The problem: As long-time credit union members, we’re well-acquainted with the benefits of banking with a credit union—personalized service, a member-centric approach, a strong commitment to the community, and great perks like free chequing. We were talking about this one day last summer and agreed that it was awfully generous of credit unions to offer a free service when no one is returning the favour, but that there must be a better way.
The solution: Reflecting on the way that these financial institutions offer something free to their members and ask for nothing in return except for a chance to ‘wow’ them, we had the idea to pay it forward to the credit unions by offering them a free marketing campaign. This would give them a chance to try out our services, just like their members get to try theirs, with no fees and no commitment to buy. Thus, the No-Fee-Super-Free Campaign was born.
Looking at our team, we realized we had a solid 20 years of experience working with credit unions, so we thought, why not put that experience to good use? That led to the creation of CUmark—a name derived from ‘credit union marketing’—which would be a division of Loomo dedicated to serving cooperative financial institutions in Canada and the United States.
Our no-fee campaign ran for three months and caught the eye of several credit union executives. As a result, we ended up developing RSP campaigns for Luminus Financial in Toronto, Ontario; SASCU in Salmon Arm, BC; and Diamond North Credit Union in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
The data: Though the products and services they offered had a lot in common, each credit union served a different demographic and required a personalized approach. Loving a challenge, we started interviewing credit union employees and diving into research to discover everything there is to know about each region and what’s important to its residents. As part of some additional assignments that resulted from the campaign, we even had the opportunity to visit Luminus and SASCU to tour their branches and get a feel for their membership’s unique needs.
For Luminus Financial’s RSP campaign, we landed on a futuristic concept (“Where will you be in 2050?”) with conversation-starting imagery designed to catch the eye of the younger demographic (late 20s and 30s) who would be seeing the creative online or while walking past the credit union’s branch on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto.
For SASCU, whose membership skews older and who already has a strong share of the market in their service area, we created a campaign that would promote their RSP and TFSA products among their existing members while emphasizing their friendly, personalized approach to financial planning.
For Diamond North, the focal point of the campaign needed to be the great rate of their limited-time RSP product, so we built the creative around that. To help people relate to the product’s benefits, we used imagery of a popular local pastime—fishing—and to underscore the community focus of the credit union, all the photos we used were from a local fisherman. We also created radio ads for this campaign because the data showed this to be one of the most effective ways to reach the credit union’s demographic.
The results: RSP season is in full swing and our credit union clients are enjoying their custom-made campaigns, complete with landing pages, website banners, digital and ATM screens, online ads, and social media banners. This campaign was an incredibly rewarding experience for us as it not only gave us the opportunity to pay it forward but also to make some great new friends across the country. We can’t wait to see the final results—although we’re pretty confident in the ROI—and we look forward to working with these credit unions, and many others, in the future.