Global Using Saving Promo To Reach Into Community

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SPOKANE, Wash.-Global Credit Union has done a good job of saving its members from paying high interest on loans. Now it is working to use its campaign to bring in new members.

The $340-million credit union originally wanted to save its members a half-million dollars in a half-year. The program launched last June with little fanfare-no radio, TV or newspaper advertisements-and was expected to take six months to accomplish. Instead, the initial savings goal was reached in three months, prompting Global to extend it to $1 million by the end of 2010.

As reported in CU Journal, ["Biggest Challenge? Goals Keep Being Exceeded," Dec. 20, 2010] Global bested the second goal by topping $1.3 million in savings by the end of November-all by getting members out of high-rate loans elsewhere and into the CU.

The goal for 2011 is $3 million in savings. Abby Koder, Global's VP of marketing and strategy, said in addition to raising the stakes, the CU wants to extend its reach into its community.

"Our No. 1 goal is to increase awareness of credit unions," she said. "No matter which credit union they are in, people will save money over banks. Our second goal is to find out what loans people have out there and how much we can save them by refinancing to a lower-rate loan."

Koder said Global helps people understand how to improve their credit score, and the relationship to getting better rates by having a better score. She acknowledged the $3-million plateau is a "stretch goal," but said the CU's employees are "very excited about this. They know they are doing members a service by saving them money. Our average member has been saving $5,000 from refinancing with us."

Global will let others spread the word through a "My Video Contest." The contest will feature 30- or 60-second videos about how Global CU saves people money on loans. It is open to the public.

Video entries were accepted at Global's channel on YouTube through the end of February and reviewed by an independent panel of judges. Finalists will be selected and their entries posted online to allow for public voting March 25-31. Winners will be announced in early April. Information is available at www.globalcu.org/myvideo

The key phrase is, "Global saves people money on loans," explained Koder. "Those words have to be in the video." The goal is to use these entries to create a TV commercial, which saves the CU the cost of producing a commercial from scratch by itself.

In addition to the video contest, Global will be offering a series of employee incentives. Koder said there will be both dollar incentives to individuals for top achievements in cross-selling, and an internal competition among branches.

"It is a motivational component of the campaign to reward employees for starting the conversation," she said. "Every time they speak with a member they submit it to our intranet. Any loans that close from that conversation earn a dollar incentive. Even if the loan does not close, the cross-sell counts toward the branch competition."

The branch competition is on a monthly rotation to "keep things fresh," Koder continued. Sometimes the goal will be the total number of cross-sells, the next month it will be the branch with the largest increase in cross-sells. Prizes will be about $100, with a mix of cash prizes and group awards such as pizza parties.

"For a small dollar amount we are creating a lot of interest and participation at the branch level," assessed Koder. "It is a pretty complex campaign, but it is a really simple idea-bring your loans to us and we will save you money. Who doesn't want to save money?"

Global CU serves more than 50,000 members. Membership is open to anyone living or working in Washington state; four counties in Idaho; and all active and retired military members and their families.

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