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A Direct Line Blog

Word of Mouth Still Effective

March 7, 2018 7:30 am

By Donya Parrish

Have you ever spent a board meeting or planning session discussing how to grow the credit union and attract new members? If so, you are not alone. It has been a focus of many credit unions in recent years.

According to CUNA Mutual Group’s research report Insights from the Non-Member and Driving Credit Union Engagement, even consumers who are unhappy with their current financial institution find barriers to changing. The report noted “most consumers are reluctant to switch institutions citing a sense of complacency, the fact that it’s a “hassle” to do so and the lingering misconceptions they hold about credit unions.”

So, what is the key to getting them to open an account, and engage, with your credit union? One of the primary take-aways from this study was the following:

“Find ways to connect with Millennials through current members, especially their Boomer parents. Research from a variety of sources supports the fact that Boomer parents tend to have a strong influence over their Millennial children and that Millennials rely on others’ recommendations when making decisions about almost anything—including finances. In fact, the What Matters Now research shows nearly half of Millennials who use a credit union joined because a friend or family member recommended it. Boomers already make up the largest percentage of credit union membership (at 42%), which should provide a strong opportunity to connect with their Millennial children. Now is a great time to make this a priority—before the upcoming $40 trillion asset transfer from Boomers to their children.”

That is not to say that your advertising campaign or website revision are not worth the cost and effort. Those venues may be the piece that a millennial uses as research when they hear about your credit union. The lesson here is not to forget engaging your existing members to help attract new ones.

I urge you to read the study. It has great insight and suggestions on how to incorporate the research. Plus, it might help solve the mystery of “those millennials”… go through their parents!

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