Nancy Hutchinson
Nancy Hutchinson

The future of business development

Consultant Nancy Hutchinson offers a glimpse into the new age of credit union growth.

March 23, 2021

Business development has taken on a new role since the pandemic hit just over a year ago.

More than ever, members are devoted to digital channels, including automation and home delivery. But business development leaders build their jobs around personal relationships.

Where does that leave business development?

Consultant Nancy Hutchinson, a former credit union marketing and business development leader, explored the new landscape for business development during the 2021 CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Virtual Conference Tuesday.

“Your competitive landscape has never been more crowded,” she says. “That requires awareness of your competitors and an ability to stand out.”

Hutchinson cites research from Forrester that shows 63% of customers will leave a company after one bad experience.

Organizations must be nimble and flexible and built around team structures as in-person relationships play second fiddle to the digitally dominated proposition, Hutchinson says.

Consumers expect the digital experience to be smooth and seamless.

“The new credit union delivery model must be automated and capable of delivering individual needs,” she says. “Human touch and contact will still play a valuable role in critical moments.”

The new distribution model will be driven by data, Hutchinson says. Credit unions should be able to identify their top-performing members and select employee groups at the click of a mouse

Technology also offers opportunities for business development professionals to make a personal impression, she notes. While COVID-19 has virtually eliminated the handshake for now, video technology brings convenience as well as innovation.

“Knowledge is your power,” Hutchinson says. “You are the person that is connecting with the future as far as growing the business.”

Visit CUNA News for more conference coverage and view event highlights on Twitter via the #MBDVirtual and #MBDCouncil hashtags. Learn more about the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council, a member-led professional society for credit union executives, at