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Category brand building + Individual credit union marketing = Long term growth
We're building category-level branding that supports long-term growth. The platform leads with the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® program-designed to get Americans to look again to credit unions and overcome their misguided assumptions about credit unions.
The effectiveness of this initiative will be measured by the following key metrics in our target audience:
The campaign has hit the market! The multi-channel deployment launched in Minnesota in January. Consumers are now being directed to explore what credit unions can offer them on yourmoneyfurther.com. Take a look to experience the consumer facing site.
Use these tools to explore and find out more:
Hear from the experts shaping Open Your Eyes with this upcoming Awareness Initiative webinar series:
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find information detailing the high-level vision and strategy for this initiative? Information about the initiative including a comprehensive overview, campaign update and contributors is at cuna.org/awareness.
We have run membership campaigns before. What's different with this one?
This initiative is a credit union industry-level effort to drive consumer consideration credit unions, raising interest and pushing more consumers down the marketing funnel to help make local marketing efforts more successful. It is designed to help the credit union movement across the country speak with one consistent voice and capture the attention of non-member consumers.
What research has been conducted to inform this Initiative?
Over the past three years, we have used opinion research to build a thorough assessment of the opportunities and challenges for the credit union movement. This has included a foundational baseline survey of 1,500 non-members, and a consumer segmentation survey with 2,400 non-members. Nationwide focus groups with non-members and members have also provided nuanced insights into how people think about credit unions, and how we can increase interest and consideration. In addition, regional research has been conducted in some areas to provide a local perspective on the challenges facing the movement.
Our research led to a defined set of objectives for the awareness initiative - first, to increase consideration of credit unions. At present, many Americans are aware of credit unions, but do not consider credit unions as an option for them. Second, to combat the dominant consumer myths that are holding back that consideration - many Americans feel they "can't join" or that credit unions are "too local" (for example, they are seen to lack a nationwide network of ATMs, or the latest app/mobile banking options).
Beyond consideration and myths, our research has highlighted the importance of stressing what a credit union enables consumers to do, not what a credit union does. Non-members are swayed by hearing about how credit union membership allows them to reach their financial goals faster, rather than just hearing about features and benefits. Messaging needs to focus on outcomes, not outputs.
As we move into execution, we will seek to move the needle on consideration (the % of Americans who would consider a credit union) and myths (a decline in Americans feeling they can't join, and credit unions are just local). Specific targets will vary by market.
How will all credit unions benefit from this initiative?
As this is a category-level effort, a rising tide lifts all boats. We aim to have consumers increasingly select credit unions as the solution to meet their needs for financial services.
How does the campaign help credit unions attract/retain younger members that our survival depends upon?
Credit unions have a great opportunity to reach a younger base of consumers and recruit them to be active members. Younger consumers express a desire for that relationship as they navigate the financial challenges and opportunities they will experience. The messaging increases their understanding of credit unions and leverages the benefits our business model provides. The digital-first media deployment will reach targeted demographics, including younger consumers, when they are seeking financial services.
What media will be used?
Digital first. Paid social media, banner ads, streaming video and other online outlets on channels where our core audience spends time.
What happens after 3 years?
The three-year launch phase of the Awareness Initiative is the period we believe is necessary to establish a long-term, sustainable effort. By the end of our first three years we expect to have a long-term model in place to carry the initiative far into the future.
How do we deliver on 5,500 CUs being easy to join?
The conversations with consumers in digital media are meant to convince them to consider credit unions as an option for them. Not everyone can join every credit union, but there is one for everyone.
Some consumer ads indicate that “you're not an account number” but the first question many credit unions ask is “what's your account number?”
There is good guidance on this and other questions in the Messaging Guide (access it at cuna.org/awareness). The research-proven guidance helps us better connects campaign messages to credit union service as well as credit union service with consumers. All credit unions have access to this guide to drive our movement's message collectively.
How will we know the campaign is working?
The Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union™ campaign is a category-level initiative designed to correct misperceptions consumers hold about credit unions and raise their consideration of our industry for financial services. The media plan will place messaging in front of our target audiences when they are “in market” for financial services. At the category level, we'll measure consumer consideration over time, and consumer engagement with the content in near-real time.
This targeted campaign will move the needle in consumer perceptions of credit unions and help increase the effectiveness of local marketing by increasing consumer interest. As proven through consumer research, the creative successfully influences attitudes by correcting perceptions about accessibility, only being local and general lack of knowledge, while emphasizing credit union advantages over banks, like better rates and lower fees.
