NAFCU Services Blog

Nov 15, 2011 by David Frankil

Do You Know Your Members As Well As You Think You Do?

True or False?  When compared with non-members, credit union members tend to --

  • live in urban/suburban areas
  • be between the ages of 46-55
  • be married
  • be more likely to have a college or graduate degree than non-members
  • own a house
  • have school-aged kids
  • have a net worth between $100k - $499k
  • be more likely to be on LinkedIn than on Facebook

That was a bit of a trick question, since ALL of the above statements are true. Comments please -- I’d be curious to hear how well those demographics describe your base of members.

Credit unions are known for being close to their members, but even the most plugged-in credit union leaders may be surprised at the findings of recent consumer data that provided a profile of a “typical” credit union member, as compared to those that are non-members.  Sponsored by Genworth Financial, the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Mortgage Insurance and related solutions, the research was intended to help credit unions understand their members better, and to help them tailor solutions to their needs.

What sorts of conclusions should you draw from this data? Demographic data allows us to focus on the needs of our members more precisely.  So, for example, we can infer from an age range of 46-55 that college loans, elder care and retirement planning are all likely to be top of mind.  Homeowners are likely to be looking for refinance opportunities, and home equity loans. Higher average household income translates into opportunities for financial planning and wealth management advice.

The study also provides advanced member segmentation data that uses specific consumer and demographic characteristics to place each U.S. household into one of 70 segments and 21 life stage groups.  Called ‘Personicx’, it allows you to --

"… effectively distinguish between dramatically different behaviors and consumption patterns of consumers living side by side.  The ability to differentiate between the affluent retiring couple living right next door to a young family just starting out opens the door to stronger messaging, better returns on the marketing dollar, and significant improvements in understanding trade areas of interest."

As a marketer, you can never have too much data, and this research is particularly insightful. You can learn more about the research and the demographics in a podcast we did recently with Leslie McDow, Credit Union Segment Marketing Manager for Genworth Mortgage Insurance. You can also request a copy of the study's findings.

Post written by Dave Frankil, President, NAFCU Services Corp.

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