Tablets Are Tops Among New Marketing Tools
Portable iPads and iPhones allow CUs to open accounts anywhere, anytime.
The latest and greatest marketing and business development tool is the tablet, according to a trio of Diamond Award-winning marketers
- Anne Legg, vice president of marketing for $740 million asset Financial Partners Credit Union, Downey, Calif. (Marketing Professional of the Year);
- John Godwin, vice president of business development/strategic alliances for $1.1 billion asset MECU of Baltimore (Business Development Professional of the Year Award); and
- Kim Wall, community development director for $900 million asset Georgia United Credit Union in Duluth (Hall of Fame inductee).
In the third of a five-part series, Wall, Legg, and Godwin discuss how they exploit the tablet for their credit unions’—and members’—benefit, plus another tool that’s decidedly human in nature.
CU Mag: What news tools or technologies have you latched onto to boost your marketing and business development efforts?
Godwin: We’ve just started using iPhones and iPads in business development. There was some reluctance that, first of all, we wouldn’t be able to adapt our technology to the iPhone—that we wouldn’t be able to get email, for instance.
We overcame that largely because of the persistence of one of my coworkers who really pushed for this happen and showed us that we could do this.
Now if a prospect is ready to sign up as a select employee group, they can sign up right on the iPad. I can send that proclamation back to our optical drive and we have it right away, as opposed to me having to carry around a paper portfolio.
We also use the iPad as a projector so we can do an offsite presentation with minimal equipment. Instead of lugging around a huge projector, we have a tiny projector that really serves the need in a pinch.
Now we’re working to be able to assign account numbers at all sites with the iPads so we don't have to bring the account cards back to MECU and then assign an account number. You know with all those hand-offs mistakes are going to happen.
And when you have a payroll deduction mistake it takes a month to even figure out it’s a mistake. Then it takes another month to fix it. If it doesn’t get fixed at that point, then it takes another month.
So you're looking at a three-month problem if you payroll isn’t set up properly.
Legg: I would dovetail off of that. One of the really cool tools we have is electronic signatures. Now I can bring the power of the credit union to the member on my device, whether it’s a phone, iPad, or something that will come out in the future.
This allows us to tackle this issue of access that faces our industry.
Because we’re smaller than [our bank competitors], we can implement these technologies and bring them to market faster. Now we’re not bound by brick and mortar but by the great grey device, which is much more cost-effective.
And we can still deliver what we do best, which is amazing service and caring.
Wall: I say ditto, ditto, ditto on the iPhone. All of the business development people have them.
But the greatest tool for marketing and business development is our executive management support and buy-in because they really see the benefit of marketing and business development.
You’ve got to say kudos for that because they allocate the funds that allow us to work with a wonderful marketing agency, Weber Marketing. They’re so creative and innovative. This allows us to take some risks.
Also, our longstanding community relations program makes us an integral part of the communities surrounding our 16 locations.
Legg: I also see it at the other end of the spectrum where our biggest tool is the happy member who goes off and tells everyone else what’s going on. That’s big.
In the fourth of this five-part series, Godwin, Wall, and Legg explain how they helped their credit unions capitalize on Bank Transfer Day, and discuss why consumer awareness is still a big challenge. The CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council honored these marketers during its annual conference in New Orleans.