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Do your members understand credit union benefits?

Marketing to members' problems can highlight credit union benefits.

People join credit unions for the benefits they offer over traditional banks, whether that means a free checking account, competitive loan products or even a better company culture. However, a new blog post in Association Marketer suggests members of associations of all kinds sometimes don't know what benefits the organizations they belong to can really offer.

Communication between a credit union and its members is vital. If marketing messages tend to be focused on a specific set of benefits and neglect to explain others, members may not even know certain products and services exist. If it's necessary to talk to a loan officer to learn about what financing is available through the credit union, members may not make the effort to do so - and therefore not take advantage of loan benefits they could be using.

Of course, most credit unions have written material, whether online or on paper, that details what products and benefits are offered to their members. For most people, though, reading multiple pages of this material is simply too much work.

Marketing to pain points
Association Marketer suggests focusing on people's problems - or, in marketing terms, finding their pain points. Credit union marketing messages should focus not on all the great benefits credit unions offer but on how they can solve prospective members' problems. Many pain points that have to do with finances are widely shared, like account fees at big banks or the difficulty of obtaining a home or auto loan. Others will be specific to different demographics - people planning for retirement have different financial problems than those just starting a family, for example - which can lead to targeted messaging.

A good way to identify pain points specific to the community is to ask current members what financial obstacles they face and whether the credit union has helped them to move past them. Credit union professionals may find concerns they weren't aware of before. Not only can this help give credit union leaders insight into which problems prospective members are likely to have, but it can also provide material for member testimonials. If members agree, using their words for testimonials or even taking video can be very effective.

Marketing to pain points will mean members enter a credit union with a good idea of how it can help them and what benefits are already in place. This marketing can continue while people are members as well, helping to get the message out about everything the credit union offers.