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CU MARKETING Critical to Hispanic Membership Growth hether your credit union has served Hispanic members for years or is just getting introduced to this influential community you have a reason to celebrate. By investing in service to the largest fastest-growing youngest and most underserved population in the U.S. your cooperative truly is walking the walk. For many credit unions National Hispanic Heritage Month provides the perfect backdrop for honoring their dedication to the people helping people philosophy. Running from September 15 to October 15 the 30-day celebration is an ideal time to get face-to-face with their Hispanic members and prospects. But what happens after the month-long celebration concludes It certainly takes longer than 30 days to establish trust-- a critical component to any consumer s relationship with his or her financial institution. How are those credit unions that successfully honor the cultures of Latin America during the holiday able to keep the momentum going What follows are three ways credit unions can turn traditional Hispanic Heritage month events into ongoing activities to demonstrate a cooperative s commitment to the community. W By Anna Pena There are all kinds of open houses you can host. You may choose to organize smaller events held for a couple of hours during the week where information and snacks are set out at your branches. Or you may look to host larger weekend events with children s games and other engaging activities for members and their families. Host an Open House Word-of-mouth referrals are like gold to any targeted marketing strategy. This is especially true for credit unions looking to reach members of a tight-knit Hispanic community. By welcoming your Hispanic members to an open house event you make it easy for them to show you off to their friends and family. October 2014 Credit Union BUSINESS 39 CU MARKETING The most successful open houses are organized by a committee of credit union employees. To take it up a notch however consider partnering with a few established organizations trusted by the Hispanic community to co-host the events alongside the credit union. Take Part in Another Organization s Event If it requires too many resources to plan your own event scan your community calendars to see who else is planning activities in the local Hispanic communities in your area. Get in touch with the event organizers and offer to help. You could sponsor the activity in exchange for a presence at the event or simply offer to promote it among your membership. Don t be afraid to share your objective with event organizers. After all bringing fair dignified and trustworthy financial services to the Hispanic community is an honorable undertaking. Explain that your commitment is to tailor your services to Hispanic members rather than expect them to adapt to your credit union s way of doing things. If you have specific Hispanic products and services share them with the event organizers and see if there is a creative way to incorporate those offerings into the event. National Hispanic Heritage Month provides the perfect backdrop for honoring their dedication to the people helping people philosophy. communicating with members. There are newsletters statement stuffers web banners branch materials and of course social media. Don t forget your own staff. Include information about your existing Hispanic members in staff newsletters and talk about their successes and engagements with your credit union in meetings. Particularly for a credit union at the outset of a Hispanic growth strategy this can be a great first step in readying your staff for service to this distinct growing community. Anna Pe a is client relations manager for Coopera a fullservice Hispanic market solutions company with a specific focus on credit unions. She works closely with Coopera s clients providing assessments consulting training translations and assisting with the development of Hispanic consumer products. Anna can be reached at pena Shine the Light on Hispanic Community Culture and Successes If aligning with another organization s event is not an option don t despair. This final idea is one every credit union can do with minimal preparation and time commitment. It s simply this spread the word. With several different cultures represented in the U.S. Hispanic community there is a wealth of information that can be gathered and shared. Use Hispanic Heritage Month as inspiration to find content. The month celebrates the contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain Mexico the Caribbean and Central and South America. Knowing the cultural makeup of your Hispanic community can influence how and on what days you may choose to host your events or the content you develop for staff and members. Use your communication channels to educate members about the Hispanic culture and your local Hispanic community leaders successes. Today credit unions have multiple ways of CEO SUBSCRIPTION WITH BENEFITS Benefit your CFO COO CMO CCO CLO CIO HRD With FREE Monthly E-Newsletters Subscribe NOW register 40 Credit Union BUSINESS October 2014 Ready for more value from your ATM provider Open your doors to a new ATM provider For decades Cummins Allison has helped you make the most of your branch resources. Now we re excited to offer a complete line of highly reliable secure full-function ATMs to fit any branch configuration from drive-up to walk-up. And best of all our ATMs are backed by the responsive dependable local service you need and have come to expect. So open your doors and give us a try. 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