Marketing To A Target Audience of One

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RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia CU here watches members as they bank online and immediately shows them offers that match their transaction activity.

"If the member goes to the bill payment screen to pay off a credit card, we'll show a promotional rate for a credit card," explained Christopher Saneda, CIO at the $2-billion Virginia CU (VACU).

"We try to relate our advertising to the type of activity the member is going to transact. As the member logs into online banking, we see customer information files and the page that the member is viewing," Saneda continued. "We then stream specific content to the screen based on predetermined, targeted marketing for that member."

VACU's "Custom Content Module" is the first step in delivering "really personal" targeted marketing, Saneda continued. "Our business intelligence data will tell us everything. For example, we'll be able to tell if a member is pregnant just by the way they shop. That's when we'll get in front of her to start talking about savings for education and other life events."

If a member turns on his mobile device while shopping, VACU's mobile banking application could register the member's location, he added. Delivering a personal experience will demand "mature" approaches to analyzing individual member behavioral data, he said.

Custom Content Module helped VACU open more than 4% of all deposit accounts in the past six months, automation that saved the CU nearly $40,000, according to Trey Kelso, AVP-business solutions and development at VACU.

The module communicates securely in real-time with VACU's core processing system, detailing who is banking online; a list of the member's accounts; and which online banking page the member is using.

VACU developed Custom Content Module one year ago along with Online Resources (ORCC), the Chantilly, Va.-based online financial technology provider. The module is part of the ORCC Command hosted online-banking platform and requires VACU engineers to perform all development work for each marketing campaign, according to Ron Bergamesca, EVP-banking services, ORCC.

For credit unions lacking the technical expertise or time for Custom Content Module, ORCC has since released Marketing Campaign Manager, "created for use by marketing and business employees," said Bergamesca. The platform is part of ORCC's on-premise online-banking platform, Architect.

Like Custom Content Module, the Architect marketing product can qualify a member for an offer based on real-time information, such as credit scores, check-writing history, demographic information and account balances, pulled from any third party vendor, including social media like Facebook.

Both modules can fulfill and fund offers immediately, in real-time, via a connection with the host system, said Bergamesca. "Internet banking and social networking sites are now mainstream. Members expect the ability to perform their everyday transactions in-session, at their convenience. Although many financial institutions offer members the ability to perform traditional tasks online, fulfillment may still require the member to visit a branch. The modules can allow credit unions to automate the presentation and fulfillment of these traditional functions."

Custom Content Module has also given VACU the capability to present pending credit card, checking and savings transactions when the member logs in to online banking, said Saneda. "ORCC's open architecture allows us to query multiple third-party systems on the fly and give the member a fuller picture of their financial life."

Approximately 40% of VACU's 200,000 members bank online, said Saneda.

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