5 Non-traditional Ways to Attract Talent

 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Millennials and Gen Z were already shaking up workforce norms and expectations. We’ve heard for the better part of a decade that Millennials want more flexibility in the workplace, and now as Gen Z enters the global workforce – and with the added stress of a labor shortage in America – attracting and retaining talent looks much different than it did in the early 2000s. So let’s talk about some non-traditional ways to attract talent.

More Flexible Work Structures

Now that job seekers and employees know that it is possible to be successful in a work-from-home setup, more and more applicants are looking for the word “flexible” in the job description. For decades, businesses have been seeking “flexible, driven, and outgoing” individuals, and now those individuals are asking for that same flexibility back.

Being forthcoming with the flexibility available in any open positions for which you are hiring can easily attract talent.

Financial Planning & Education

One thing that many employees and job seekers want is more help with financial planning. The generations of people that are moving into the workforce right now grew up during times of economic uncertainty, and they tend to use debit products more than credit cards and other interest-rich financing options.

Your credit union is already well-positioned to offer financial planning and education resources to your staff, so it’s definitely worth touting in our next Indeed or Monster.com job posting.

Comprehensive Wellness Programs

Wellness is another key focus area for job hunters. With healthcare prices at an all-time high (and not to mention the fact that we’re in the middle of arguably the deadliest pandemic in modern history), providing your current and prospective employees with a competitive and valuable wellness package is a great way to draw more applicants, and to retain current staff.

Wellness programs now encompass a host of products and services, from nutrition education and preventative health checks to increased access to mental health professionals.

Community Engagement Opportunities

Another area that credit unions thrive in has become a top-tier way to attract talent – social and community engagement. Shoppers are savvier than ever, and they want to be able to buy local, and support initiatives and non-profits that put some of those resources and funds back into communities and causes they care about personally.

Your credit union should advertise the causes and initiatives it supports on all public and social media platforms. Not only does it enhance the reputation of your business, if you have articles or photos with your credit union team participating in fundraisers or other charitable events, it shows prospective employees that your company culture is one they would be lucky to be a part of.

Re-Evaluate Job Requirements to Include More Non-Traditional Candidates

Many of your potential applicants are struggling during this pandemic and recession – and the cost of post-secondary education is rising quickly. Now is the perfect time to take a look at your education requirements for job postings and rework them to include more non-traditional candidates and their resumes.

If a four-year degree is preferred, consider looking into certificate programs that could have offered a more specialized education in a niche area that could benefit your business. Think about alternative work experience that could have offered similar on-the-job responsibilities to the open position you are advertising. There are lots of great candidates getting lost in a sea of cover letters simply because they don’t perfectly meet your job requirement criteria.

Increase Flexibility with Virtual Desktop

IMS offers virtual desktop services to help you keep your employees in the loop no matter where their office is located today. And remember, that flexibility will also draw more applicants for your open positions.

Contact IMS for more information.


4 Ways Bad Data Can Harm Your CU

 

Not all data is created equal. Just because you are collecting mountains of data, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have good data. In fact, it’s much easier to collect and use bad data.

What is Bad Data?

Bad data can be a host of things. It can be incorrect or outdated information. It can include incomplete or partial information that creates an incorrect picture of a member’s needs or preferences. The difference between good and bad is often subtle, and having the correct tools to analyze and categorize this data can help your credit union make better decisions, both for you and your members.

Here are some ways bad data can harm your credit union.

Bad Data Can Breed Distrust

Bad data can create redundancies and incorrect outcomes in your credit union team’s workflow. For example, if you have incomplete data that is passed on to third-party vendors, like collections agencies, those vendors will treat every account the same, even if some of them aren’t actually past due on their payments.

If your members, who are current on all loan or mortgage payments, receive notices from your third-party collections vendors saying they are past due, this could create distrust between you and your members.

It Affects Your Lending Ability and Reputation

Lending is your credit union’s primary source of revenue, and keeping the program strong often comes down to how accurate and timely your data is.

CUManagement talks a lot about the integrity of data. They use the example of a credit card interest rate: if your member’s interest rate on their credit card goes up due to late payments, it should also come back down if their payments start coming on time. But if you don’t have a solid system of checking these rates and what affects them, this can upset your members and also go as far as pushing you out of compliance with certain rules and regulations.

