A great business and marketing strategy for your credit union’s branches requires a solid foundation of data that grounds it in the local market. Without this foundation, branching strategies have a tendency to drift from the goals and objectives, and even the locations, that would make the branches most successful.
Take the example of an underperforming credit union branch that isn’t meeting deposit goals.
This could be due to ineffective campaign targeting where marketing messages aren’t reaching the people they need to. A deep dive into the market demographics could reveal a more effective targeting strategy.
Or it could be that the “bank local” branding isn’t effectively differentiating the credit union in this market due to competition with other credit unions and community banks, and that there is a unique angle that the credit union could reflect in their branding to better resonate with the community.
There may also simply be low demand for deposits, and there could be better priorities and KPIs to focus on to serve members in the community better or a more optimal branch location for growing deposits.
Each “what if?” situation brings more questions that can be difficult to answer without a strong understanding of the market and how your branch network fits into it. But this situation can be avoided by building a data-driven business and marketing strategy.
Whether you’re considering a new branch or auditing your existing branches, start the planning process early and bring in everyone who has a stake in branch performance. Gather data though market analysis and research, and rely on this data as much as possible to guide your expectations and goals. You’ll want to focus on a number of key aspects, including building a realistic set of KPIs and metrics as well as understanding how your products, marketing, and branding can differentiate your branches from others in their respective markets.
This data will give you a comprehensive understanding of your market and provide a solid foundation on which you can build an effective business and marketing strategy.
But keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that you have to follow where the data leads you, it can also be a powerful tool for validating assumptions and backing up your intuition and knowledge of the market. For example, you may have a hunch that relocating one of your branches can turn it into a top performer, but it’s hard to take a hunch to the board. A business case backed with market data and predictive analytics showing growth potential is a different story altogether.
To learn more about how you can build an effective business and marketing strategy for your branch network, join us on Tuesday, February 9th for a conversation with EmpowerFi where we’ll walk you through the process.