Peek Inside: Marketing At Australia’s Orange Credit Union

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On 10th December, 1964, 19 mail employees met in the staff canteen to discuss forming a credit union. By 1971, Mail Employees Credit Union (as it was first named) had 1,000 members. In the early days, loans were limited to only £400 pounds. The credit union adopted its current moniker back in 1973.

Name of Financial Institution: Orange Credit Union
Area served: Orange in New South Wales, Australia
Founded: 1964

Assets: $139 million
Number of members: 15,800
Number of branches: 1
Members per branch: all of them
Number of total employees: 38
Ratio of customers to employees: 416:1 (high = more efficient)
Number of marketing employees:
1 (2.6% of workforce)
Top marketing executive: Noelle Cornish, Marketing Manager (photo right)
Number of campaigns run every year:

A photo from a recent community event, “Relay for Life” which raises funds for cancer research. It involves teams walking/running around a track for 16 hours. Our local community has raised over $1 million in the past ten years. The credit union’s general manager, Paul McNamara, is shown in the far right in the photo.

Systems & Tools

Have Now Don’t Have Not Yet,
But Plan To
Formal written marketing plan X
Brand standards manual (addressing design) X
Brand guidelines book (for staff) X
CRM system X
MCIF system X
Onboarding program X
Matrix mail program X
Social media strategy X
In-branch video merchandising system X
Formal SEO strategy X

In-House vs. Vendor

In-House Vendor Both
Advertising X
Design X
Media buying X
Direct mail X
Email marketing n/a
Web design/development X
Online advertising/marketing X
Social media n/a
Promotional items, giveaways n/a
Sales collateral, brochures X
Public relations X
Community relations/events X

Marketing Channels Deployed

Using Now Don’t Use Not Yet,
But Plan To
Direct mail X
Print ads X
TV ads X
Radio ads X
Billboards/outdoor X
Ads within online banking/bill pay X
Paid banner ad placements X
Search engine marketing (e.g., Adwords) X
Microsites X
Email marketing X
eStatement ads X
QR codes X
Facebook X
Twitter X
YouTube X
LinkedIn X
Foursquare X
Blog X
Online forum X

Marketing Strategy

Biggest challenges in the next 12 months?
1. Online communications.
2. Social media.
3. Mobile banking.

Critical products/services to market this year?
Always home loans, marketing through traditional advertising channels. Insurance products are also critical, and they are marketed through third-party advisors.

Social media strategy?
We are not currently in the social media space. We have plans to tip-toe into Facebook, but it will not be a two-way channel to start – simply a ‘landing page’ to drive people to our website.

How does the marketing/sales cycle work?
As a one-person department, my time is stretched to getting it all done. Therefore, my biggest marketing achievements come from direct mail. The front line staff are aware of the mail being sent and take inquiries, but we currently do not do any outbound follow up calls to the direct mail. We are trying to become more proactive in our approach, but seem to still be a reactive service provider.

Most effective campaign?
Direct mail to members who appeared to have a home loan elsewhere. The return on investment was fantastic, and we run this DM every year now. It is something that I can actually prove stats on, so I prefer this kind of approach to general advertising.

How do you track marketing ROI?
I can generate reports on most efforts, but it depends on the type of campaign. General advertising has been hard to track, while any direct mail is easily tracked. We simply check 6 months later to see if members have taken up that loan or product. We also track stats on a global level within the organization for KPIs (e.g., value per member, etc.).

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