It Affects Your Ability to Stay Compliant

If your data isn’t properly organized and assessed, it can decrease your credit union’s ability to stay compliant. And that non-compliance can affect your credit union’s revenue streams, as well as its reputation and bottom line. And trying to set your data right after years of mismanagement will be a long and expensive process.

It Also Affects Your Marketing Success

Data has helped revolutionize marketing, especially when used correctly. You or someone you know has likely said this in the past several years: “Sometimes, I think my phone (or computer) can hear me think. Just the other day, I was thinking about how I’d love to buy (insert product here), and then today I see an ad for it on my Facebook page.”

Intuitive data collection and utilization can be a game-changer for your credit union, but it can also cause problems if you’re working with bad data. You could send emails to people with the wrong name or other personal information, or you could target the wrong potential customers for a new service you are rolling out. All of that decreases your brand’s reputation and costs you money.

Keep Your Data Safe and Up-to-Date

IMS offers virtual desktop and backup services to help you keep your data in check no matter how many of your employees work from the office, home, or somewhere in between.

Contact IMS for more information.


How to Hire Credit Union Employees in 2021

 

2021 is the year of the employee. In the current job market, hiring and retaining entry-level – and even management and other professional-level – employees is a struggle. This has become a trend for a few reasons. So how do you hire credit union employees in 2021? We have collected some resources and tips for you.

First, the COVID-19 pandemic saw a lot of US government aid being passed out to workers who had been laid-off or found themselves unemployed as a result of shutdowns and government shelter-in-place mandates. And secondly, the pandemic also shed light on many Americans’ priorities, causing them to leave certain jobs to focus more on searching for more fulfilling or career-driven opportunities. 

Guerrilla Strategies for Finding Talent

Right now, 42% of business owners surveyed by the National Federation of Independent Business said they have job openings they could not fill. CUManagement recently published an article that outlines five guerilla tactics for finding employees in a tough market.

  1. Become a sales team. CUManagement says, “Your human resources department needs to start functioning as a sales team.” Create a prospect list – you can even include former employees who you’d like to have come back into the fold. Recruiting should always be a priority, even when you are fully staffed. Things are changing much more rapidly for employers these days, and you want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to hiring.
  2. Engage your team. Some of your best recruiting opportunities are just one degree of separation away. Your employees are the best resources for finding reliable talent in the area. You can encourage, or even incentivize them, to help find new hires. And don’t forget to listen to them: they have the first-hand experience of your hiring process, and they likely have some great insights into the areas you can improve to attract more or better prospects.
  3. Spotlight your culture. Job applicants are looking for a place where they enjoy working. The more you showcase that in your advertising channels – social media, websites, job descriptions, etc. – the more prospects will want to engage with your credit union.
  4. Get outside the box. Your list of requirements for any given position should not be a hard and fast standard by which you judge every applicant. If an applicant has little in the way of credit union experience but may have other supplementary experiences that could speak to their ability to learn how to successfully do the job you need, it’s good to consider them for at least an interview.
  5. Clarify your purpose. Your credit union’s purpose can be the tipping point for applicants. Just like your culture, your business’s purpose should be evaluated to reflect your commitments to specific non-profits and the community you serve. This philanthropic focus can show your prospect pool that your business is serious about its mission.

Address Current Concerns

CareerPlug’s article on changing the way you hire in 2021 deals with some harsh truths.

The first thing you have to compete with is the historically low wages that certain industries have been paying people in the past, which won’t work for many job seekers – because they hold most of the power in this labor market.

If you are firm in the wages you want to pay for your open positions, you could consider adjusting other compensation packages or benefits. For example, schools and childcare disruptions have caused many women to pivot from looking for work to being stay-at-home moms for the time being. Having options available or expanding childcare services to your staff could gain your credit union a lot of traction and engagement with women who have young children.

Another hot topic is remote work – many employees found out in the last year that the jobs they’ve been told must be done in the office are actually able to be done remotely. This flexibility has quickly become a standard discussion point in new hire negotiations.

And don’t forget – the global pandemic is still very serious and scary for many people. Concerns of cleanliness and updated sick time policies are worth mentioning in your open position descriptions.

Help Employees Manage from Anywhere with Virtual Desktops

Virtual desktops and apps enable your credit union to deliver virtual workspaces to end-users – including full Windows client desktops, shared desktops, and hosted apps – as a monthly subscription service.

