Understand Your Members

The digital world provides incredible insight into consumer preferences, and opportunity for growth is available to all institutions.


Businesses create success stories by having something consumers need or want and informing them effectively. When you understand consumer behavior, you have the power to deliver effective marketing. The digital world provides incredible insight into consumer preferences, and although every institution is different, opportunity for growth is available to all.



Four credit unions with varying levels of assets and demographics participated in the CU Companies’ online Valentine’s Survey and Giveaway, which used a “Double Your Chances” methodology to capture member information. Step one of this two-step campaign limited prize registration to name, email, and a single question: “What type of cell phone do you have?” A total of 909 people responded; 95% were current members.




The result:






Understanding technology preferences helps businesses understand members. There are differences between iPhone and Android users, the two primary phone types.

Understanding members is more about what technology they use than what age they are.

Read about mobile trends and why they are important by downloading the CU Companies Valentine's Day Survey.

Seven hundred and eighteen of the 909 members continued to the second step, where they answered nine questions.

One benefit of a survey like this is it raises questions to ask your organization. The CU Companies survey raises six key points, including: How well do you understand members’ wants and needs? Are you aware of consumer trends and decision-making processes? Do you have technology in place to meet consumer needs?

How well do you understand members’ wants and needs?

CUComp_ratesEveryone wants more from service providers, whether cable television, a restaurant, or a financial institution. People no longer bank with one institution, they are pulled away by what competitors offer and influenced by technology that meets their needs. People use mobile banking for more than checking balances.

Twenty-five percent of respondents indicated they would like to see rates in a mobile app; 21% said they’d like to find ATM locations, and 19% said they wanted calculators. Understanding members’ pressure points is key to earning the status of primary financial institution.


Are you aware of consumer trends and decision-making processes?

Of members with mortgages at their existing credit union, 40% based their decision on a past experience with that credit union, whereas only 9% based it on interest rates.Understanding the decision-making processes will allow your organization to plan ahead rather than be caught unaware.

Less face-to-face interaction with members due to increased use of technology requires impactful moves to stay engaged and relevant.

What other reasons entice members to stay with their credit union when taking out a mortgage? The answers might surprise you. Download here

Do you have technology in place to meet consumer needs?

CUComp_mtgMost institutions think mobile banking is key to future opportunity. The reality is it is no longer a differentiator - it is an expectation.

Many institutions jumped into mobile banking without asking what members wanted from a mobile app.” With today’s prevalence of technology and consumer comfort with security, it is not surprising 74% would use or consider an app to make mortgage payments.

Many credit unions often overlook text messaging as a channel to reach members. According to Pew Internet and American Life study, 80% of cell phone users send and receive text messages, 29% check balances and access banking through mobile devices.

For information about relevant mobile trend, download the CU Companies survey. Download here.

In the financial industry when you have a commodity, attention shifts from product to promotion. But promotion is ineffective without the proper tools. We know what tools members use, how they prefer to use those tools, and what messages credit unions should deliver.

In an economy driven by technology, now is the time to gain an understanding of how to benefit from it. The only thing standing in the way is inaction.

For more information, download the free survey by CU Companies. Contact LeAnn Achtenberg, Director of Marketing for CU Companies and schedule a time to talk with her and Trevor Hendrickson, marketing consultant and author of this study.



This sponsored content article is provided to the credit union community for shared insights and knowledge from a recognized solutions provider in the industry. Please note that the views and opinions offered here do not reflect those of Callahan & Associates, and Callahan does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer.

If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact our Callahan Media team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.


Aug. 26, 2013


  • Brilliant article, Loved it!! If technology is not a part of your credit union's business strategy, it needs to be or forget reaching your target market. I really like how the article broke down the various phone preferences since this is a key componet when creating your CU app. Glad to see our credit union is on the right track!
  • This is great information. If we aren't using technology to reach them, we're missing the boat.