Relationships

Here’s an interesting question. What is one of the longest, if not the longest, relationships a person will experience in their life? Here’s a hint – it’s not a marriage. In fact, it may not even be friendship. It’s a person’s relationship with their bank, and primarily, their checking account. It’s true! Just think of the longest relationships and biggest life needs and you’ll be amazed. The average length of car ownership? Eight years. Homeownership? A little better, but only 13 years. A marriage last longer, right? Nope! Most last eight years on average. Friendships are the closest to the truth at 17 years but still not quite as long as a person’s relationship with their checking account and bank. That comes in at almost 18 years! This provides some explanation for why it can be difficult to convince that member to move their relationship to us. We’ve asked and we’ve asked but they just don’t seem to budge! Well, let’s look at why it can be so hard to convince them to move their primary relationship to us (and why some relationships just don’t last)! Looking back to the statistic on marriage, Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. states that adult development moves in roughly seven years blocks. Why? Needs change. People change. Seven years is a significant amount of time. Just think about how often your needs change financially. Odds are, you aren’t in the same financial place as you were even six months ago, let alone seven years ago! The fact is, needs change and if those needs aren’t being met – sometimes it’s best to look to a new provider. And people do just that. So why, if needs change financially, more often than romantically, do more people stay with their bank rather than move? Studies show the largest factor is pricing. Two types of costs are to be considered here – time and money. Roughly 48% of checking accounts are considered free or not having a monthly charge. Those that do charge a fee, charge $14 a month or almost $170 a year for their service. Also, the convenience. Moving a checking account isn’t easy or fun. Balancing the need to move with the cost (and aggravation) of moving is a fine balancing act. Often, the monetary savings doesn’t overcome the time expense of the move. Much like a friend is stuck in a bad marriage, our prospective members may be staying with their bank simply due to the fact that it costs so much to get a divorce! Although as the known joke says, the reason divorces cost so much is because they’re worth it. So, if you’re looking to grow your membership but coming up short, what would make the cost of divorcing your current bank worth it? Let’s look at a few steps to consider increasing your member acquisition and target the right members for your organization. Need help to determine your ideal member or researching what matters most to them? Reach out to us! We help narrow the field of vision so that the only people who have eyes for you are those you are best to serve.

Where Will New Members Learn About Your Credit Union?

So, where do you think you should be fishing when it comes to finding new members? Social media. It’s not my opinion. It’s a fact based on a study from GWI that found that 31% of social media users in the US in Q1 2020 said they typically find out about new brands/products via ads on social media, a 40% hike from the previous quarter. Another recent study from Smartly.io published similar data indicating that 57% of US adults use social media as a way of finding new brands, and that a majority of consumers have been turning to social media more to discover new products and brands. Let’s break this down by generations and preferences to be even more helpful for your credit union strategic marketing plan for next year. When it comes to millennials and Gen Xers, they are more likely than Gen Zers to click on promoted posts/ads on social platforms, including Facebook, Reddit and TikTok. When it comes to Gen Zers, they seem the most swayed by influencers and the only generation in the study to overwhelmingly say that they feel that influencer recommendations are more relevant to them than traditional ads on social media. What are some takeaways for your credit union strategic marketing plan, if you truly want to educate, engage and retain the next generation of credit union members? Credit union social media is no longer something that can be left to the intern or an eager frontline staff person (though they shouldn’t be left out of the equation). Social media strategy should be a serious piece of your credit union strategic marketing plan, and having a professional to help navigate the murky waters of constant changes and adjust your strategy is necessary if you’re going to continue hooking younger members. Need some help? Our team has the expertise on hand to help. Let’s talk!

Big Banks and Fintechs are Fighting it Out. What About Credit Unions?

A recent Forbes article titled, “The checking account war is over: The fintechs have won” certainly caught my attention. Of course, once I clicked and saw the author was Ron Shevlin I shouldn’t have been surprised. Shevlin quickly pointed out the success of Chime, PayPal and Square in mega growth and the decline of the big banks like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. As we begin building out our credit union marketing strategies and plans for the next year, that ‘sticky’ old checking product will enter the conversation. So perhaps the data that Shevlin presented from Cornerstone Advisors might come in handy. Here are a few quick highlights that caught my eye: I was keeping the faith through the article, seeing no mention of credit unions – until I did. And it wasn’t the good news I was hoping for. “Regional banks, community banks and credit unions are all seeing a decline in the percentage of their customers and members who consider them to be the primary provider, as digital banks and fintechs become the dominant primary provider. Today, more than a third of Gen Zers and millennials, and nearly three in 10 Gen Xers, consider a fintech or digital bank to be their primary checking account provider.” My take-away as we begin credit union strategic planning and marketing for the next year? One word: relevance. You must be investing in technology. You must pair it with the in-person option that technology lovers don’t know they need (or think they don’t need) until they are dealing with an account issue. Create messaging around solving that pain point for the consumer before they realize they have a problem. Use your digital platforms to serve that message and make it easy for your future members to do business with you.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Optimizing Email in 2023

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience when it comes to effective credit union marketing. In fact, according to a study by HubSpot, email marketing has an average ROI of $38 for every $1 spent. But in order to be successful, you need to keep up with the latest trends. One of the biggest trends is personalization. Members are increasingly expecting personalized experiences from their credit union, and email is no exception. Credit unions can use personalization to tailor their emails to each individual recipient, which can lead to higher open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. For example, a credit union could personalize their emails by using the recipient’s name, or by including information about their account history. They could also use segmentation to target their emails to different groups of customers, such as new customers, existing customers, or customers who have shown an interest in certain products or services. Another important trend is automation. Automation can help credit unions save time and money on their email marketing campaigns. There are a number of email marketing automation tools available that can help credit unions send targeted emails based on subscriber behavior, segment their lists, and track results. For example, a credit union could use automation to send a welcome email to new members, or to send a reminder email to members who have an upcoming bill due or have shown interest in a specific product offered on their site. Finally, mobile is still king. More and more people are using their smartphones to access email, so it’s important for credit unions to make sure their emails are optimized for mobile devices. This includes using responsive design, keeping emails short and to the point, and using high-quality images. By following these trends, credit unions can ensure that their email marketing campaigns are effective and reach their target audience. Here are some additional tips for credit unions to improve their email marketing campaigns and stay on trend all at the same time: Email marketing can be a powerful tool for credit unions to reach their members and achieve their business goals when implementing their credit union marketing plans.

3 Tips to Get the Most out of Your Credit Union Strategic Plan

As we enter the time when we start looking ahead to the next year, your credit union strategic plan might be complete, or you plan to work on it very soon. Regardless, you want it to be more than a dusty document on the shelf or a forgotten file in your digital folder. Having gaining perspective from conducting many credit union strategic planning sessions over the last 15 plus years, I wanted to share three thoughts with you. Thoughts that aren’t top secret or even groundbreaking. Reminders really of three basic things that will ensure you get the most out of your strategic plan. Every credit union strategic plan should help formulate, refine and clearly communicate the essentials of strategic choices throughout the entire credit union. It should support and invest in the credit union’s core capabilities and measure success. And it should not be relegated to gather dust in a corner. Need help achieving meaningful change for success? Would you like facilitator focused on longer term accountability? Let’s talk!

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
 
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
 
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche

Copywriter

Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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