New Customers - 1New members and new customers. New members and new customers. We must get more (and more) new members and new customers.

Does that refrain sound familiar? At many credit unions and banks there is a rush to consumer acquisition. We need more accounts—specifically more new accounts.

While new business is certainly the lifeblood of any financial institution, it’s not the magic pill or the secret sauce to bottom line financial growth. Rather than focusing our marketing efforts on member and customer acquisition, we should emphasize deepening the product relationships we have we our current base.

Perhaps it’s time we go deep and not just wide.

I often challenge my strategic planning clients with this question, “What would happen if you did not add one new member/customer this year but got all of your existing clients to add just one more additional product or service with you?” The answer is your bottom line would increase exponentially.

Consider these factors when analyzing your current marketing strategy:

  • Consumer acquisition is expensiveCurrent estimates range between $225 to over $250 to acquire a new member or customer. Name recognition, brand awareness campaigns, community events and traditional advertising cost big bucks. So maybe you should allocate your precious marketing dollars more wisely.
  • You have a good baseIf people are using your credit union or bank, there must be something about it they like. More than likely, you have a core group of people who use your products or services (but not all of them). Rather than seeking new groups, deepen your base.
  • Your customers are cheatingToday’s banking consumers are not very loyal. They are cheating with Charles Schwab, cavorting with Citibank and riding the wagon with Wells Fargo. You do not have 100% of your member’s or customer’s business (wallet share). If they have a checking account with you, market auto loans. If they have a money market, pitch a mortgage refinance.
  • Work your existing consumersEvery good sales person will tell you your best leads are the people who are already doing business with you. It's called “cold” calling for a reason. Trying to get new consumers to listen and learn about your products is a cold business. Working your current members and customers is much more of a warm lead. 

Please note we’re not saying consumer acquisition is a negative strategy and one you should ignore. New people are the lifeblood of an organization.

However, your marketing resources are finite. You will probably experience the biggest bang for your marketing buck not by going wide but by going deep.