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Your job as a financial organization is to help people fight inflation. “Inflation” has always a dirty word, but its effects are especially nasty these days. You need only drive past a gas station or walk down a grocery store aisle to see its impact on me, you and your members or customers.
But now’s not the time to surrender! People are fearful, and the fog of uncertainty clouds their vision. Your credit union or community bank must lift the fog. You must give them the tools to fight back.
Here are three marketing messages (fog lights if you will) to help members and customers fight inflation.
It sounds self-serving at first glance, but telling consumers to “hurry up and buy” actually helps them make purchases before prices climb again. This is also good advice when it comes to the rate hikes accompanying inflation. Why?
Well, think about buying a car. Sometimes an old car breaks down and waiting to buy a new car isn’t an option. It’s better for these consumers to buy before rising costs and rate hikes make it more expensive.
In this situation, patience isn’t a virtue.
It’s tempting to smile through the pain and not bring up inflation. Don’t give into this temptation. Don’t act like you live in a bubble. Don’t say everything’s hunky-dory.
Use empathy and acknowledge high prices are harming your members or customers. Then, show consumers your plan to solve their problems. After all, wallowing in the pain helps no one.
What are some possible plans? Highlight how personal loans with lower rates than credit cards save consumers money on interest. Or market digital services as banking without the branch trip gas costs. Or maybe emphasize how credit card rewards grow consumers’ money as they spend it.
Inflation-caused desperation drives some people toward predatory lenders and deeper financial insecurity. CU Today reports one payday lender issued 44% of loans to new customers last quarter. Payday loans have annual rates as high as 664% in some areas.
Dependable credit union and community bank loans provide much lower rates and higher financial security than payday loans. Look for creative ways to offer loans to struggling consumers.
For example, try counting “side gig” income (like Uber or DoorDash) to see if monthly payments are affordable. Awards accompanying CDFI designations could also reduce lending risk and empower you to lend more freely.
Are none of these tips piercing the fog of uncertainty? If so, our On The Mark Strategies messaging experts can run a marketing assessment to tell you exactly what’s wrong. Sign up for a marketing assessment today!