On Fire and Inspired

Author: Debra  //  Category: Marketing

I can’t even begin to explain how deeply I was inspired by the Colloquium. The best I can do is to share the big things that happened. There were three specific ideas that I am bringing back as projects that I feel incredibly, viagra sale deeply passionate about.

  • We -must– do a superior job at sharing our stories. Only 11% of the Filene associated credit unions are sharing their stories to the membership. We are being encourged to not let this opportunity fly past us.  We have a leading edge format (our blogs and social media presense), but we are not populating it with info. I still don’t know what the branches are doing in their communities. It frustrates me that we are doing so much, but not talking about it. No one is writing for the community blog, or sending me regular info both pre and post events so that I can get the word out. Our blog and facebook and linked in and twitter should be full of these stories.  We need to invite our members to these events on a grander scale, not only just telling them about what we did.
    • I need guidance on how to make this happen. I can only report on what I know. But I will do whatever it is going to take to see that we stand out in our communities for all that we do.
  • Frank mentioned at our budget meeting that he would like me trained to write apps. At the time, I had no impetus other than ‘oh cool talent to have.’ I had a moment of inspiration where I came up with a fantastic app that I don’t see available. I would like to develop and write an app for mobile devices that enables a person to see what kind of events are going on that they could volunteer at. It would be searchable by organization or date. Imagine grabbing your phone and looking up what’s going on locally on a particular weekend. We could start this out by just doing ELGA events, then branching out to Genesee County events…and from there, get people to use our model for building this for their communities. I still have a lot to learn, but this is something I want to work on.
    • I can learn this skillset on Lynda.com. This would be a side project.
    • I would love to work with Cheryl and the Business Development Team on this as a project. We need to brainstorm how to make this happen.

Still more goodies from the trip

Author: Debra  //  Category: Marketing

More things to remember:

  • Meeting and talking to Kristen Christian about Bank Transfer Day. What an amazingly and charming young woman.
  • Breakfast at Google. Best part was one of their managers saying “wait…you do both the design AND the coding? Do you realize how RARE you are!!”

Our organization still stands out as a leader for our on-line experience. We are doing more than 95% of the credit unions represented at the colloquium and are equal to the other 5%. We impressed the Google and Facebook reps.

I met some fabulous people, medic including the amazing young woman behind the Bank Transfer Day, who spoke to us on Tuesday about how it happened and what’s next. She literally moved me to tears with her passion and intelligence,  I got to talk to her one-on-one afterwards. She’s positioned to be a spokesperson for GenY and I learned a lot from our short conversation.

There was a recurring theme in all the talks. That theme was “Now is Our Time” Bank Transfer Day was ‘the beginning’ of getting the public to know who credit unions are. Now is our time to ride the wave that has been created.

I wanted to take some time to write out all the major points of what I got from the colloquium, both to share with you, and to ingrain in my mind what got me so inspired.


  • We need to tell our “really compelling” stories.
  • Advertising that people “TRUST”
    • 90% trust Recommendations (we need to get these through our on line resources)
    • 75% trust Branded websites (we’ve got this)
    • 65% trust Email that they signed up for
  • “Consumption is often collective” The point here is that marketing to a ‘person’ is not as effective as marketing to the family or social unit our members are a part of. My take-away here is that we need to tailor our 2012 marketing to families  to really bring home the relationship concept.
  • Families are now being described as diconnected by distance, but more strongly connected through social media and the internet. Families are playing games via Xbox and similar things even when they aren’t in the same state, or country. Skype and FaceTime are bringing families closer.
  • As CU’s, we are being implored to “tell us your story”
  • People like to be rewarded for playing along. We need to find a way to create virtual badges when our members join us for different things on line.
  • The amount of personal interaction content is doubling each year. The internet is the new way people are connecting with family, friends and community, and it’s only getting better/easier/stronger.
  • We need to maximize our impact by
    • Developing emotionally rewarding concepts/marketing
    • Understand what it is our members actually believe about us
    • Make our messages highly unique to drive word of mouth
  • We need to get ourselves out of safe and rational messages and do something more edgy. This does -not– mean objectionable images or topics, but unusual or unexpected. Things that will stick in our members minds.
    • The Sunnydale Credit Union did a “Sunnydale is Love” campaign with shiny happy people. It flopped. When they did a big % off Loans promo, people flocked. Folks are innundated with shiny happy people ads. They are no longer making an impact.
  • It takes a lot of time and money to change someone’s mind.
  • Gen Y believes in local living. They value optimism and a ‘can do’ attitude. They want to be informed about how Credit Unions are a part of that. They also require of us “hassle free deals”
  • We need strong visual ‘cues’ that show we are about collaboration and relationships. Not just words.
  • Creative people become more creative when their work areas are covered with visual stimuli. Target the outcome.
  • We need to bring our brand persona to life.
  • We were told repeatedly that our story is unique, but our brand isn’t. This is for credit unions as a whole.
  • We need to know who our best cross-sellers are and learn all we can from them, and then share that information.
  • “Sneaking in fees” “learning about fees after the fact” and “punishing those that can afford it least with fees” are the main reasons why Bank Transfer Day worked.

Credit Union Digital Branding Colloquium


Thank you for attending the Credit Union Digital Branding Colloquium hosted by the Filene Research Institute. Due to your generous ongoing support of Filene, you were invited to this colloquium to learn and strategize around your own digital brand and how credit unions are affected by online communities, and digital discussions.

Below are the presentations from the event:

Author: Debra  //  Category: Marketing

I love the work that I do. I am not ashamed to admit it. I am a marketer, hospital and I work in the financial sector. And I am not a villain.

In this time of the #Occupy Movement, about it it seems that people want to vilify everything that deals with both of those things.

Only, what I do is nothing to be ashamed of, and it makes me very frustrated when people make grand sweeping statements condemning marketers and/or bankers. The problems with corrupt practices that are out there are very specific and simply don’t apply to what I am involved with.

My eldest works as a graphic designer for a marketing firm. The company she works for only works for non-profit organizations. I love seeing the things she creates for women’s organizations, they Olympics, and animal protection collectives. I’m proud that her work helps fund some amazing efforts.

As a marketer, my job is to keep our name in front of the customers we serve and show them all of the products they can use to meet their financial goals and obligations.

We recently held a focus group where our customers told us that we aren’t doing a good enough job of telling them about all the things we offer. This came as such a surprise to me, because it feels to me like we are obnoxiously sharing information. But that’s not true. No matter how many places we put our message, some of our members will not get the information they want and need.

So it’s up to my team to learn how they want and need to hear our information. This is really a very cool thing…learning how people want to get their advertising.

We don’t try to sell customers a list of things we want them to have. We have a variety of products designed to help solve their financial needs and we need them to know we have these things.

Some people are hard to get through to because they work on misconceptions. Like something is too hard, to complicated, too time consuming, too unobtainable…and they aren’t, but in order to help them make the best decision, we need them to understand our products.

Something as simple as “your bank is charging you more on your credit card than we will. Transferring your credit card to a credit union will get you a better rate that you can pay off faster” seems so straight forward, but people feel it will be too hard to transfer, too time consuming, or that they have credit issues that would make us deny them. We would love to break those barriers down.

And that’s why I am constantly learning how to communicate with people in every medium. This is a very fulfilling part of work for me, getting to understand the minds of people.

So I make no excuses for what I do to make a living. I am proud to be doing what I am doing. And I get to earn a better than decent living doing it.

No excuses.