Credit unions are encouraged and expected to continue their direct response marketing to continue to drive product sales and membership. The creative and media plan of the Awareness Initiative will provide a broad, industry-wide level of support to complement the credit union marketing efforts with research-proven messaging over an extended amount of time. The industry-wide, attitudinal change correcting the myths will not be a short-term measure achieved in one week, one month or even one year.
What are the success measures for the initiative?
The payback period on an initiative such as this is long-term. There are many campaign metrics that will be measured along the way including impressions and clicks. Online surveys will measure consumer attitudes on consideration factors (credit unions are an option for me, top-of-mind, unaided recall, they can meet my needs, etc.) Key performance indicators will track performance of digital media and industry trends will monitor our growth over time.
Our governance committee of credit union CEOs is continuing dialogue on more broad-based industry metrics to consider items such as market share and membership growth.
How does my credit union information get used in measuring the campaign?
Data from participating credit unions is welcomed. Through the expertise of CUNA's economic team, the initiative will be monitored, and additional information may be requested of credit unions.
Becoming A Contributor
How do I contribute?
Organizations interested in contributing should indicate interest using the form at cuna.org/awareness. Each contributor will complete a contributor agreement for a one-to-three-year term. After the agreement is signed, organizations will be invoiced. Once payment is received, information regarding deployment of the media campaign and access to campaign materials will be provided.
If credit unions have submitted funds and the initiative is discontinued how do the designated funds get disbursed?
The Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union campaign is fully anticipated to run for three years and be followed by a new iteration based on our ongoing research and measures. The multi-year pledge agreements offer protections to contributors if there is a discontinuation.
What if we fall short of our fundraising goal?
With our media partners, we'll be sure to have a workable budget in your region. Although fundraising goals have been established to provide a foundational budget, we'll carefully evaluate options depending on the actual funds raised.
How did the contribution ask across the nation and through our league get determined?
Originally, a standardized, national ask was intended to be shared with credit unions across the nation in collaboration with each League. After additional consultation, select Leagues desired more involvement with the introduction and fundraising of the Awareness Initiative. As a result, the Awareness Initiative is at varying stages of deployment across the country.
When should I pledge and plan to submit payment?
We would welcome your commitment at any time. The three-year contribution amount is for 2019-2021. Pledges are important now to initiate media planning in your region.
Are credit unions expected to take from existing marketing budgets to fund this effort?
The campaign is intended to complement existing credit union marketing. It's recommended that the contributions be in addition to existing marketing spends. Credit unions still need to deploy their great marketing. Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union helps eliminate the need to educate consumers that they can join and that being local is a negative by demonstrating the strength of our industry.
Why was our contribution not included with our dues?
CUNA dedicates dues to advocacy and will maintain that distinction.
Can we co-brand the collateral?
The Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union campaign is meant to be an industry-level message, not to be directly deployed by a credit union. Select out-of-home, local materials (posters, banners, print ads, etc.) are available to contributing credit unions to associate themselves with the initiative in accordance with style guidelines via an online portal. Digital advertising will carry the credit union category level messaging and call to action of YourMoneyFurther.com.
What is YourMoneyFurther.com?
YourMoneyFurther.com is a consumer website that is part of the overall Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union campaign. The advertising that will be deployed as part of the campaign will include this website as a call to action. It is the call to action for the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union campaign.
YourMoneyFurther.com reinforces key campaign messages and includes a filter-enabled credit union finder and an ATM/shared branch finder.
The data for the credit union finder is supplied by CU Solutions. They use NCUA data, updated quarterly, to maintain a list of credit union branches. Service data is also pulled from Callahan.
Asset Management System
What is the Awareness Asset Management System?
It is an on-line portal available to contributor credit unions that they can use to customize campaign assets for local use.
What can be customized?
Credit unions and leagues will see assets such as posters, banners and web banners. Credit unions can add their logo to the customizable assets and select from a range of portrait images and key messages. Size output is variable depending upon on how the credit union would like to use the asset. Credit unions can work with the vendor to re-size assets of existing images through its online helpdesk.
What is the model for support?
Credit unions will log-in to the portal through our existing CUNA Single Sign-On process. Credit union questions related to this process will go through our current CUNA.org support model (the support number is (800) 356-9655). If a credit union has a question related to the portal, they can contact the vendor directly using the contact information listed on the site.
Will additional content be developed?
As messaging evolves over time, more content will be added for local use to continue to complement the creative being used at the broader, credit-union category level.
How soon will I see the campaign in my area?
After pledges have been secured in a regional area, timelines to see the campaign deployed is 30-45 days. During that time, the media buy will be negotiated and constructed, contributors will receive deployment details and connections for measurements will be established. Contributors may be consulted during this time for advice and guidance based on their regional model.
