of reimbursed ATM surcharges, no fees, and great rates.

    Comment #6: This credit union has a community charter. They choose to build it through word-of-mouth among their fire fighters. This is brilliant - not a bad example.

    Denise Wymore