Banking is not a place we go anymore, it’s something we do.

Originally published on

Last week I had the pleasure of attending an eye-opening lecture from one of the financial services world’s most innovative thought leaders, Mr. Brett King, author of Bank 2.0, at the 2012 NAFCU CEOs and Senior Executives Conference.  It was interesting to see the reactions of a room full of credit union executives as he explained why the basic principle that many of them have built their credit unions on – that a physical branch is essential to growth and stellar service – is no longer a universal truth. Brett’s point was that computers, smart phones and the Internet have fundamentally changed the behavior of members. That is, how you take care of your financial services is becoming far more significant than where you take care of your financial services.

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10 Deadly Social Media Sins

Social media has changed many rules of marketing, which can be especially disconcerting for those of us raised in the ‘traditional’ media world.  Some of the things we have always either accepted as fundamental precepts or taken for granted are no longer true, or maybe more precisely no longer as effective as they used to be. The good thing is that there are always new marketing fundamentals taking the place of those that are fading.

One of those is most certainly social media. The one thing we can count on is that social media (and whatever it evolves into in the future) has to be a permanent feature of a comprehensive marketing plan. There are just too many people in our key target demographics (i.e., the next generation of credit union members) for whom social media is more relevant than traditional media for us not to be in it.

So how can we better understand how to integrate social media into our existing marketing programs? One way is to learn from experts in the field about not only what you should do, but also what you should try really hard not to do.

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Credit Card Portfolio Growth Strategies for 2012

Guest post by Kevin O’Donnell, Vice President of Credit Issuance, Discover Network

As 2011 draws to a close, it has been another challenging year for credit unions and their members. Credit unions are focused on two goals: (1) continually seeking new ways to serve their members’ changing financial needs; and (2) growing membership specifically with Generation X and Y.

One product that is often overlooked during this exercise is the credit card program. A May 2010 Javelin Strategy & Research study asked credit union members which product they valued most. Ninety-four percent said credit cards.

For credit unions, the opportunity to revitalize their credit products begins at the acquisition stage, but continues through activation, card usage and loyalty. When revitalizing a credit portfolio, it is important to understand what members look for in a credit card product. Research has identified four key elements that members value most: 

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How credit unions can attract and retain next generation members

Guest post by Kevin O’Donnell, Vice President, Discover Network

How well do you know your members? According to a recent Millward Brown study, the average age of a credit union’s members is about 46 years old. Fifty-one percent are women, and more than half earn between $25,000 and $75,000 per year. Nearly 60 percent are married, and about a third have children living at home.

But here’s something to chew on: Just 8 percent of credit union members are between 18 and 24 years old, the coveted Millennial demographic.

You could say that small statistic doesn’t matter much. After all, as the Millennials age, they’ll likely join credit unions in numbers to match their parents and grandparents — or not.

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