Contact IMS for more information.


4 Ways to Leverage Credit Union Data

 

Credit union data is one of the best tools you have to serve your members. And data analytics are opening lots of doors for reaching select audiences and maximizing your business and marketing efforts. But like any tool, you have to know how to use it effectively. Here are four great ways to leverage credit union data.

Evaluate Your Segments

According to the Financial Brand, there are two main segmentation categories to prioritize: transactional data and behavioral data.

Transactional data, the largest for credit unions, includes everything from loan balances to account activity and can be captured through multiple channels like mobile apps, digital applications, and even in-person transactions. When assessing this data segment, it’s important to keep in mind the differences between your audiences – their preferences in transaction mediums (digital and otherwise), the breakdown of products and services being used by specific age groups, and more. If your transactional data segments aren’t producing the desired results, it might be time to re-evaluate, especially in light of the massive shift to online services since the coronavirus pandemic.

The other main segment to prioritize is behavioral data, which includes everything your members do that isn’t tied to a transaction – this includes things like spending habits, member experience touchpoints, things they need and want, and more. This data is typically captured on a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Just like with transactional data, take a look at your current practices to see if you can better leverage your credit union data.

Understand Your Data Systems

More than just looking at the data you are collecting, you also need to understand how your data is being collected and stored. A core system is a hub for your credit union data.

As mentioned above, your digital and CRM data, which are stored in your core system, are great assets. CRM data can give you insight into current member experience trends. You can use those trends to enhance and streamline your services to accommodate them.

Digital banking data across banking institutions have been showing a huge trend upward in the use of mobile banking services. This means a large amount of your data is now digital, and it should be standard practice to analyze this data on a regular basis so you can implement new and more efficient ways to service your members.

Analyze In-Person vs. Online Behaviors

Banks, and credit unions especially, still attract a lot of in-person business. In fact, it is one of the hallmarks of successful credit unions. Using your transactional and digital data, you cannot only optimize your members’ experience, but you can also use the insights to train and inform your staff so they can transform that data into more personable, targeted experiences for your valued members.

Enhance and Assess Cross-Selling Methods

Improving cross-selling processes is a great way to better engage your current customers, a crucial process in your credit union’s business.

We found this 4-step process for improving cross-selling:

  1. Define cross-selling and measure its effectiveness: Sell more products and services to existing customers by defining the goals and areas you want to target and improve.
  2. Establish clear metrics for measuring performance: Your employees will be the primary point of access for cross-selling. Leaders or managers must clearly define the goals and performance expected.
  3. Make marketing and cross-selling communications better and clearer: Customers are savvier than ever, and your credit union’s response to this should be to increase transparency when it comes to cross-selling. You want to offer personalized campaigns and protocols to increase engagement and selling.
  4. Reward employees who perform well: Your staff wants to serve your members, and if they do an exceptional job, you should reward that. Offering cross-selling incentives for your employees can also boost the effectiveness of cross-selling programs.

Leverage IMS’s Continuous Data Protection

Get rid of complex legacy backup systems and integrate multi-system solutions, such as data orchestration and catalog management, into a single software platform. With continuous data protection from IMS, your credit union can minimize downtime, scale-up architecture and save costs.

Contact us for more information.


The Future of Credit Union Technology

 

The last year or so has become the catalyst for credit union technology growth and change, driving member services toward digital solutions faster than they have ever done before.

Streamlined service and cutting-edge digital experience is no longer a luxury for businesses, it’s a necessity. Let’s discuss the future of credit union technology.

2021 Priorities: Cloud, Data, and Analytics

Cloud, data and analytics are the top priorities this year for credit unions looking to make big changes to their member experience standards, says the Credit Union Times.

Cloud solutions are quickly becoming vital to businesses across nearly all industries, as work-from-home opportunities increase in popularity. The ease of storing data in an easily accessible place no matter your physical location is a big boon to a credit union’s tech future.

And since so much activity has moved to online platforms, data and analytics are being collected and leveraged in more useful ways. For your credit union to better serve its community, you must know who you are speaking to and working with. Analytics offer hosts of great insights that can help with everything from choosing or updating hours of operation to running multi-audience marketing campaigns.

