SAN DIEGO – Credit unions must embark on a new digital marketing journey to meet modern consumer demands, beat competitors and ultimately grow, CU Grow CEO James Robert Lay advised during a breakout session, "Banking on Digital Marketing to Grow," at CU Direct DRiVE 16 Wednesday.

Currently, many credit unions are falling behind when it comes to implementing a successful digital marketing strategy. According to CU Grow's research, 70% of credit unions don't have a documented digital marketing strategy, and 83% haven't mapped out the consumer digital journey.

"It hurts to make big changes, but big changes and pain can ultimately facilitate growth," the head of the Houston-based consulting firm said.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has been immersed in the credit union industry for over a decade. She first joined CU Times in 2011 as a freelance writer, and following a two-year hiatus from 2013-2015, during which time she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union), she re-joined the CU Times team full-time as managing editor. She was promoted to executive editor in 2019. In the earlier days of her career, Chilingerian focused on news and lifestyle journalism, serving as a writer and editor for numerous regional publications in Oregon, Louisiana, South Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, she holds experience in marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space. At CU Times, she covers People and Community news, cybersecurity, fintech partnerships, marketing, workplace culture, leadership, DEI, branch strategies, digital banking and more. She currently works remotely and splits her time between Southern California and Portland, Ore.