Why are Some Credit Unions Behind the Curve on Marketing Automation?
WebStrategies CEO Chris Leone and Director of Digital Marketing Phil Woods were recently guests on Mike Lawson’s CU Broadcast, discussing marketing automation for credit unions. Highlights from their discussion are below:
What is marketing automation?
The term “marketing automation” covers any kind of technology that can automate marketing activities that people used to have to manually. This means email, chatbots, real time decision making in advertising, and more.
Marketing automation is especially important in the sales process. It allows marketers to communicate with not only credit union members, but also loan officers, salespeople, branch managers, and others in the organization. For example, automation can trigger tasks or notifications to the appropriate internal staff member when a credit union member interacts with an ad, piece of content, etc.
Why are some credit unions behind the curve on marketing automation?
In a recent study, 50% of businesses across a range of industries (not just credit unions) were using marketing automation. But WebStrategies surveyed credit unions to find that only 30% were using marketing automation.
Why aren’t credit unions utilizing this technology?
Credit unions could be behind the curve on marketing automation due to budgetary restrictions or difficulty integrating with their systems (LOS, core system, etc.).
But the financial space is changing, and adapting to this technology should be a high priority.
Credit Unions vs. Fintech
Credit unions should be pursuing marketing automation because of what is happening in the fintech space right now. These companies are incredibly tech heavy and customer-focused.
Online-only companies are beginning to offer financial products that are data focused with advanced reporting options. Their systems are designed to talk to one another; they can track someone clicking on an ad, to applying for a loan, to the loan getting funded.
In contrast, many credit unions can’t track a loan application back to the ad that someone clicked on before applying (it depends on what LOS they use).
Marketing automation is a big step forward in bringing sophistication to credit union marketing.
What can credit unions do to get started in marketing automation?
Credit unions that find themselves behind the curve on marketing automation can do two things to catch up.
Get buy-in from people higher up in the credit union. How?
- Go after small wins. Try a marketing automation provider that is lower cost (like ActiveCampaign) and create email automations like onboarding, auto loans, etc. You can then demonstrate small wins from these automations. Small wins include how many emails were opened and clicked on by credit union members. This is a good place to start before moving to a more robust marketing automation platform (that will also be more expensive, but could ultimately provide a greater ROI).
Credit union marketing in the future
Credit union marketing trends for 2020 include better marketing technology, allotting more money toward digital, and better tracking and reporting.
It is wise to be future-proofing the technology your credit union uses. This means understanding where credit union marketing is headed in the future.
The power of AI/machine learning is exponential, but in order to utilize this credit unions have to make sure they are using modern technology that is well supported.
Even now, competitors are prompting clients to receive additional products and services at the time they need it most through automation. If credit unions don’t do that too, they will lose business to competitors in the marketplace.
The bottom line is marketing automation creates efficiency and opportunity. It takes over things that marketers used to have to do manually and provides options to do things that marketers couldn’t do before.
Watch the full interview here: