Learn More about Member Benefits
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:
Hear from the experts shaping Open Your Eyes with the free, member-only recorded Awareness Initiative webinar series. Learn more about the research, creative and digital strategies that have helped bring the campaign to life, preview the creative idea behind the Creating Awareness Initiative, or dive into what the digital-first strategy means for the campaign.
This webinar series is beneficial for credit union CEOs, marketing and communications professionals.
The multi-channel deployment launched 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, and use these tools to find out more:
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 list of 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 of 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?
We used market research to determine our opportunities and challenges as a movement. We started with a foundational baseline survey of 1,500 non-members and a consumer segmentation survey with 2,400 non-members. We also conducted nationwide focus groups with non-members and members that yielded nuanced insights into public opinion on credit unions. In addition, we have done regional research in some areas better understand local perspectives.
Our research informs our objectives. First, increase consideration of credit unions. We learned from research that 98% Americans are aware of credit unions, but 72% of non-members do not consider credit unions as an option when making financial decisions. Second, dispel dominant consumer myths. Research shows that - consumers think they "can't join" or that ”accessing my money may be difficult”. For example, consumers do not think credit unions have a nationwide network of ATMs or the latest app/mobile banking options.
Beyond consideration and myths, our research shows consumers respond to messages showing how credit union membership can help them reach their financial goals faster, rather than just hearing about the features and general benefits of credit unions.
How will all credit unions benefit from this initiative?
A rising tide lifts all boats. We aim to have consumers increasingly select credit unions as their best financial partner.
How will the campaign help credit unions attract/retain younger members that our survival depends upon?
The digital-first media deployment will target specific demographics, including millennials, as they browse for financial services. Our campaign also targets parents ages 35-55, an audience that is making big financial decisions for their families.
What media will be used?
The campaign is digital first. It deploys 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 credit unions being easy to join?
The digital media is meant to convince consumers to consider credit unions. Not everyone can join every credit union, but there is a credit union 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 nuanced message and other matters in the Messaging Guide (access it at cuna.org/awareness).
How will we know the campaign is working?
The Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign is a category-level initiative designed to tackle consumer myths about credit unions and raise consideration of our industry. We will measure our progress through near real-time measurements of engagement with the campaign and longer-term consumer consideration surveys.
Credit unions are encouraged and expected to continue their direct response marketing to drive product sales and membership. The creative and media plan of the Awareness Initiative is a category-level, industry-wide effort to raise consideration. Our goal is to get more consumers to consider joining a credit union. It is up to credit unions turn them into members. This is a long-term program that needs long-term commitment.
What are the success measures for the initiative?
We will use campaign metrics, including impressions, views and clicks, along with online surveys to track our progress. 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 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?
We fully anticipate running the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign for three years, followed by a new campaign iteration based on our ongoing research and measures. However, 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?
No! The campaign is intended to complement existing credit union marketing. Contributions should be in addition to existing marketing spends. Credit unions still need to deploy their great marketing.
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.
What is YourMoneyFurther.com?
YourMoneyFurther.com is a consumer website that is part of the overall Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign. All advertising will link to this website as a call to action.
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.
The ATMs and shared branches displayed are part of the CO-OP network.
The finder results will first display all contributing credit unions in the zip code in order of distance. Contributor listings include services the credit union provides. All other credit unions will follow in order of distance up to 50 miles away.
Asset Management System
What is the Awareness Asset Management System?
It is an online portal available to contributing credit unions to customize campaign assets for local use.
What can be customized?
Credit unions and Leagues can customize assets such as posters, banners and web banners by adding their logo to the assets.
What is the model for support?
Credit unions will log-in to the portal using their cuna.org username and password. For help, contact CUNA via firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-356-9655. For portal-only questions, contact the vendor directly using the contact information listed on the site.
Will additional content be developed?
Yes. 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 will be communicated. 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 target a specific 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 built 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 my 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.
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 building 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 are the forecasted annual digital impressions?
As the regional media buys are being developed with credit unions and Leagues, we are setting targets for impressions. 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, 2019. During the first two weeks, more than 665,000 individuals were reached; more than 1.2 million impressions were made; and 32,500 of the video ads were watched to completion - meaning a consumer paused their social media browsing to watch an Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union video.
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 25-54 that have indicated an interest in financial services. Wherever they are, Open Your Eyes will follow.
Will there be tracking available for paid vs. organic impressions and engagements?
Yes, paid and organic social impressions and engagements are tracked separately.
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 targeted 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.
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 contributors are benefiting.
Will tracking be set up to monitor increased website referral traffic from YourMoneyFurther.com to contributing 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-first 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/phrases were used on a credit union's website.
Don't hesitate to connect with email@example.com if you don't see the information you're looking for.
Join the 525+ organizations that have pledged more than $37 million to the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign. The campaign is live in four states:
Get in touch for more information!
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