Targeted Messages That Actually Hit The Target

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LAKE MARY, Fla.-Credit unions looking to jump start growth in 2011 don't need to be looking to new members, but doing a much more effective job of getting business from the members they already have.

To that end, Harland Financial Solutions and Harland Clark have launched "enCompass," which it is calling a marketing strategy and multi-channel campaign execution program.

The solution integrates Harland Financial Solutions' business intelligence offerings with Harland Clarke Marketing Services, and is part of a broader initiative seeking to help credit unions to reduce costs while improving the efficiency of their marketing dollars. It begins with an analysis and segmentation of a CU's member data, from which a creative strategy is then developed.

enCompass is part of a broader trend in financial services by companies that offer core processing solutions to extend into the better application of that data. In this case, for instance, the solution uses business intelligence, analytical services, multi-channel integration, direct marketing design, production and fulfillment.

Sam Kilmer, VP-market development with Harland Financial Solutions, said such outsourced marketing solutions will only grow in importance as credit unions prepare to operate with less revenue as the result of new interchange rules. What that means, said Kilmer, is "we're getting beyond the traditional conversations that technology companies have with credit unions."

Marketing programs created as part of enCompass are unique to the individual credit unions, Kilmer said, adding, "We want to make sure the message is from them and that it works." But he noted that while the message may be unique, its underpinnings are based on best practices and effective messages learned at other institutions.

In recent years credit unions have become more effective in developing so-called "onboarding" programs, but Kilmer noted that once on board does not mean always on board. "We're trying to increase growth of the credit union by decreasing losses out the backdoor and cutting down on member attrition," he explained. "In the effort to retain new members, there should be more effort in selling more profitable relationships."

More Than Just Target-Marketing

In December, 2010, Harland acquired uMonitor, the Memphis-based provider of online services that begin with new account opening and funding and also includes P2P payments, advisor-client relationship management, bill payment and presentment, and more.

To that end, enCompass marries Harland's ToucheAnalyzer solution with Harland Clarke Marketing Service. But the solution is more than simply better targeting marketing, said Kilmer. He cited Los Angeles Police Credit Union, for instance, which used the company's Enterprise Optimization solution to make work process improvements that led to better efficiency.

"The story here is about using someone who has expertise where the cost is shared," said Kilmer. "It's about having a deeper bullpen. We are seeing results and best practices across a number of credit unions."

He said some CUs have become more than 30% more efficient as a result of the solution.

Kilmer stressed enCompass cannot be seen as a tool of the marketing department, but rather that the CEO needs to be all-in, as well. "It gets back to you manage what you measure," he said.

Kilmer noted that Dupaco Community CU in Dubuque, Iowa, which runs on the Phenix EFE system, has opened doors with business lending and then expanded into the personal business of those business members.

"Target messaging is the key," said Kilmer. "It's not shotgunned. You are growing the credit union by growing each member, one at a time."

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