Michael Hostetler is the VP of Marketing at Crane Credit Union. Prior to his role at the credit union, Hostetler served on the Board of Advisors at the George Washington University School of Business and the Director of Marketing at Ameriana Bank. He holds a degree in marketing from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business in marketing.
Crane Credit Union
Crane Credit Union serves its members by providing products and services at competitive rates and minimal fees. It's member-driven objectives include: providing products and services in a professional, personal and competitive manner; supporting the advancement of the communities it serves and maintaining and improving the quality of current products and services to meet the changing needs of its members.
Key Topics Covered
- Using an entrepreneurial mindset to increase credit union member growth and engagement
- Educating members about product offerings
- Improving the new member and new loan onboarding process
- Digital marketing strategies and channels that integrate the marketing and user experience
EPISODE RECAP & SUMMARY
Digital advertising is a given for any business in the world today, but how can credit unions connect the right products to their existing members and grow their member base?
Using an entrepreneurial mindset to increase credit union member growth and engagement
Loans have always been a necessary part of any large purchase — some subsequent step that, historically, hasn’t been given much thought on its own. No one comes into a financial institution with the goal of securing a mortgage without a house in tow.
Why then, are institutions like Crane Credit Union marketing loans? According to Michael, loan marketing was born of necessity. As more people received their COVID-19 pandemic stimulus checks, the credit union received more deposits than ever before — shifting from an average loan-to-share ratio of 90 percent down to 70 percent.
After some acquisition of other banks, the big objective for Michael and his team lately has been to increase the number of employees to help bring on new members — increasing their lending portfolio in the process to include more than just auto loans.
Educating members about product offerings
Marketing is often a one-to-many conversation — a different kind of muscle for many employees used to one-on-one conversations with members. When a member comes in and needs help with their checking or car loan, Michael realized that, without education, those members may never know the full scope of what Crane Credit Union has to offer.
Eventually, Michael wants the credit union to be known for loans.
Think of a member that comes in to discuss their home loan. During that conversation, the employee may notice that they have an auto loan with Chase. This presents a perfect opportunity to ask that member if they’ve thought about refinancing, offering them an incentive to bring the loan over to the credit union. Without the employee bringing it up, that member may never have known that was a possibility.
But how does a credit union go about finding information on other loans that an existing member might have? For Crane Credit Union, that information is coming out of ACH data — an opportunity that has helped the Crane team better anticipate the needs of their members.
Improving the new member and new loan onboarding process
Instead of only waiting for existing members to come back in to educate them on the credit union’s full loan offerings, Hostetler and his team are exploring that full scope of additional products with new members in their first meeting.
This not only helps members make more informed decisions about their loans in the first place, but keeps the credit union top of mind for potential future loans. So, even if the member never comes in again, the employee can still reach out electronically with offers that the customer has already been educated on.
Avoiding friction when introducing new products
Too much information up front about the full scope of loan offerings, unfortunately, can sometimes derail the original reason the member reached out. For Michael, it’s about the relationship with the member rather than a selling opportunity.
These are products that the member will more than likely purchase through a different lender. Building that relationship helps group all those purchases under the Crane Credit Union umbrella.
Digital marketing strategies and channels that integrate the marketing and user experience
When Michael started with Crane Credit Union seven years ago, there just wasn’t enough engagement with the communities that they served. As he looked into how he could create more engagement, digital came up time and time again as the easiest and most efficient way to reach people — especially considering how spread out their multiple locations were.
Michael credits their success to outside partners who knew digital in a way that they didn’t at the time — he knew their objectives but not how to achieve them. One of his biggest takeaways: A purchasing decision is never based on just one factor.
Hitting multiple touchpoints on a member’s journey to their purchase is key to success.