Bridging Accessibility Gaps

Credit union technology also proves advantageous for individuals who are differently mobile and more digital-minded. By offering digital credit union solutions, you are improving the accessibility and safety of your brand. Whether your members’ ability to come into your physical branch locations stems from a handicap or illness, lack of vehicle access, pandemic restrictions, or a preference for online dealings, credit union technology offers new ways for people of all ages and from all localities the opportunity to take advantage of your membership and services.

Kirk Drake of Credit Union 2.0 says this: “In the credit unions, not that they don’t want to make money, it’s about member service, we really want to get the member value in that ecosystem and they really speak a very different language about their mission purpose, values, and what they’re trying to do.”

Preserving the Partnership

Members don’t choose credit unions for the fancy tech or big bank offerings – they do it because being part of a credit union means you have a partner for your financial life and wellbeing. While technology is changing how that partnership looks, it’s not changing the impact partnership has on the member experience.

By partnering with technology, credit unions can provide end-to-end services for their members. Multimedia resources, chat and video conferencing appointments, and so much more can be built into your digital presence, to help ensure that your credit union and its partnership with your members remain meaningful and provide quality interactions.

Contactless Trends

Pymnts.com reports that credit union members have a high desire for contactless payments. And though this trend started long before the events of 2020, due to the rapid digitization happening across all industries, 98% of POS devices being shipped out now are enabled with contactless functionality.

For CUs, this means focusing on streamlining. It also means taking the time to understand member preferences and offer personalization that suits a wide variety of member habits and requests.

Upgrade Your Credit Union Technology

Your credit union’s member experience is paramount to your success. Information Management Solutions (IMS) has years of experience providing data center services to credit unions all over the U.S., and we look forward to serving your unique needs.

IMS has virtual private cloud services and solutions like core hosting, virtual desktop, disaster recovery, and more for your credit union. Contact us today for more information.


Boost Your Credit Union Brand

 

Branding, in the information age, is hard. Because your credit union brand image doesn’t just come from you. It comes from your credit union’s interactions with every guest, affiliations with other businesses, and even its stance on social issues.

Is your credit union in need of an image upgrade? Here are some tips to boost your credit union brand.

Pump Up Your People

The most forward-facing aspect of your brand is your staff. Training your staff has to be more than just showing them how to enter data correctly and attend to customers’ needs in a timely manner. It’s about customer experience. If your credit union’s staff behave in a rote way, much like a computer program, then you aren’t boosting your brand image.

The human element of your credit union is why people want to come and do business with you. If it is absent, potential members will find easier, online-accessible options for their banking needs. The internet can’t replace your employee’s expertise and empathy when it comes to one-on-one interactions. Take a look at your team, find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Then, address them in the way you would like your brand to be known for.

Celebrate Your Members

Everyone loves a special occasion. And the best brand marketing comes from incentivizing members and potential customers with special days. Increase visibility for your credit union by posting events or promotions centered around International Credit Union Day, International Credit Union Week, and National Credit Union Youth Week.

Finding fun and clever ways to reach out to new audiences and celebrate your credit union within a community can help boost your brand and enhance your business.

Connect with Your Community

Being community-centered is more than just sponsoring a local sports team or running promotions during the local community festivals. If you can, use your employees and your members to keep your finger on the proverbial pulse of the neighborhood you’re serving.

Learn about the fun things people like to do in the area. Find out what the latest news is about the local high school sports teams or band competitions. Run polls and surveys to see what kinds of events, ideas, and services your community would like to see more of. Don’t just contribute to the community – make your credit union a part of its fabric.

Ditch the Inauthentic Brand Efforts

Not all brand efforts are created equal. Check the example in this article about how KFC tried to partner with Susan G Komen (a prominent breast cancer-focused non-profit), though recent studies showed fried chicken could contribute to cancer.

Make sure to do your research on what community causes and national charities would be a good fit for your credit union. Just because Make a Wish or Doctors Without Borders are huge, recognizable charities don’t mean it makes sense to tie your brand to theirs.

Take strategic approaches to each partnership and charitable effort to boost your brand in ways that can truly showcase your credit union’s mission, vision, and values.

Put Your Credit Union in the Cloud

Just like you want your brand to be unmistakable, IMS wants to tailor its data and security services to better protect your credit union and its data assets.

IMS has virtual private cloud services and solutions like core hosting, virtual desktop, disaster recovery, and more for your credit union. Contact us today for more information.


