Published on November 14, 2014
Written by The Servion Group
Individuals turn to credit unions and community banks for a host of reasons. From enhanced customer service to more manageable fees, there are plenty of ways these financial institutions can compete with larger banks when it comes to market share. However, one area where they may need to take a page out of the big bank handbook is marketing.
Before you decide to overhaul your marketing efforts or double down on your latest campaign, you must ask yourself one question: Are our borrowers fully aware of all our mortgage lending products and services?
Capitalizing on advantages
There are certain areas where credit unions and community banks have a natural advantage over large mortgage lending institutions, and relationships are at the top of this list. Since these lenders differentiate themselves based on consumer interaction, it only makes sense to make this a cornerstone of home loan marketing. That begins with a comprehensive overview of your base.
According to the National Credit Union Administration, this involves understanding the differences in demographics between borrowers, from age and income to education level. In short, customization is key.
"A 50-year-old is usually not a former version of their 25-year-old self," the NCUA states. "The technique used to reach a 25-year-old may not work with the 50-year-old, as generally they have different needs and desires. You may have to employ a different technique or appeal to a different need when trying to reach each of these groups. Members expect information tailored to their age group and there is value in meeting that expectation."
Making the most of technology
As the NCUA also points out, maximizing the use of the Internet represents a smart strategy. This means beefing up online presence over both traditional channels and on social media. Financial institutions should also keep in mind how the Internet has made it that much easier for consumers to share experiences regarding products and services. Member satisfaction should always be a priority, but this is especially true when borrowers can hop online and spread negative reviews of their experience.
Leveraging modern technology gives lenders plenty of areas in which to expand. For instance, financial institutions may want to consider how tools such as online applications, mortgage calculators and more can not only improve borrower experiences, but also create valuable benefits worthy of advertising.
Putting quality over quantity
Instead of getting bogged down in how much marketing is needed to increase awareness of mortgage lending, lenders should explore how to make their campaigns more effective through variety and usefulness.
Being willing to market to borrowers through new channels that will strengthen relationships and lead to referrals can be much more valuable than simply ramping up advertising budgets and hoping something sticks.