Marketers Do Well By Doing Good

Challenging financial times bring out the best in CU marketers.

March 16, 2011

Savvy marketing is never more important than during challenging financial times, as members postpone purchases and make every effort to save money.

In response, many credit unions are doing well by doing good: helping members save money by refinancing higher-rate loans they obtained at other financial institutions.

This approach has paid big dividends for Fibre Federal Credit Union, Longview, Wash., which serves an area with 12% unemployment, says Lesley Carrell, vice president of marketing for the $723 million asset credit union and a member of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council’s Executive Committee.

“People have been struggling with job loss and underemployment,” she explains. “We thought an easy way to save members money was to consolidate or refinance their loans at lower rates.”

Fibre Credit Union preapproved members, based on their credit scores, to refinance auto loans, home equity lines of credit, and credit cards held at other institutions.

“We told members we could save them money right away with a refinance; just come on in and sign the papers and you’re done,” Carrell explains.

The effort helped the credit union recapture millions of dollars in loans and led to positive loan growth during fourth-quarter 2010.

Sharing recent marketing successes are:

  • Carrell;
  • Wendy Cleveland, vice president of marketing & business development, $518 million asset AltaOne Federal Credit Union, Ridgecrest, Calif.;
  • Suzanne Miller, marketing manager, $317 million asset TLC Community Credit Union, Adrian, Mich.; and
  • Nancy Hutchinson, senior vice president of marketing and business development, $79 million asset Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union, Duluth, and a member of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Executive Committee.

The 18th Annual CUNA Marketing and Business Council Conference begins today in Las Vegas. Check back later this week for a special report from Credit Union Magazine.