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The Blueprint of the Top Credit Union Marketing Campaign in the US

Learn how credit unions and community banks can acquire new members and customers away from the big national banks. We lay out our blueprint for success that's taken us over seven years to perfect. It involves locally-focused creative, content designed to help empower decision making, and focusing on your primary competitive advantage. By the end of the video, you'll understand that despite the big banks' multi-million dollar ad campaigns, your financial institution has tremendous advantages over them and we'll empower you with the specific marketing tactics we use on a daily basis that you can implement today.

Video Transcription

Dave Martin (00:04):

If I put myself in the shoes of a community bank or a credit union, I am frustrated when it comes to marketing because I'm going up against the national banks with their gigantic million dollar ad campaigns on a local level. Chase has Kevin Hart. Who wants to go against Kevin Hart? That's maybe what you're thinking, but I have good news. You have so many things that Chase doesn't have, they need Kevin Hart to compete against you. We've helped so many credit unions and community banks to successfully gain more members and customers over the years that it's amazing that so many of these smaller banks and credit unions ignore many of the things that work, and instead try to market like they themselves are a big bank. We've spent over $19 million on Google and Facebook, we've done a ton of SEO and a ton of marketing for financial institutions, so we know what works, we know how to get results, and I'm just going to share it all with you right now.


We're running some of the top credit union marketing campaigns in the United States right now, and they all boil down to five simple steps that if you do them in sequence will have you out marketing the big banks very soon. The first thing to do is to not spend money on advertising. I know I'm a CEO of a marketing agency telling you, "Don't spend money on advertising." Well, you shouldn't if you aren't focusing on your current and past members or customers. It's really putting the cart before the horse because 90% plus of all credit union and community bank members and customers do not come from advertising. They come from word of mouth. And so you have to figure out how to do that. Now, there's a statistic that says 86% of all credit union members are also members of a big bank, so just because they're a member of your community bank or credit union doesn't mean that you get all of their business.


What we try to do is we try to focus on the existing members and past members of the credit union, and there's a few ways you could do this. One is with email marketing. Now, instead of just sending an e-blast out to everybody that has 50 things to read, that's what most credit unions do, and that doesn't work. And I bet you knew that too, but it doesn't work. Instead, you go to the time of segmenting your lists out of active members, non-active members, maybe active members with auto loans, active members with home loans, non-active members with the same. And then you could target with certain messaging for each one of those people, so it's like you sat down and wrote something specifically for them. Everybody knows people buy a car every five years, people buy a house every seven to 10, so most people are somewhere in the middle right there. So if you hit them with a targeted message that will mean most likely they're going to reach out to you and say, "Okay, what are your rates?"


Because most people prefer to do business with the financial institution they're with, not go out on the internet and search for somebody they've never done business with before. So make sure you wrap your arms around your past and current members and customers. The next one is beat the big banks at their own game. Now, again, you're going to think of Chase Bank or Wells Fargo with these giant marketing budgets, and, yes, they have giant marketing budgets, but their marketing is usually run from a marketing manager based either in a corporate office or regional office and they've got specific budgets for every area that they're managing. In other words, it's a fairly cold and static way to do marketing. What we find is even when we do things like Google Ads and we go head to head with Wells Fargo, Chase, those big banks, our ads actually always outrank their ads.


Now, we are spending time optimizing the ads, but it's not rocket science. It's Google Partner science. I mean, of course. No, but whether you know somebody that could do this or you have somebody internally managing your Google Ads, if you spend time to optimize your ads, you can actually outrank, your Google Ads can outran the big bank's Google Ads fairly quickly. And as proof I could show you the screenshot of our ads right now outranking all the big guys, and it's partly because of all the time we've put into it, but it's also budget allocation and keywords that we're going after. But all of that to say, the ads are performing very well because we've put the time into them to optimize them to do so. The third one is resonate with your community, and this is where credit unions and community banks kill large national banks, because large national banks, they're advertising on TV, they're doing some Google Ads, maybe conservative radio, whatever, is in their regional budgets, but they don't have the experience that you do in your community.


They're not a part of the fabric of your community like you are, and the way you really demonstrate this the best is on your website. When somebody goes to say, Bank of America, it's a very corporate look with a stock image and whatever versus when they go to your website, I hope what they see are landmarks and real people in your community that actually live there and actually use your bank or credit union. One example is a website we built for Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. We actually ended up winning a Web Marketing Search Award for the best credit union website, and we focused it on real people with real testimonials with just a bunch of photos and images of the area that they're located in. And the idea is that when somebody goes to this, they go, "Wow, these guys really get me. They know where I am."


And the whole idea with a credit union, when you give us a dollar, we invest that dollar back in the community. That really resonates with people versus going to Chase's website, "I don't want to put a dollar in Kevin Hart's pocket. He's got enough money."

Kevin Hart (06:43):

No, no, no, no, no.