The Role of Personalization in the Member Experience

 

For more than a year, businesses and citizens have been wading through a world that has all but killed the casual conversation and public gatherings. We are more acutely aware of even the most fleeting of interactions and relationships. And that’s why personalization is becoming more important in everyday communications and transactions.

Credit unions have continued to position themselves as the local, community-first banking option in towns and cities all over the country. To keep that reputation, credit union leaders are conducting studies and implementing new policies to analyze and highlight the crucial role personalization plays in the member experience.

The Importance of Personalization

A recent episode of the CUNA News Podcast, a panel of credit union leaders got together to discuss the importance of personalization in the member experience.

Personalization is a marketing strategy that can help increase customer satisfaction and engagement in businesses of all sizes, but it’s even more important for credit unions. Credit unions are the friendly, community-oriented banking option in many cities and towns. This means the personal touch is even more essential.

By creating a personal atmosphere that is optimized to create feelings of community and trustworthiness, credit unions can increase membership numbers and showcase what a positive presence they bring to the area business landscape.

“Personalization takes a lot of different shapes and forms. It can be empathy, it can be needs-based selling, it can be people helping people…All of those contain a great deal of personalization,” says Paul Robert, CEO of FI Strategies.

How to Personalize Member Interactions

There are so many ways to personalize the experience of your members. This can be spurred by brainstorming activities or having team huddles about the conversations that members seem to be having with credit union employees, to start. And the central question here should be “What are we going to do for our members?”

Can you engage with your members at a higher level? What does that look and sound like? How do we train or guide our employees to start generating more meaningful and helpful conversations with customers?

Many places from restaurants to doctors’ offices even keep notes in their database systems to add a more personal touch – these notes can include anything from their financial questions to the number of children they have, and other small or everyday details that can help your member to be recognizable by your staff.

Personalization Promotes Loyalty

We know, based on a variety of marketing and industry studies, that adding personalization elements to marketing emails is very beneficial.

Email analytic metrics show things like 31-67% decrease in bounce-back rates, affinity and interest segments perform 28-62% better for credit unions.

Adding personalization elements to all interactions, both digital and face-to-face, increases performance and is also more memorable in the minds of your members. Remember to personalize more than just the name in your email subject line. Now more than ever, people want to be seen as individuals and treated as valued customers.

Employee Team Building Also Plays a Part

Creating a community-oriented, personalized atmosphere starts with your credit union team. Fostering collaboration and creativity in your team can open the door for some great brainstorming sessions that could lead to a business-wide approach for personalizing the member experience.

Leave the Backups to Us

Just like you want personalization to be at the forefront of your member experience, IMS wants to tailor its data and security services to better protect your credit union and its data assets.

IMS has virtual private cloud services and solutions like core hosting, virtual desktop, disaster recovery, and more for your credit union. Contact us today for more information.


Business Continuity Planning Best Practices

 

We’ve talked previously on our blog about the difference between credit union disaster recovery and business continuity planning. A business continuity plan (BCP) is a series of protocols created to make sure an organization can keep operating during a disaster, and a disaster recovery plan is often a subset of the BCP that specifically plans for recovering lost data and restoring failed infrastructure. But no one could have guessed when we wrote that article in the fall of 2019 that we would have such an unprecedented year in 2020.

Here are some business continuity planning best practices for your credit union.

The Evolution of Business Continuity Planning

Originally, business continuity planning was created to focus on how businesses could plan ahead for natural disasters and similar events – fire, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. – but it quickly evolved to include cyber events – hackers, file corruption, system bugs, and the like.

Today, business continuity planning is more about assessing threats and risks and creating comprehensive protocols for increasingly complex businesses.

It’s become more about gap analysis and protecting your business than creating a step-by-step plan to merely react to issues that come up.

Document Core Functions – Focus on Details

This may seem like a no-brainer, but one of the first steps to creating a workable and comprehensive business continuity plan is to document the core functions of your credit union. These are the services that are central to your business’s success and that will have the greatest impact on that business, should something happen to your facilities, staff, equipment, or networks.

It’s also important to document the resources that will be required to fill these business functions and roles. The more detailed you can make your plans, the more prepared you will be in the event of a business interruption.

Mature Your Business Continuity Plan

Maturing your business continuity plan is just as important as creating it. Think of it like this: you have to have fire extinguishers inspected and replaced when they expire, right? The same is true for your BCP.

