Online Venture Seeks To Lower Cost Of Marketing Materials

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Tim Taylor, owner of Access Marketing here, has created a new online venture that he says offers quickly accessed, low-cost marketing materials.

Called MarketingCreditUnions.com, it has everything from radio ads complete with a variety of voiceover talent, specialty loan materials, teller line posters and frames, message on-hold recordings, and holiday closing signs, for starters.

"About two years ago while I was making the rounds (for Access Marketing), I started running into these online marketing companies," Taylor said, adding that several credit unions he pitched for services said they preferred the ease of purchasing products online.

Realizing the potential, Taylor said, he set out to create a his own business that would include "the same high quality" as some of the others out there but with more products.

"When we started developing this thing, I felt the services (provided by other online marketing companies) were pretty good, but they missed a bunch of stuff."

Taylor said he thinks his personal experience within the credit union industry gives him an advantage.

"I've run advertising and marketing firms for 35 years and had my formal training in financial marketing working for a rather large credit union," he said. "When you've lived and worked within the environment, you can see the relationship that marketing has with everything."

Taylor said the website includes campaigns for the nine main products offered by credit unions. Each comes with offers of radio and newspaper ads, teller window signs, drive up banners, web graphics, lobby signs and business reply mailers. All of the templates can be personalized with the CU's own logo or customized to the CU's liking, he said. Mail house services are also available to increase response time and lower costs.

Taylor said the campaigns will be updated about every three months for variety. The goal is to give credit unions "really nice, quality-looking" materials that can help them compete with the banking industry.

"A lot of the smaller credit unions that we work with through Access have marketing efforts that tend to be a little less professional than they could be," he said. "We want to give our $10-million and $20-million credit unions the tools to look like $500-million credit unions and compete as aggressively as any of the banks that are out there."

The site also includes Free Friday financial tips and Budget Smart CDs that CUs can purchase and distribute to members.

In addition, the website is offering a product called "Credit When Credit Is Due," a program created by the American Center for Credit Education that helps credit unions "rehabilitate" loans with red flags before it's too late.

"When you repossess a vehicle, you're lucky to get 50 cents on the dollar," Taylor said. "This program prevents it from getting that far."

Credit unions that purchase this particular program receive tools to assist them in notifying lenders at risk and offering educational tools to help them get back on financial track.

From a marketer's perspective, Taylor said, the loan likely was not safe when it was originated as part of some marketing strategy, therefore it makes sense that marketing should be involved to restore it. "Our research shows that a significant percentage of people who let their loans go bad do so because they do not have the understanding and the skill sets to know how to prevent the problem," he said.

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