What We’re Up To
CUContent Hosts Virtual Conference Amid COVID-19 Crisis
By Donna Adinolfe
When she learned the 27th annual CUNA Marketing and Business Development Conference was being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, CUcontent publisher Laura Enock and her in-house staff of just four people stepped up to the plate in a matter of days by creating a free, online, two-day conference for credit union marketers.
“There were 250-plus credit union marketers scheduled to be at a conference that week,” Enock said. “They now had a clear schedule. I figured we could just offer the workshop we were presenting at the CUNA conference as a virtual workshop. But then thought, ‘Why not create a full virtual conference?’”
Social Media Engagement 2.0 for Credit Unions, which took place March 16-17, provided credit unions with insights, information and ideas as well as networking opportunities.
With the help of Bobbie Garner of Lemon Tree Creative, the virtual conference was to be produced by staff members onsite at the CUcontent central New Jersey headquarters. But, when a coronavirus case was confirmed in the area and a death was reported in a neighboring county, Enock decided to keep her staff safe by producing the conference remotely from staff members’ home offices.
“Credit union marketers don’t have a lot of opportunities to connect with each other,” Enock said. “The CUcontent virtual marketing conference helped marketers connect at an important time. We had 186 people registered and lots of engagement. While it’s not the same as an in-person event, the program was outstanding and we’re getting a lot of positive feedback.”
Social Media Engagement 2.0 for Credit Unions featured presenters speaking about social media, member engagement, brand relevance in times of uncertainty and marketing when disruption happens, among others.
Bryan Caplan, speaker for Grow with Google and host of the Bigger Better Biz channel on YouTube, explained Google My Business. It’s a free tool for local businesses who want to connect with customers on Google Search and Maps.
Daniel Mirolli, strategic account manager at Formstack, spoke about best practices on how to engage with new and existing members in a faster, convenient and more streamlined way.
Brian Wringer of iDiz Inc. showed participants how their credit unions can uplift and harness their brand relevance. He told listeners that the six things that must be on their landing pages are routing number, phone number, branch locations, hours, rates and what’s on sale.
Branding and business communication strategist Shakira M. Brown and Tom Sullivan, brand strategist and CEO of Princeton Partners Inc., spoke on CU Brand Relevance in Times of Uncertainty.
They said now is the time to tell stories of inspiration, of how your credit union has helped members in uncertain times in the past, adding that marketers should ask what their credit union is doing to help members through the coronavirus crisis and then let members know.
“You want to be seen as a community partner,“ Brown said, “You want to be seen as a resource. That’s what makes long-term loyalty.”
Presenter Rich Jones, president /principal for Leaders2Leadership, LLC., addressed Marketing When Disruption Happens, particularly during the coronavirus crisis. He told audience members to segment COVID-19 emails by members’ age and situation, ie: members dealing with kids home from school and seniors afraid of contracting coronavirus at the grocery store. He added that credit unions could reposition tellers and bank staff to answer calls and help walk members through signing up for mobile banking.
CUcontent’s marketing coach, Nicole Walsh, moderated a discussion about seven highly successful marketing campaigns that generated engagement, and Hayden Monson, regional sales manager of Flex, spoke about improving the marketability of credit card programs with technology.