In this digital age, technology changes and upgrades so swiftly that it’s easy to become fatigued trying to keep up. But with business continuity planning, having an outdated plan is just as bad – if not worse – than having no plan at all.

Be sure to review and test your BCP on a regular basis. This means testing and working through all facets of the plan, not just a few items. Practice makes perfect, and spending quality time ensuring your plan is still effective can save you a lot of headaches later.

Develop a Communication Strategy

This goes hand in hand with the last point. Your plan is only as good as the people executing it, so frequent testing and practice drills are great ways to develop helpful and effective communication strategies before you need them.

Taking the time to educate your staff about business continuity planning is a great way to instill these ideas in the company culture, and to smooth out communication issues early on.

Have Offsite, Cloud-Based Backups

We know how important it is to safeguard your member data, especially when disaster strikes. Having cloud-based backups housed offsite is a great way to ensure the integrity of your files without having to worry about the what-ifs.

IMS has virtual private cloud services and solutions like core hosting, virtual desktop, disaster recovery, and more for your credit union. Contact us today for more information.


5 Community Outreach Marketing Ideas for Credit Unions

 

Credit unions are unique in their positioning – they are financial institutions with a community-centered vision. This hometown, local feel is something that should be included in your marketing efforts. Nothing satisfies customers more than knowing a business can walk the walk. Here are 5 community outreach marketing ideas for your credit union.

Offer Helpful Free Content

The coronavirus pandemic has done a great job showing us all that we aren’t as financially savvy as we should be. With this in mind, you can create and tailor your free resources and tools to target areas of need in your community.

For example, lots of people are refinancing in the wake of the pandemic, trying to save money and take advantage of the economic market for themselves. Your credit union could create, partner with, and share resources like a free mortgage or rent calculators, budgeting templates and tools, and helpful videos on a wide range of financial topics.

Providing and promoting free resources is a great way to build brand trust and give back to the community – both local and global.

Host and Highlight Contests

Social media contests are a great way to boost your followings and generate buzz and revenue for your credit union. And you can definitely do that as an individual business, but why not reach out and get involved with local or seasonal causes as well?

Hosting and highlighting contests that are true to your credit union’s mission, or dear to the hearts of your members, is a fantastic way to showcase your financial and professional empathy as an organization. You can run giveaways, creative or arts-based contests, social media and video contests, and more.

You can also reach out to other business owners and community leaders for inspiration.

Talk to Local Leaders – Find Out What Community Needs Aren’t Being Met

And speaking of talking to community leaders – why not let them give you ideas for your next community outreach event?

Many times, we create a marketing plan that works, and we want to keep running similar efforts because we know they were successful in the past. But there are lots of things that may seem less catchy or glamorous that still need the attention of the community.

A great example of this is prevalent in a story Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water, often tells. His charity, which helps bring clean drinking water to people in developing countries, was built on a model of transparency – everyone who donates gets to choose where their money goes – to operations (the daily expenses like paying employee salaries, buying office supplies, and the like) or to projects (this money goes toward the trips that actually build the wells).

While this transparency is amazing, Scott talks, in an episode of the Armchair Expert podcast, about how his “projects” bank account had nearly $800,000 in it, but he was on the brink of having to shut down his charity because there were no funds in the less-exciting “operations” fund.

This illustrates a great point about community and business needs: sometimes, certain needs can be abundantly met, while others are being ignored. The best way to combat this is to reach out to community leaders and talk with them. Figure out what they need. We see this all the time with homeless shelters, animal shelters, and food pantries – often, the most needed items or help are the least given.

Finding these gaps – and helping fill them – is a great way to raise awareness for certain issues and position your credit union as a trustworthy and helpful business.

Sponsor Seasonal Teams and Events

This trick is an old one, but still a good one. Having your credit union sponsor a local team or event continues to be a great way to give back to the community and boost your brand locally.

Additionally, you can choose to partner with another individual or business to sponsor certain events. And with so many events being hosted online, there are more and more interesting ways to get involved with local sports, celebrations, and more.

This can be done strategically – again, look for those gaps. Concentrate on building a balance between larger, multi-sponsor events and smaller events where one or two sponsors could make a huge impact in the event or team’s success.

