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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 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 to better understand local perspectives.
Our research informs our objectives. First, increase consideration of credit unions. We learned from research that 98% of 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 Credit Union Awareness 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.
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 Credit Union Awareness 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 to turn them into members. This is a long-term program that needs long-term commitment.
What are the success measures for Credit Union Awareness?
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.
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 complete the form at cuna.org/awareness. After submitting the form, staff will follow up and get details to draw up a contribution agreement. Each contributor commits to a three-year term. After the agreement is signed, organizations will be invoiced. Once payment is received, information regarding access to campaign materials will be provided.
As a Credit Union Awareness contributor, does my credit union show up differently on the credit union locator?
Yes, as a contributor, your credit union is ranked at the top of a relevant zip code search in the credit union finder on YourMoneyFurther.com. Additionally, your credit union is designated with a large blue star and the products/solutions offered are graphically highlighted (e.g. ATM, Small Business Lending, Mortgage Lending etc.)
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.
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.
Through discussions with our partners about what it would take to have successful media buys in each state, we were able to determine the ask amount for each credit union. We suggest a guideline of $1 per member when considering a contribution, or by asset-based tiers (see table at cuna.org/awareness/get-involved). When considering a contribution, more is better, some is better than none and a multi-year commitment is ideal.
When should I pledge and plan to submit payment?
We would welcome your commitment at any time. Pledges are important now to initiate media planning in your region.
I want to be a 2020 contributor. When will I be recognized as a contributor?
Credit unions are welcome to make their 2020 contribution today! If you commit to your 2020 contribution in 2019, you will be listed as a contributor on YourMoneyFurther.com and receive access to the creative assets as soon as your contribution is processed.
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.
CUNA dedicates dues to advocacy and will maintain that distinction.
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, web banners, etc.) are available to contributing credit unions to associate themselves with the initiative in accordance with style guidelines via an online portal.
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. The data for the credit union finder is based on NCUA call reports and is updated quarterly. Service data is also pulled from Callahan.
The finder results will first display all contributing credit unions within 50 miles of the center of the zip code searched 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.
Awareness Contributor Headquarters
What is the Awareness Contributor Headquarters?
It is an online portal available to contributing credit unions to customize campaign assets for local use. The site also includes links to the Messaging Guide, an archive of the contributor newsletter, ways to stay engaged with the campaign, and other useful contributor resources.
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 email@example.com 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?
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 to 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 on a 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 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.
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 Credit Union Awareness 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, the campaign 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.
There is a Facebook group called “Your Money Further Credit Union Community” which provides resources to employees at contributing credit unions to help increase internal “buy-in” from staff. Credit Union Social Media Administrators can join either with their profile or their credit union business page.
Will credit unions report back on their website traffic, specifically referrals from YourMoneyFurther.com, to continuously improve the digital media placements?
Yes, 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?
Our suggestion is to include similar key words and phrases to your website to help the consumer understand the connection between the campaign and joining your credit union.
Don't hesitate to connect with firstname.lastname@example.org if you don't see the information you're looking for.
Join the 1,055+ organizations that have pledged more than $49 million to the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign. The campaign is live in 21 states and since January 2019 has:
Thank you to all our contributors, including our Founding Visionaries, for helping us make this initiative a reality!
Get in touch for more information!
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Credit Union National Association is the most influential financial services trade association and the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America's credit unions. We work tirelessly to protect your best interests in Washington and all 50 states. We fuel your professional growth at every level and champion the credit union story at every turn.
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