Why Aerating Wine Is Like Implementing Predictive Analytics

Guest post written by Kristin Locklear, wine enthusiast, avid fan of Sonoma, new believer in aerating, and Account Executive for Credit Unions at SAS, the world leader in predictive analytics. 

SAS is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Business Intelligence, Predictive Analytics Software & Risk Assessment.

Sonoma. The backdrop for some of the nation’s most beautiful scenery and wine was also the backdrop for this year’s NAFCU CEOs and Senior Executives Conference.  And what a backdrop it was! With pristine rolling hills, deep green valleys, and row after row of immaculate vineyards, it was hard to not feel as if you had just stumbled upon pure heaven on earth.

As more than 120 of us gathered to discuss such topics as regulation and leadership, it was hard to suppress my excitement for the scheduled group activities at hand. On Day 2, several buses departed for the ever-so-popular wine tour. What was expected to be just a day sipping fine wines, turned into a day of unexpected education (coupled with a little wine-sipping of course).

One of the ideas my tour group seemed to get hung up on was aerating (or letting the wine “breath” to enhance flavors), and for my sake, I’m glad they did. As it turns out, many of us had been doing it all wrong! Our tour guide, Heather, was a wealth of knowledge on this subject matter. She enthusiastically walked us through our lesson on what makes for good aeration and why it is often a necessary step to enhance red wine.

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The Traditional Branch Concept Is Under Attack. How Do You Respond?

Originally posted on NCR Corporation’s blog

Guest Post By Josh Linder, Director, NCR Business Consulting

Popular press has argued that the branch is obsolete and that consumers are shunning the branch. Traditional financial products are being replaced with prepaid cards as cited in the Wall Street Journal.

Coming out of the great global recession, the key challenge facing banks is that non-interest expenses (NIE) are difficult to contain in the face of a changing consumer, and the emergence of new entrants into the banking sector (notably the growth of credit unions and virtual/online banks).

Branches are expensive to operate, yet they have been proven to be the best channel for sales and customer retention. There is no better place for meeting face to face with clients to provide advice, deepen the relationship, and sell high margin products. The key to success is reinvention of the branch to meet the needs of the new tech savvy consumer who has grown skeptical of traditional banks.

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Secrets of the Online Retailers, and What It Means for Credit Unions

Originally posted on CUInsight.com

Three simple questions:

  1. Do you want your website to actively drive revenue growth, or to simply be an easy place for Members to read about your solutions, check balances, pay bills and find branches?
  2. Does your website engage members and generate revenue by using cutting edge web strategies like Amazon.com and Overstock.com do?
  3. If not, why not?

The first generation of business websites were what we like to euphemistically (and somewhat derisively) call ‘brochureware’ – companies spent a fortune on very talented graphic designers to put up web versions of their static brochures. Even though they sometimes built in animation or videos, the level of interactivity available to a visitor was pretty much the same as the level found when watching TV.

With interaction at best minimal, you still had to call or visit in person to actually buy something. Part of this represented technology limitations in the browser platform, but some of it was a lack of vision and established business models to point the way.

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Forget Your Crystal Ball—Learn the Real 2013 Marketing Trends

Each New Year, it appears that everyone finds a magic crystal ball to predict the future. In marketing, however, you really can predict the future—when you base your predictions off of trends and analytics.

Allow me to introduce you to my own personal crystal ball for marketing trends, a recent webinar that we did with a NAFCU Services Preferred Partner, NCR Corporation. The webinar, eMarketers Exclusive—Top 10 Trends of 2013, forecasts where marketing is headed and how credit unions specifically can improve their eMarketing strategy. Sundeep Kapur, Author, Digital Evangelist and Director of Strategic Marketing for NCR Corporation, led the eMarketers Exclusive—Top 10 Trends of 2013 webinar, and I encourage you to watch the recorded webinar because I truly cannot fit all the great tips from it here.

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Credit Union Industry Experts: What’s in Store for 2013

Originally posted on CUInsight.com

I like to say that one of a visionary leader’s most important functions is seeing over the horizon and recognizing opportunities and threats before anyone else does, and then shaping the strategy and tactics of the organization accordingly.

So for our year-end blog post I asked our Preferred Partners to tell us what they see coming over the horizon, from their perspective, that credit union executives need to be focused on and/or prepared for as we head into 2013. Looking back a year, I see some common themes—revenue issues, economic uncertainty, regulatory uncertainty, and political uncertainty. From that perspective, not much has changed as we look forward to 2013. Here is what a few of them said:

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