If a genie popped out of your morning cup of coffee and said that he was going to grant the ability to read your credit union members minds, would you accept? Ok, so it could be risky, or slightly awkward. But, imagine what could be learned from seeing inside their minds and getting a glimpse at their opinions of the economy, their personal spending habits, and their near-term plans for spending and saving…you know, the keys to putting together successful marketing and growth strategies for your credit union. Now would you accept? I’d venture to guess your response would be something along the lines of …“yes, please!”
You probably already make some informed guess-timates about what your members are spending their money on, if they plan to invest this month, or if they are planning a summer “staycation” versus flying/driving to the happiest place on earth (a.k.a. Disney World). But without calling them up each month to find out, or spending half of your marketing budget to fund research to find out for you, you’re probably, more times than not, taking a shot in the dark. Fortunately for those of us that are not greeted by genies, there is something that currently exists to help you get into the minds of your members. It comes from one of our Preferred Partners, Discover.
Here are a few of the most recent results from Discover’s U.S. Spending Monitor report for Credit Unions (a teaser if you will ):
Not counting household expenses, such as groceries and gasoline, there was a decline in members planning to spend less on discretionary expenses, which might indicate some optimism about the economy. For example:
- In April 2012, only 42 percent of credit union members plan to spend less on discretionary entertainment spending in the next month, compared with 53 percent in April 2011.
- Those planning to spend less on home improvements in the next month also declined 5 percentage points, from 47 percent in April 2011 to 42 percent in April 2012. Those who planned to increase spending on home improvement rose 1 percentage point, to 20 percent, compared to a year ago.
- Intentions to spend less on a major personal purchase in the next month declined as well by 6 percentage points, to 41 percent, versus 47 percent in the same time period last year.
The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor report for Credit Unions is a neat little tool. On a personal level it is interesting to see the opinions of my fellow credit union members on the economy. The report allows you to drill down into the data, so the comparison extends to others in my same gender, age and income bracket categories.
With the assumption that the data and results can be translated to trends and opinions among your members, the report offers invaluable insight for marketers. In particular, the data can be used to customize offers and campaigns. For example, with a decrease in the number of members that will be spending less on major personal items, it may be a good time to advertise your ridiculously low interest rates on cars or boats. Don’t forget the report is broken down by age, gender, income, etc. So you can sneak a little insert in their monthly statement that goes along with their AARP message, all without the help of a friendly genie!
There are so many cool things that you can do with this report, and the best part is, IT’S FREE!
Download the latest Discover report, and listen to a podcast about the latest trends and what they could mean for your credit union.
Post written by Melissa Thompson, Marketing Manager, NAFCU Services Corp.