ICYMI: CUs either merging or buying banks, transparency that builds trust, and ideas you need to borrow. Here’s what we’ve seen recently that you may have missed:
According to the media, CUs are crazily merging…
So far there have been 74 mergers of CUs in 2021, which if it continues at that pace will break the trend of fewer mergers each year since 2014. But there has also been an increase of 2.7% in the total number of credit unions (6,293) in the US in 2021.
… and busy buying banks
Of course you wouldn’t know that if you only saw the banking associations moaning and wailing about the horrors of CUs buying up community banks. Again, the real numbers help to put it in perspective. There are about 5000 community banks in the US. So far, there have been 10 credit union bank acquisitions in 2021, 5 in 2020, and 16 in 2019. That’s less than 1% over the last few years. And it’s not like the CUs are buying the bank’s charter, which isn’t allowed by law. It’s the bank’s board of directors that choose to sell assets, because they see it as a better deal for their customers.
Would ultimate transparency be the ultimate differentiator?
More and more brands are choosing transparency as their main marketing strategy. One company is completely transparent about the production and marketing costs of its perfume, distinguishing themselves from more expensive brands. A U.S.-based clothing brand is open about what material is being used, where it comes from (all the way to the factory), and how the price is determined. So why couldn’t a credit union be transparent about their costs?
Every CU & CEO needs to borrow some of these ideas, pronto.
Chip Filson’s article on Mike Lord demonstrates how to CEO when you have to follow an industry legend, and also shares how SECU has remained true to their purpose while becoming the second-largest CU in the country. Take some notes, people.
One trick to remember names that just might work
I’ll admit that I’m lousy at remembering names when I meet someone. So I was glad that Zoom at least gave us one perk – everyone’s name displayed under their smiling/talking/bored face. So how do I remember their names now that I might have to once again meet them face-to-face (or face-to-mask)? Here’s one method that I’m going to have to try: 10 seconds after meeting the person, internally ask yourself, “What’s her name?”, then answer. Do it again at 30 seconds, two minutes, and five minutes, and you might actually remember it in the future.
Getting over CRM fears
Great overview from NAFCU of getting over CRM fears and diving in. Just do it! There are ways for CU marketers to get started for just about any level of budget or skill. Experiment, involve your marketing/website vendors, and don’t be in a rush to get locked in to one all-singing, all-dancing solution.
Regs are not just for the CEO or Compliance
If you’re a credit union marketer, new or changed regulations aren’t just a problem for Compliance or the CEO. Be sure to keep an eye on the CU news from Washington, and make sure you’re at the table when these policy and process decisions are discussed – especially when they could have a strong impact on member experience and communication.