Consumers are increasingly tuned-in to what their peers say and now expect to be more educated about products.
Savvy credit unions know that consumers’ decision-making process is changing. Now, shoppers want to be informed about the products instead of sold them. They place more importance on reviews from other consumers and they’re getting more informed about products earlier in the process, according to one marketing expert.
As buyers change their behavior, businesses need to adjust their marketing and sales efforts, says Mike Lieberman, the founder and president of Warrington, PA,-based Square 2 Marketing, in his book “Revolutionize Your Company’s Sales and Marketing Strategy.”
Credit unions’ marketing strategies should target more research-driven behavior, as more buyers are turning to Google and Yelp before actually investing in products. Help your members feel informed about the benefits of, say, a good auto loan or mortgage instead of just pushing a cheap rate. As Liberman says, consumer expect to be have a deeper level of information and expect businesses to provide it.
And, as consumers increasingly turn toward online reviews to guide them to their best buys, ensure you know where your credit union’s product reviews stand. Ensure your credit union and its products and services are present on review forums, and that they’re earning top marks. Not engaging your members through these exterior online channels makes your credit union “simply less likely to make it to the short list” of consumers looking for financial services, he says.
Finally, keep in mind that your members are much smarter about what they’re buying these days. They likely already know whether your mortgage rates are competitive, if your fees are fair,or if your credit card offers them the best rewards before they turn to your credit union for more information. In that vein, ensure your sales team is more ready to guide members toward products that best fit their needs instead of pushing products to close sales.