If the initiative is about reaching the most individuals the temptation will be to focus on the very large markets. Has this been addressed?
The digital-first strategy is intended to drive to the audience first, regardless of where they are. This has been described by some as the difference between watering your lawn with a sprinkler vs dropping a drop of water blade of grass. The media plans are intended to be built in the specific regions to most effectively reach our core audience. Rather than a broad national buy, this is more of a 'quilt' of regional buys, individually constructed with leagues and credit unions, that ends up with great national impact. The local touch here is critical to delivering value to participating credit unions and leagues.
Are funds used over a 12-month period from the campaign start date?
The media plans are intended for a calendar year cycle. The plans will be to heavier during some months of the year and lighter during others to account for the seasonality of consumer interest in financial services.
What is our region's media plan?
Each region will have a custom media plan built within budget considerations, available media channels and audience make-up. Each will start from a base media mix that is roughly: 30% paid social, 30% streaming video, 40% website-based video and display ads, to achieve a custom media mix for the region.
Where will the money be spent?
Funds raised will be spent in the region where the funds have been contributed. The guidance is to focus on targeted consumers no matter where they are in the region to maintain the efficiency of the media plan.
How much of the funds raised are needed for the campaign administration?
We are working to spread administration costs (research, creative, back-office support, national staff) as widely as possible and working to build industry partner support to minimize individual asks for administration. A committee of the CUNA Board oversees the stewardship of funds to ensure equity is maintained.
If we can buy media less expensively, why can't we do it ourselves?
The coordinated approach to media buying is meant to ensure a common set of metrics by which we can measure success and take advantage of our combined media buying power.
What is the forecasted annual digital impressions?
As the regional media buys are being developed with credit unions and leagues, we are setting targets for impressions at the regional level. As an example, an initial plan for Oregon anticipated a 7x per week impression plan for two groups (25-34-year-olds and 34-54 parents) that are 'in market' for financial services. Total impressions over 12 months for the two groups are about 70 million.
Is the campaign reach being determined solely by impressions or by interactions with the advertising, such as time spent watching video or click-thru rate on display ads?
It's being measured by impressions and interactions. For example, Minnesota was the official launch of the awareness initiative on January 28 and more than 665,000 individuals during the first two weeks of media running have been reached; more than 1.2 million impressions have been made; 32,500 of the video ads have been watched to completion - meaning a consumer paused he/her social media browsing to watch an Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® video.
What specific metrics will be used to track the campaign's success, both for the macro and micro goals? How often will updates on progress towards the goals be released?
At the macro-category level we'll monitor increased consumer consideration of category through increased consumer views that they can join and they can get to their money when away from home.
At the micro-level well monitor digital media performance including consumer engagement with content; Video views, clicks; engagement with website, finder; KPIs once initial baseline is collected,
Long-term industry trends will monitor member growth and changes in category-level performance.
Are safeguards in place to ensure the vast majority of the digital media budget is not focused on major metropolitan areas where there is a larger pool of consumers meeting the “interest” targeting of financial services.
Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union is focused on consumers between the ages of 24-55 that have indicated an interest in financial services. Wherever they are OYE will follow. However, as a Contributor there are assets to allow our CUs to further get the word out. We plan to share quarterly the results specific to each Contributor.
Currently, 30% of the media allocation is designated for paid social media. Will there be tracking available for paid vs. organic impressions and engagements? Will there be resources to monitor these social digital placements to respond to both positive and negative feedback from social media users?
Within the quarterly micro measurement results we will share a summary of the past quarter and will include some of the areas you touched in along with other relevant findings.
Are there resources available for internal marketing to CU employees to increase their “buy-in” and participate as advocates and promoters for the campaign?
There are currently no resources to increase internal “buy-in” for staff, however, they should feel at ease knowing Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union has five easy steps to customizing templates for banners, in branch posters, website and social media posts. Customizing templates are as simple as selecting a template, choosing an Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union portrait, selecting your message, placing your logo and selecting a call to action.
Will credit unions report back on their website traffic, specifically referrals from YourMoneyFurther.com, to continuously improve the digital media placements?
That is the plan. Part of the quarterly check ins will be to learn how our Contributors are benefiting.
Will tracking be set up to monitor increased website referral traffic from YourMoneyFurther.com to participating credit union's websites?
Yes, but do keep in mind the category-level purpose of the creative material and paid media is to shift consumer perceptions. That is different from direct response advertising.
Since this is a digital only campaign, are there best practices available for the type of experience, interaction, or digital path consumers should have once they hit the credit union's website? Should specific landing pages be developed by credit unions to field traffic from this campaign?
That's a great marketing strategy and would make the consumer experience better if similar key words/phases were used on the credit unions website.
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