Include Your Audience in the Decision-Making

Social media makes it incredibly easy to increase audience participation. It seems like almost every year, the Columbus Zoo is asking fans to help them name their latest animal babies like they did in 2020 with a new polar bear cub. When it comes to choosing between which events and charities to support, why not give your members and social media followers a chance to help make the decision?

This does two things. First, it gets them invested in the community outreach marketing that your credit union is doing. And secondly, it also shows you and your CU what causes and charities are closest to your members’ hearts.

Don’t forget about including your community when you are planning your next community outreach marketing events!

Is Your Head in the Cloud? Let IMS Help.

Credit unions are built for communities. So why not let IMS help you focus on yours rather than worrying about your cloud data?

IMS can take care of some of the behind-the-scenes solutions so you can focus on your next community outreach marketing effort. Browse our private cloud services like backup, core hosting, IaaS, and virtual desktop – or contact us today!


4 Tips for Marketing to Gen Z

 

You may be thinking, why should my credit union already be marketing to Gen Z? Aren’t they a little young to be financially independent?

Many news articles and social media jokes paint Gen Z (the first demographic group born after the internet was commercialized) as children or young teens. But the reality is – the oldest Gen Z members (born between 1997 and 2012) are nearing their mid-twenties. And credit unions will miss out on their share of the generation’s estimated $44 billion in buying power if they don’t tailor marketing efforts to capture this audience.

Why Marketing to Gen Z Will Be Different

Gen Zers, like millennials, are more conscious of debt than previous generations. As children of the Great Recession, Gen Z is generally more averse to accruing debt as the cost of living, college, and having children continues to rise.

As a general rule, Gen Z is also much more purpose-driven in terms of engaging in discussions and activism surrounding social, political, and environmental issues.

And of course, as the first fully digital generation, they are more comfortable on the internet than any other generation before them. Your credit union needs to be aware of and cater to these characteristics in order to be successful in marketing to Gen Z.

Pay Attention to Gen Z Banking Preferences

47% of Gen Zers are big bank customers, but they don’t like it. Big banks are not in line with many of Gen Z’s socially conscious ideologies, but they have more advanced and diverse technology. So what can credit unions do?

The first logical step is to augment your digital offerings, which we’ll talk more about in the next section.

Other creative solutions for pulling attention away from big banks and towards your credit union include rethinking loyalty and account features. For example, Gen Z is less likely to be enticed by a loyalty program – but offering savings or checking accounts with zero overdraft fees is a huge draw.

Boost Digital & Mobile Banking Services

Gen Z is very tech-savvy, and they do most of their banking from their phones and other smart devices. Credit unions can optimize their online offerings to include mobile apps or mobile-friendly web design. Part of the draw of big banks, for Gen Z, is the ease of their online processes. Digital natives base more of their brand loyalty on the brand’s commitment to providing easy and quick solutions.

Another trend Gen Z prefers is the personalization of websites and services. They expect the websites they visit to include their personal preferences through targeted ads and other dynamic content that will lead them to the best product or service for them. Credit unions can do this by including more things like quizzes or other infographics that give visitors a clear path to their preferred solution.

Provide Dynamic Financial Education Resources

Here is another example of how Gen Z preferences perfectly line up with credit union offerings.

Gen Z spends so much time online, both for education and entertainment. Credit unions can take advantage of this by creating more online access to financial education resources. Many Gen Zers head to YouTube when they want to learn how to do something, look up product functions or reviews, and more.

Creating a robust and dynamic financial education blog or YouTube channel is a great differentiator that will really cater to the youngest generation as they try to navigate and learn about the current financial landscape.

Make Your Brand More Vocal about Community & Social Issues

A brand’s product or service is important, but the brand’s purpose is just as important to Gen Z. When marketing to Gen Z, it’s wise to remember that members of this group tend to choose brands and products that are committed to a purpose they see as valuable.

Credit unions are generally more socially responsible than big banks, as they feel a responsibility to serve the communities they do business in, which is a great cause to tout on your website, in your branches, and on your social media channels. Gen Zers want to support businesses that care about their customers, in outwardly authentic and genuine ways.

We’ve Got Your Back(up)

The great thing about credit unions and Gen Z is that many of the things your credit union is already doing can be easily updated to capture more of this audience.

IMS can take care of some of the behind-the-scenes solutions so you can focus on marketing your credit union services to Gen Z and beyond. Browse our private cloud services like backup, core hosting, IaaS, and virtual desktop – or contact us today!