Dave Martin (06:45):

So that's what you've got to do, is you've got to resonate with your community and it's not as hard as you think. And the minute you start doing this, you're going to see conversion rates go up on your website, getting more calls, and getting more members or customers. This next step might be the most important of all the ones I'm going to share and it actually is responsible for why so many of our campaigns are the top credit union or community bank marketing campaigns in the United States. And in one word, it's called attribution. Now, you might have been to credit union seminars or community bank seminars, and the word attribution has slowly become a buzzword. But basically what it means is assigning a value to all parts of your marketing campaign. Whether it's Facebook ads, whether it's Google Ads, or whatever else you're doing, SEO, how do you track if somebody clicks on three Facebook Ads, then later clicks on a Google Ad, then becomes a member or a customer? How much credit do you give to Facebook? How much credit do you give to Google?


Well, right now, most credit unions can't even track any of that. All the credit goes to Google, which means, "Oh, we're wasting money on Facebook," which is not true. So with credit unions and community banks, now you really have to understand this, this is where attribution goes even deeper. There's attribution on the side of the marketing advertising, which is what I just talked about, but on the other side, it's the fact that when somebody clicks on an ad and they want to apply for a loan or get their credit run, they can't do it on your website. You're using an online banking portal to get somebody to apply for a loan, and they're going to hear back if they actually were approved. Well, for 98% of bank or credit union marketing campaigns, Google Analytics can track all the way up to when they click to apply, and then they leave your website to go to whatever online banking portal service you're using, and that's where it drops off.


So this is where deep attribution makes a huge difference. We'll use a third party analytics platform called Mixpanel, and what we do is we'll put a code on your website so that it records all of the IP addresses of everybody that comes in. Now, an IP address, in case you don't know, is what everything that searches the internet has. So the iPhone or Android phone that's in your pocket, the laptop that you have, the desktop computer, all of them have very specific IP addresses. It's like their name, if you will, and it's just a bunch of letters and numbers, but that's specific to your device. Well, using Mix Panel, we could track the IP addresses of everybody clicking on ads and then match them up to the IP addresses within your online banking portal of people that applied for loans and people that were given loans. And this is something that you can do by downloading a CSV of all the IP addresses of people that applied for loans and got loans, and then go ahead and matching them up to the IP addresses through Mixpanel.


And then you're going to see, "Oh, this person, yes, they clicked on a Google Ad and they called us and they ended up getting an auto loan, but they clicked on four Facebook auto loan related ads three months leading up to that." I mean, just think of the data that you could have at your fingertips knowing that your Facebook ads are actually working and that you thought Instagram Ads were working, but for example, they're not working. "All right, well, let's ditch Instagram for now and let's put more money in Facebook." You couldn't make a decision like that without having attribution set up for not only the advertising, like we talked about, giving goals and giving credit to Facebook, Google, but also on connecting ad clicks all the way through your website, through your online banking portal, and connecting it all together.


I know that I'm going to sound like I'm nerding out here, so let me finish the point by going like this. It doesn't take somebody who's nerding out on this stuff to actually get this right. It's pretty straightforward. We actually have a blog post on our website that's entirely dedicated to how to set this up yourself, and it's not as complicated as it sounds. And I guarantee you that within a week you're going to have this set up and you're going to love the data that you get from this. Lastly, oh, hold on one second. Ugh, these things are hurting my eyes. Lastly, you want to incentivize your current members to make new members. It always dumbfounds us to see most credit unions spending thousands of dollars a month on marketing and really having very little, if any, referral program. And usually where it starts is segmenting your list, like we talked about before, focused on active, non-active, people that have home loans, people that have auto loans, share certificate accounts, things like that, and sending targeted messages.


And the basics of, you may have heard the buzzword "marketing automation." Well, really that's what email marketing is if you set it up where you create three or four different messages designed to go to somebody, message one goes to them, and if they don't respond, message two automatically goes out four days later, if they don't respond, message three goes out to them three or four days later after that. That is basically what marketing automation is. But what it does is it allows you to create all these messages for every segment where it says, "Dear, insert name," the person's name goes into it. So it's almost like you've hired somebody to do all this work of creating all these emails and sending them out when, really, you've just set up the automation to do that. And the majority of credit unions using any kind of backend CRM, you don't necessarily have to go out and invest in Salesforce or HubSpot. Some more basic lower cost versions, like I said, Constant Contact or MailChimp, can do this too.


But the point is that you're able to wrap your arms around people via email because, of course, it's incredibly inexpensive to reach your members and past members. And the thing is, like I said before, it's so much easier to get a current or past member or customer to get a new loan from you because they trust you, they've had experience with you. For the most part, I'm sure you did a great job with them, versus totally neglecting them and trying to find the next person to say, "Hey, we're the best. We're the best. We're better than big banks." Well, you have to really go out of your way to convince that person. It makes a ton of more sense to focus on people that you've done business with in the past, and that is why it's so important to incentivize your current members to make new members.


Some of these steps might seem like common sense. I mean, there might be some credit unions that hear this or community banks that are watching this that are doing the majority of these things. The thing is that we have never talked to a credit union or a community bank that have been doing these things in this process with this kind of methodology. And so while some of them might sound like common sense, when you put these things together and you take the time to do this, you're going to see results very quickly. Now, if you like what you heard, go ahead and go to our Insights page because we have a ton of blog posts. Some of them focused on credit unions and community banks, and some of them aren't. But many of the things that we talk about can relate to you as well. Thanks.

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