Virtual marketing and business development

Virtual marketing and business development

Council chat participants work on ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ marketing plans.

May 1, 2020

Remote service, virtual business development, staff morale, and life after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic led the discussion during CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council chat sessions last week.

Nearly all participants said their credit unions closed their lobbies and limited in-person service to drive-thru windows. Most non-member-facing and call center staff are working remotely.

Some business development staff use Zoom to deliver their message to current and potential members.

“We switched to doing webinars instead of in-person seminars,” one participant writes. “We’re also offering content on managing finances during a crisis.”

Business development officers conduct “virtual membership drives” using social media and video conferencing technology.

“We have called and checked on our SEGs to get to know them personally,” one participant writes. “We are also asking how we can serve them in any way.”

Credit unions have come up with many creative ideas to buoy staff’s spirits, including games. The more creative and laugh-inducing the better, including virtual bingo, two truths and a lie, trivia, and make-a-meme contests.

Free lunches, virtual happy hours, special dress days, throwback photo days, and pet appearances during virtual meetings also break up the day.

Challenges do remain, however. “Sometimes people are very apprehensive and scared—rightfully so,” according to one participant.

Credit unions says their member messaging has also changed with the abrupt lifestyle adjustments brought about by COVID-19. Messages have assumed a “We’re here for you,” tone several participants note.

One credit union tried to keep the situation light-hearted, asking members for quarantine selfies and offering gift cards for the top photo.

They’re also promoting their low-cost products, including mortgages refinanced a lower interest rates.

As some states start to re-open businesses, participants have begun to anticipate what the “new normal” will look like post-COVID-19.

Many participants note the current situation is fluid and they want to remain flexible as more changes play out.

“We are working on a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ marketing plan,” one participant writes. “It’s so fluid, but it’s also interesting to look ahead at how different consumer behavior, staffing, and operations will be.”

CUNA Council members have been joining together for unique, live chat events to discuss ideas and responses to the current coronavirus situation. Topics are gathered from discussions in the Councils Community and members are encouraged to provide topics or questions upon registration. Council members can register for upcoming sessions, and receive chat transcripts and slides if they are unable to attend live.

Read about more CUNA Councils chats here.