Anyone who has been a customer of a bank and has switched to being a member of a credit union knows the perks. Credit unions tend to have lower fees, higher deposit rates, competitive products and services and most importantly great member service. Why haven’t more people switched from their banks? Why are younger generations not choosing credit unions? Many credit unions do not have half of the marketing budget banks do. Getting the word out can be challenging, but I have a few inexpensive tips to accomplish just that.
It starts with education. Get into the local high schools and colleges. I was never educated on credit unions in high school or college. Do not launch an expensive marketing campaign, like bank at school, start small. Talk to the school systems; be a speaker in a financial class. Take that opportunity and explain the benefits of credit unions and how to become a member. The first bank account I opened was at a popular bank. I didn’t even know what a credit union was, even though I drove by a credit union every day. I didn’t realize that most credit unions field of membership is based on location. Another way to support education is to sponsor a sports team; more importantly go to the games. It is a great opportunity to mingle with the community. People do business with the people they know and trust so get out there and get to know them.
Get into the community. Don’t just be a member of the Chamber of Commerce, attend the events, become an ambassador, and join a committee. This gives you the opportunity to network. Never underestimate the power of networking. Organize community charity events; tell the newspaper then you get both free press and more awareness to your charity.
There are many ways to get the credit union name out there that are affordable and more effective than the traditional over priced marketing strategies. Being a credit union is about being there for members, what better way to be there than physically being there.