Marketing

Marketers Do Well By Doing Good

Challenging financial times bring out the best in CU marketers.

March 16, 2011
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Savvy marketing is never more important than during challenging financial times, as members postpone purchases and make every effort to save money.

In response, many credit unions are doing well by doing good: helping members save money by refinancing higher-rate loans they obtained at other financial institutions.

This approach has paid big dividends for Fibre Federal Credit Union, Longview, Wash., which serves an area with 12% unemployment, says Lesley Carrell, vice president of marketing for the $723 million asset credit union and a member of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council’s Executive Committee.

“People have been struggling with job loss and underemployment,” she explains. “We thought an easy way to save members money was to consolidate or refinance their loans at lower rates.”

Fibre Credit Union preapproved members, based on their credit scores, to refinance auto loans, home equity lines of credit, and credit cards held at other institutions.

“We told members we could save them money right away with a refinance; just come on in and sign the papers and you’re done,” Carrell explains.

The effort helped the credit union recapture millions of dollars in loans and led to positive loan growth during fourth-quarter 2010.

Sharing recent marketing successes are:

  • Carrell;
  • Wendy Cleveland, vice president of marketing & business development, $518 million asset AltaOne Federal Credit Union, Ridgecrest, Calif.;
  • Suzanne Miller, marketing manager, $317 million asset TLC Community Credit Union, Adrian, Mich.; and
  • Nancy Hutchinson, senior vice president of marketing and business development, $79 million asset Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union, Duluth, and a member of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Executive Committee.

 
The 18th Annual CUNA Marketing and Business Council Conference begins today in Las Vegas. Check back later this week for a special report from Credit Union Magazine.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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