Engagement: One Size Doesn't Fit All
The big buzz words this year are "member engagement" and "engagement banking." But do they denote a new concept or a case of what old being new again?
"I think it’s a good question," said Brady Walen, director of marketing at MarketInsights. "We’re seeing a few people trying to champion the concept of engagement banking, so it’s interesting to see how some are framing it up and some are introducing it as a new concept where I think it has always been there."
"I believe there has to be a shift in mentality and you have to believe in quality over quantity when it comes to the member relationship," said Stephens. "It can be too big a leap for some because you can’t be everything to everybody and a lot of people aren’t comfortable with the idea of being polarizing."
Walen added that credit unions need to have an understanding of who the membership is and who they would like to have as a member because engagement banking can’t work if the answer is everybody.
When it comes to examples of engagement in the credit union world it gets a little trickier as there is no one shining example. The closest a credit union comes to delivering the whole package is Vancity in Vancouver, British Columbia. The credit union has built a community based on its culture of environmental and social sustainability, where members can build their wealth while maintaining their values. On its website, www.vancity.com, Vancity has successfully positioned its business as "a bit of the chicken-and-the egg. Do our members choose us because our vision matches theirs? Or do they choose us because our vision is actually shaped by theirs?"
The experts also point to the platforms developed by Currency Marketing Young & Free and VerityMom, which has demonstrated a level of honest engagement that targets a specific demographic of the market.