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Many of our customers in the credit union community have been asking for research to better understand how customer needs have changed over the past year and how product trends will shift over the next six months.

Research requests are focusing on a few key areas:

  • Will our customers still love us? Several customers whose products did really well during the remote-work reality of the pandemic need to understand how the objectives of customers and prospects will change as we head back to offices, even part-time.
  • Help us define key customer segments. With targeting even more important to marketers post-pandemic, we’ve seen a number of our customers looking for crucial data points to help define fast-changing trends in key segments of their businesses.
  • Find data to make the case for a new product. New entrants to markets are even more interested in finding compelling data points to help them drive awareness and pull mindshare away from incumbents.
  • I need to make a splash with data. With lots of market upheaval and change, there is a big appetite for vertical market data to make sense of it all. As a result, companies are looking for data to make news and get attention.

If any of these needs seem familiar, I’d welcome the opportunity to talk to you about how Credit Union Times can tailor a custom research program to help guide and drive marketing programs as we move forward in the second half of the year. For more information on our custom research offerings, click here.


Trends Credit Union Marketers Need to Know

  • M&As. The number of smaller asset size credit unions looking to survive are growing and with that, more and more mergers and acquisitions are being announced. In some cases, the financial situations have deteriorated so quickly that NCUA directors out in the field are approving almost immediate acquisitions of smaller credit unions by the larger credit unions because of poor financial health of the smaller CUs.
  • Banks vs. Credit Unions. The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) has turned up the volume on its anti-credit union rhetoric. It’s not unusual that they criticize the credit union tax exemption. But, it appears they have shifted their message and tone to such an aggressive level that it’s gaining traction within the Republican ranks in D.C.
  • Postal banking. Again, it’s not a new idea, but postal banking has gathered a lot of momentum in the past month. Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. credit unions believe if the laws are changed that they can expand to help better serve the underserved. But many lawmakers are revisiting the idea and even want to launch a pilot program to test out the potential of creating a full postal banking system.
  • Retirements. Credit union executive retirement announcements are coming in very fast. Many reasons given for the departures are pandemic-related. The pattern we are seeing is that executives delayed retiring during the pandemic, but now that it appears to be coming to some sort of manageable stage, we are watching potentially record CU executive retirement numbers. We know about several that haven’t been announced yet and many of these will be coming from very large CUs and CU organizations.
  • NCUA making big moves. The lead credit union regulatory agency is facing some very tough decisions as the pandemic has revealed many financial concerns for the industry. Board Chairman Todd Harper wants Congress to allow the agency to charge premiums to credit unions and increase the Share Insurance Fund to give the industry more emergency financial breathing room if needed (and it’s expected to be needed.) CUNA, NAFCU and other groups are very much against these items Harper is asking for.


 
 
 

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