was facing a challenge many businesses are facing even today. Membership was “aging out” and most consumers do not understand the value proposition of a credit union over a commercial bank. These forces were resulting in stagnated new credit union members. In addition, highly desirable cross product sales were lagging. (Membership retention drastically increases when a member has more than one line of business with a credit union. The convenience factor often outweighs the benefits of a competitor’s product.) Their objective was clear. They needed to attract younger members! To that end, their marketing team’s idea was to run digital advertising campaigns on popular streaming music services, like Spotify and Pandora. These platforms provide targeting advertising opportunities to reach a specific audience geographically and by age. So, this was not a bad solution for their specific challenge. However, this is where their process deficiencies came front and center to impede growth. First, the credit union’s new member intake process was essentially a manual process. At the time, they did not have a fully compliant online application process. This meant that prospective new members either had to open an account in-person at a branch or by mail. Faxed application signatures were allowed. But, it was clear that becoming a new member wasn’t convenient. And, let’s face it, how many Millennials know

how to send a fax? Now we have a disconnect: If the credit union runs digital ads which can’t convert to an online application, most online users will likely stop the process. Conceptually, if a consumer clicks an online ad, she expects online service. And, if a credit union is trying to highlight customer service and ease of banking, they aren’t making a very strong first impression.

Complicating matters were key

personnel changes taking place during the challenge. The president of the credit union retires and a new president is hired. The long-tenured vice president of marketing, who wanted to be president, leaves the company. With him went much of the credit union’ marketing knowledge

and undocumented

processes. The remaining team (and their consultant) was left to figure it all out.

The situation was not all bad, though.

The credit union still had a talented marketing team. Their leadership team was highly experienced and they had a strong, independent board of directors. They had earned a solid reputation in the community over decades of service, their financial products were very good and in-branch customer service was excellent.

The Process Is The Solution The first part of the solution was somewhat obvious. No amount of marketing would be effective without an

The New Process Control Seminar...

“I attended the class in November and the new format was great… very informative, creative and well thought out. It will force you to follow the problem solving process and techniques, and not to pre-determine or guess what the solution might be (no short cuts). The class focused on using SPC to reinforce ‘the why’ and explain course of actions taken to solve any issues.”

– Kevin Wilson, Process Engineer at Yamaha Marine Precision Propellers, Inc.

For more information about the Process Control Seminar, visit the ICI website.

improved new member intake process. Which is exactly what the credit union tackled first. The new process allowed for online, phone, as well as in-person new applications.

Once that process was in place and running smoothly (which took some time), the credit union leaders could turn their attention back to the growth marketing challenge. They researched best practices and consulted experts on next generation new member marketing. From there, we established a trial and testing period to evaluate different campaign approaches. Along the way, we documented detailed procedural steps for the creation, distribution and measurement of marketing materials and campaigns with specific variations depending on the type of marketing activities, including: market research, planning/budgets, trade shows and events, print advertising, digital advertising, radio advertising, direct mail, promotional materials, lobby signage, and so on. This also included well-defined roles and responsibilities for in-house teams and vendors. In the event of another high-level team member departure, they will no longer be left to scramble. For profitable growth, like

investment casting, repeatability is key. Outcomes should be predictable and consistent. The best way to achieve that level of proficiency is through the implementation of tested and documented processes.

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