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Delta Community Credit Union Rethinks Mobile Marketing

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JPMorgan Chase's "honeymoon ad" selling mobile deposit capture was one of the first examples of a bank changing its marketing message from "the bank is on the smartphone" to selling specific mobile-enabled products. In the Chase ad, the mobile phone isn't the star — the easily executed check deposit is.

For Delta Community Credit Union, this evolution has sparked a rethinking of marketing the mobile channel.

Delta Community Credit Union debuted mobile banking two years ago, starting out with balance queries, transfers, and text alerts, and has since added apps for Android, iPhone and Blackberry and the iPad. It updated its smartphone apps in April to include a new bill pay feature that includes a presentment function.

Kip Renaud, online banking bill pay and mobile manager for Delta Community Credit Union, which has more than 200,000 members (mostly employees of Delta Airlines, Chick-fil-A, PetSmart, Aaron's and Nestle's), sat down with BTN at this week's Mobile Banking and Commerce Summit in San Francisco to discuss how the $3 billion-asset Atlanta-based credit union's mobile marketing strategy is evolving as smartphones become less of a novelty and more mainstream, and financial institutions are getting more creative at mobile marketing.

To make its new marketing work, Renaud says the credit union is focusing on how its members access the credit union, and telling them how that can be made easier by using the mobile phone.

BTN: As your mix of mobile banking offers expands, how are you changing marketing?
Renaud: We're moving beyond the idea that we simply have mobile banking, and are getting more into the function and what we have on the apps — what customers can do. The old image behind the marketing was two people looking at their phones, while you as the viewer of the marketing see the back of the phones. Now we're focusing on what's on the app itself, so you can see the images and function on the mobile device as part the marketing message.

How does that change the marketing message?
We're positioning mobile as one way, along with internet and other channels, that we can make members' lives easier. They can accomplish specific tasks while they are on the move, or if there is a problem or concern that they have, it can be addressed at any time while they are using mobile. The difference is we're focusing on the task rather than on the fact that we actually have mobile banking.

Is there a particular problem or task where you've put this new marketing strategy to work?
We've pitched the added bill pay and transaction capabilities for use in the airport, for example. That's a particular use case for our members, many of whom work for Delta, are on the move and need to access the bank while they are traveling or between flights. The idea is we're saying we can execute these transactions and meet that need.

Where do you advertise mobile banking?
We advertise online, in our member publications, and on flat-screen televisions in our branches. We also have wallet-sized cards in our branches and that we give out that are shaped like mobile apps and have information about the apps and how to sign up for mobile.

Are you advertising the bank on the mobile channel itself?
We see potential there, but we haven't done that yet.

What has to happen before the mobile device can be used to deliver marketing?
There would have to be opt-in from the members. We would also have to develop better means of targeting mobile users, tracking and analyzing the members' mobile activity and other transactions to better match the marketing on the mobile device to that user's needs.

What did you find most interesting this week at the mobile banking conference?
I find it interesting that payments are taking off so quickly. It's also surprising how fast smartphones are taking off. I found it fascinating that there are more iPhones sold than there are babies born every day. [Mark Jamison, head of the digital innovation lab at Capital One, mentioned this during a presentation on the potential of digital banking].

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