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Marketing Council Best Practices winners honored
MADISON, Wis. (3/13/12)--Best Practices Award winners from the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council were announced during the council's 19th annual conference, which ended Saturday in New Orleans.

The awards recognize new marketing and business development approaches  that have potential for universal application across the credit union movement, said the council. Winners are based on strategy, process, application and results.

Winners by category were:

  • Business Development: Maps CU in Salem, Ore., for its Buy Local program. The program aimed to increase the credit union's relationships with local businesses, drive additional traffic to existing businesses, and engage the community with the idea of buying local.  It saw a 10% increase in participating businesses in 2011, a 95% renewal rate for 2012, increased website traffic on the Buy Local page and about $2,500 infused into the local business community.
  • Community Outreach and/or Political Advocacy: Truliant FCU, Winston-Salem, N.C., for R.E.A.L. (Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning), a program that provided participants with networking opportunities, small business education, financial literacy and counseling to build their financial strength and business skills. The program has 126 graduates. Eight individuals have already opened a new business and 22 plan to open a business within the next five years. For its efforts, Truliant FCU was honored as a 2011 recipient of the prestigious National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Merit Award for job creation and entrepreneurship training.
  • Miscellaneous: Fort Worth Community CU, Bedford, Texas, for the creation of its virtual spokeswoman "Gabby." Through social media tools including Facebook, Twitter, a blog, Pinterest, and her own website, Gabby engages and interacts with a targeted female audience (women, ages 28-55)  to develop relationships that will lead to membership growth and increased product/service usage among current members. In addition to features and accolades from various credit union organizations, the campaign has led to an 8.4% membership growth in less than 10 months and a 17.1% increase in loan growth over the previous year.
For more information on the 2012 Best Practice Award winners,  go to the council's website and click on the Best Practices link on the "Events" pull-down menu.
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