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BOCA RATON, Fla. – What credit unions don’t know about the under-30 age market could hurt them. Credit union attendees at an interactive workshop entitled “Attract and Retain Young Adult Members”, at the CUNA Mutual Discovery Conference here rated their youth outreach efforts so far a “C”. According to Filene’s Bob Hoel, a recent Filene report Reaching the Under-30 Market, finds that what young members want most from their primary financial institution is a relationship. When those surveyed were asked how they had chosen their PFI, the top responses were 1) It is the first financial institution I had a relationship with and 2) It’s the only one I know -not personal service or direct deposit. Hoel says the lesson for credit unions is to get that young member first and to track them over the years to see how many actually stay with the credit union. For any young adult marketing to succeed it must be part of the credit union’s strategic plan. “Comfort rules for this group. If you can capture this group early on so that they view your credit union as a trusted advisor and educator then you’ll get all their business,” said Hoel. When it comes to describing their ideal borrowing experiences this group surprisingly say despite being tech savvy they prefer face-to-face meetings. In addition, Hoel says since many of them don’t believe social security will be there for them they believe strongly in planning for their retirement years and paying off balances on credit cards. Hoel offers the following suggestions to build relationships with this group: * Meet their needs – keep in mind they are looking for solutions not products * Help them fulfill their dreams – this may include rethinking student loans and of course being there for their first car purchase * Encourage savings – through educational and fun programs in schools and student credit unions * Say thanks in meaningful ways – for example sending a “Congratulations on your graduation” or “Hope you’re enjoying your first car” note complete with Blockbuster video cards. [email protected]

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