SAN FRANCISCO — When it comes to testing marketing ideas, Attune Managing Partners Maya Bourdeau and Jiao Zhang advised Marketing Association of Credit Unions 2011 Annual Conference attendees to “fail fast and fail cheap.”
“You don’t need large sample sizes to qualitatively test your ideas,” said Bourdeau. “You’ll have better results and final product by limiting your sample size to no more than 12 people and doing many rounds of testing and retesting.”
In a Wednesday session titled “How to Communicate with Nonmembers”, Bourdeau and Zhang shared that the biggest barriers for consumers to switch to a credit union are that the buying process is unpleasant and they need more information.
They said their research revealed that credit unions need to deliver a compelling reason for consumers to switch.
“It’s not enough to just say, ‘It’s in your hands, join a credit union’ because what consumers hear is ‘move to Swaziland.’ The fog is so thick that you can’t use a regular motivator. The simplest benefit which resonates with consumers is saving and earning more money,” Bourdeau said.
Zhang added that the following 10 ad elements tested best with nonmembers:
- Simple message
- There is no CU lingo such as co-op, member, join, ownership etc.
- Demonstrates a specific, personal benefit to potential members
- Clear cue that it is a financial institution
- The benefit is not overstated
- It shows how that benefit is reached
- The slogan branded CUs as focused on people
- The slogan favorably compares CUs to banks (without bashing banks)
- Emotionally relevant imagery – people want to feel financially carefree
- Unique imagery that catches the eye
“A simple, easy to understand message has a 70% greater chance of success,” said Zhang. “When people have too many choices they feel overwhelmed and the instinctive response is to stop, pull back and make no decisions. Your message should be so simple that a 10 year old should be able to get it.”
The conference runs through Friday at the Westin Market in San Francisco.