NEW YORK (7/3/13)--Credit union marketing decisions are often based on assumptions rather than facts, David Polet, director of CUNA Mutual Group's Voice of Customer division, told attendees of America's Credit Union Conference (ACUC) Tuesday.
Credit union marketers must challenge their assumptions when making decisions, David Polet, director of CUNA Mutual Group's Voice of Customer division, told America's Credit Union Conference Tuesday. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
"According to our research, 88% of credit union members have relationships with other financial institutions and that means, for at least part of how members think about finances, credit unions are not the preferred option," Polet said in his Discovery breakout session, "Turning Today's Consumer Insights into Tomorrow's Business Success." Polet was citing CUNA Mutual Group's 2011 Consumer Financial Needs Research.
The conference, presented by the Credit Union National Association, ends today.
Many credit union marketers assume Gen Y members are not smart with their money and that they don't think about retirement savings, Polet said. A recent CUNA Mutual Group survey shown to the ACUC audience contradicted those assumptions. It found:
60% of Gen Y members are saving for college for their children; and
71% of Gen Y members began planning for retirement before they were 26 years old.
"It's time to challenge all of those assumptions (about) members because we can't keep making marketing decisions based on prejudices," said Polet. "There are a lot of pressures on credit unions to gain market share, and research shows if credit unions aren't out in front of members to showcase what you have to offer, they will look elsewhere."
The shift in consumer channel preferences for finding financial products has gone from call center-focused to almost exclusively online. Polet referenced new research from the 2013 Insurance Barometer Study:
86% of consumers use the internet as part of their life insurance purchases; and
33% of consumers work through a call center/local agent for insurance purchases.
"When planning strategies, credit union marketers need to ask themselves, 'Why would my members or potential members get a loan from us? What do I have to offer that's meaningful to them?'" Polet said.
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