7 Ways to Capitalize on a Merger
Mergers, when done right, open up opportunities beyond the acquisition of financial assets and liabilities. There are steps to take that maximize value across loans, deposits, wallet share, and member growth. Our agency, James & Matthew, has been involved in multiple mergers and have dialed in on seven ways to further capitalize on the process.
1. Cultural Inclusion - There is always a surviving culture, and it is important to ensure that thosemost responsible for building it, know that it will continue. For the new folks, bringing them up to speed on the nuances of the culture, especially front line expectations, is imperative. You don’t want your current members to walk into a new branch and feel like it is a completely different Credit Union. To communicate your culture effectively, look beyond meetings. Try documenting your culture in formats your employees can easily digest on their own. We’ve found that a brand story video works well in this situation.
2. Early Communication - We had one CU change over their card system the week before Black Friday… and there was no way around this. The CU could have chosen to hope for the best during this time, but instead, they took the offense. By communicating the plans early and what to do if there was an issue with your card, membership was well informed. This did not take the form of a letter or ATM message alone; we took to the digital and social spaces to ensure that most, if not all, members were hit with messaging.
3. Defining Behavior with Digital - Be sure not to lose the analytics data that the CU which will be phased out has. That legacy information will give you a lot of insight regarding the interest of the new members (travel, leisure, card use, etc.), that can be used to improve products per household.
4. Web - Since you have to re-educate the new membership on products and services, it is a good time to decide if your most important branch, that being the website, is doing its job. How good is the site at taking membership beyond the login page? Will you be able to draw your new members deeper into the website?
5. Email - A merger is an opportunity to update and acquire email addresses. Take advantage of this to get the new membership into your CRM, so that you can market the right products to the right people.
6. Benefits - The need to sell the new members on the value of the merger goes beyond the initial vote of yes. Take time to look at the nature of the merged CU's value proposition across all products and services. Strengthening that will help with current members and help to make the new credit union the preferred financial institution for new members.
7. Corralling Membership - Be sure to connect with the new membership digitally via a “new member only” landing page. This will allow you to digitally tag all the new members so that you can hit them with communication that might not be relevant to existing members.
Like all lists, this is by no means exhaustive, but it does touch on the areas that can have a lasting impact on the success of your merger. If you’d like to learn more about maximizing the success of your merger, contact us at email@example.com.