Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Keep the Gears Engaged


It’s been much too long since I have posted here. I’ve been hard at work getting Maine State CU’s new web site ready to launch by the end of July (which is rapidly approaching and causing me much anxiety). So I just wanted to share a bit of the stuff I’m trying to work into our site as it launches or as we continue to improve it.

First, let me say that a little variety can go a long way with a site. Your site doesn’t need to have tons of flash animation or graphics to catch people’s eye. Sometimes its as simple as having a set of header images that rotate each time the page is refreshed. Make people feel like every time they load a page they see something new.

Second, I think its very important that there is a tie between the online channel and the in branch experience. Even though more and more members are using online banking every day, there will always be a need for that personal interaction. I think being personal is one of the single most important (though cliché) things a credit union can do to increase a member’s relationship with the credit union.

Your tellers are the face of your branch, so why not the online channel as well. Use images of the people and places your members recognize and interact with on a daily basis. This puts a face to what is typically a cold and impersonal experience filled with stock photography (stock photos make me cringe).

Third, coordinate your marketing across as many channels as you possible can. Visually and in the copy, try and keep things together. A fractured marketing campaign can only lead to fractured response. By keeping things consistent through copy, color, imagery, and message, you portray (even if the member only notices subconsciously) a professional and consistent brand. Also, something as simple as color coding between website sections and print materials can go a long way in making it easier for members to spot the information they are looking for.

It’s all about keeping your brand consistent through coordinating your marketing materials (whether in print or electronic), keeping the electronic channel personal, and providing the information members want to see in a convenient, logical, and easy to navigate format.

If you want to get your credit union moving, all the marketing gears have to engage each other, otherwise you're getting way less traction than you need.


Anonymous said...

On target -- your web is one of your brand mediums. Looking forward to the unveiling!

Deb Trautman

Christopher said...

I love the idea of using your frontline staff in images on the Web site. Stock photos can be great, but not when your member sees the same photos on your Web site, the local bank's brochures, and MetLife's annual report. Custom photos make your site unique to your credit union.

Elaine said...

I hope you are having fun! We just launched our new site (I want to use more photos, we just don't have enough), and it was exciting & nervewracking.

If you're not already planning on it, I highly recommend a public preview. I did that for a month with our redesign and got some fantastic helpful early feedback. Plus I think it's just a courteous thing to do. :)

Andy said...

Thanks! I can't wait to show it off. I think the site has turned out awesome and can't wait to share it with everybody.

I totally agree that sometimes stock photography does the job, and does it well. One of the issues we found for us while looking for stock photos that portrayed Maine was that it was all lighthouses. MSCU is nowhere near the coast and doesn't have a field of membership that is near the coast so we wanted to stick with photos of places inside our field of membership.

What we did was opened up a small contest for employees to take photos of the local area and submit them. We got some really great shots and are hoping to move the photo contest idea to the membership and let them submit photos to be used on the site with attribution to the photographer.

Congrats on your successful launch! Just wondering, how did you go about doing a public review?

Jeff Hardin said...

Andy -

Thanks so much for sharing your perspective.

Good luck with the launch! I bet it'll be a big hit!


Ginny Brady said...

I love the idea of having a photo contest to give variety to the photos on you site. Looking forward to the launching. Will your CU blogger friends get a preview?

Andy said...

Jeff and Ginny, Thanks I think its turned out pretty awesome. It still has some a bit of work left to be done, but if any of you would like a sneak peak at the site, send me a DM on twitter or an email.