You may be surprised by the answer. As a marketing professional, I tend to notice advertisements and digital marketing more than the average person. Working for a company focused on expanding credit unions to reach more consumers also has me on the lookout for advertisements around credit union offerings. Here are a few ways local credit unions have used traditional marketing to their advantage that are just as strategic as placing an ad on the right website.
This year's Washington Auto Show had traditional sponsorships from the likes of State Farm, Spot Hero and the usual sponsors you think of for the automotive industry. The U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union took a strategic approach, knowing that consumers sometimes need car loans when purchasing a new vehicle. What better place to reach new potential members than the auto show? They went one step further with their sponsorship and created advertisements that filled the walkways of the Convention Center Metro stop, DC's subway. These ads displayed their rates featuring strong call to actions that reached an audience who was going to look at cars and forming their personal car-purchasing decision. This event traditionally attracts more than 400,000 people a day. This strategy is an excellent example of using traditional marketing to expand a credit union's reach.
The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run
Since 1996, Credit Union Miracle Day sponsors the Cherry Blossom 10 mile run. The credit union miracle day focuses on demonstrating credit unions' strong commitment to their communities and underscoring the positive impact that credit unions make to consumers. This event brings in more than 15,000 participants and even more spectators. In DC, the cherry blossom festival is a big deal attracting tourists from around the world. The 10-mile run is at the center of the action. This example drives home the credit union difference, and most of their hype is built around traditional marketing methods like radio ads and print.
The Washington Justice (D.C.'s e-sports team)
For the 2020 season, PenFed Credit Union will be the presenting partner for the team's inaugural homestand weekend. Each day, there will be three matches, and certain PenFed cardholders will get access to a VIP experience, which includes a meet-and-greet, VIP lounge, exclusive merchandise and more. I have never heard of a credit union sponsoring an e-sports team before. The benefits they are offering could be very enticing to die-hard gamers and provide PenFed access to new members who are generally a younger demographic. I saw the news around this announcement in a traditional tech article for a news outlet.
All three of these credit unions leveraged traditional marketing techniques in effective ways to reach new potential clients. Each experiential marketing element was as strategically placed as a digital ad. The challenge here lies in how credit unions can track conversions from traditional advertising. Traditional advertising is not dead, as some might say. While you should include both digital and traditional advertising methods, all of them work, but it comes down to what combination works for your credit union.