To Grow, Do You Focus on Lifetime Value or One-Offs?

10173484There are three dangers that come from setting growth goals in a strategic plan each year that not only may not be attainable, but more importantly are not grounded in developing new members once they join.

First, there is the danger of being self-defeating by making up a number, like; “Grow membership by10%” after a year of attracting 3% growth. The second danger is not having a strategy for attracting members in the age segments necessary to bring in loans and/or deposits. And the third danger is not paying attention to developing new member relationships.

The entire credit union movement had a 4.5% growth rate in 2016. As a net figure, this really means attracting more than 4.5% to account for attrition as members close accounts.

More importantly, if it is already a challenge to attract new members, for every person who does join, what is the potential beyond what they initially opened?

Let’s shift your focus to a growth goal and strategy that is more about capturing the members’ financial services for a lifetime.

Every marketing dollar must work hard to convince someone to join and open accounts. A credit union brand must be consistent and develop an emotional connection in the mind of members to build the relationship.

Yet, so often the focus by senior management is to “get loans” or to hit a number in opening accounts. Those are more of a “one-off” focus that does not take into account a long-term relationship.

A Conservative Estimate
of the Potential Value
of a Member Over a Lifetime
7 Auto Loans = $ 105,000
2 Mortgages = $ 200,000
1 Home Equity = $ 75,000
2 Certificates = $ 25,000
1 Money Market = $ 30,000
1 Credit Card = $ 125,000
1 Checking Account = $ 1,200,000
Quick Estimate = $ 1,760,000

The chart that I developed shows a quick estimate of what a member can mean to your organization. With the starting point as the share account of a child, there is the opportunity for a credit union to provide more than sixteen types of financial services across a lifetime.  As a very conservative estimate of the flow of dollars associated with member relationships, the chart depicts the ability serve each member many times over a lifetime.

Key is that growth for your organization must be framed in having an emotional connection that encourages every member to turn back to your organization when they need financial services. Every step of the new member journey must be enhanced and branding must consistently reinforce your brand in the member’s mind as the “go to” for the next financial need.

Want help making sure your brand is primed to help you reach your goals? Helping you craft your brand strategy and marketing to achieve your goals is what we do! Email us at or call us at 480.967.1405

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