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Pennine Community Credit Union transforming their marketing strategy


29 Mar 18

The credit union has seen an increase of 25% loan growth since changing their marketing techniques to adapt with the digital era.

David Harris, Marketing Manager at Pennine Community Credit Union (PCCU) hosted a workshop at this year’s ABCUL Annual Conference to share with credit unions how transforming their marketing strategy has improved the credit union in all areas of the business.

PCCU recognises that their old marketing techniques struggled to grow membership and they heavily relied on word of mouth in the community. Kathryn Fogg, CEO of PCCU said: “When we started, marketing was done in-house by volunteers – leaflets and word of mouth. We did everything we could think of – radio ads, magazine ads, ads on back of buses, but the return for the money wasn’t good. There were no controls in to monitor the effectiveness.

David Harris doesn’t see much of a difference to the way PCCU is operating now, and to the way it operated in 1980s. David said: “We’ve always listened to what’s happening in the community but now, through searches on the internet, we can see what people are searching for in terms of savings and loans and then design the products to match, and tell the people in our community we can help them.

“It’s not different from what we’ve been doing through our history; it’s just that we’re using technology.”

PCCU have been working with AsOne, a digital marketing company in Manchester. The company provides analytic research from the internet of what people in PCCU community searching for. David added: “We get key words and phrases and use them to develop blog content on the products we have. There might be a piece in the news about Christmas savings – we’d now use that to drive people to our website.”

One of the greatest aspects of social media has for the credit union to improve the credit union services, is that they are able to have a total control of what they produce. David says: “With social media we can target it in bursts, we can see who’s opening it and how they are reacting to it and then we can change it. If there are certain parts that aren’t working we can amend them and develop it further.

“If something goes into newspapers or radio, you know how many people they reach but you can’t target it. With social media you can target it; we can do it geographically, different demographics.

“With TV and print advertising it’s expensive and you can only concentrate on one area but with social media you can do ten stories a month. We can be correcting negative impressions about credit unions – tell people they can use phone banking, online banking, we’re open six days a week, we’ve got three different offices, whereas if we were paying for ads we’d have to concentrate on one topic.”

Since it began concentrating on digital marketing in March 2017, PCCU has:

  • Increased adult membership by 9%
  • Increased savings by 14%
  • Increased loan growth by 25%
  • Collective savings of £6.3m
  • Loan book of £3.1 m

Source – Co-operative News

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