ORLANDO, Fla.-CorePROFIT Solutions President and CEO Joseph Prunty warned credit unions during NAFCU’s Annual Conference & Exhibition that if they do not segment their members by their needs and profitability, someone else will. According to Prunty, the most important information to come from member segmentation is that the institution “begins to get a profile of what profitable `potential’ members might look like.” Profitability can mean different things to different types of financial institutions or even to different credit unions. “Every financial institution segments differently,” he explained, which is good. If everyone were targeting the same consumers, the market would be even more competitive than it already is. Though credit unions are non-profit, they still need to make money to exist. Prunty added, if that is not incentive enough, the banking community is already segmenting potential and current credit union members. He emphasized that though the segmentation process could get complicated, it does not have to be. While MBNA segments their customers into approximately 6,500 different categories, even most large institutions use less than 25. Prunty also described it as a “relatively intuitive process.” Member segmentation is not only important for better targeted marketing, it also gives the credit unions a better picture of which members are contributing best to the bottom line. Prunty demonstrated that in order to increase profits credit unions have to increase the business with existing members at the credit union and add new accounts. He added that even a slight increase in a not-so-profitable member’s status could be a huge help. Additionally, targeted marketing should cost the institution less with better results. However, credit unions’ mission is to serve low- and moderate-income persons, who may not be the most profitable. While he called one dollar of revenue that cost a dollar and five cents to maintain “bad revenue,” he impressed upon the audience, “It’s OK that unprofitability be in the mix.[but] stabilize it.” [email protected]

 

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