Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 8 months ago

139) #DigitalGrowthJourneys: KEG Culture: On Tap Credit Union’s Recipe For Growth

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Good ingredients aren’t enough. You need the right recipe, too.

Every great marketer knows this, including Janelle Herrera, our next guest.

As the VP of Marketing and Business Development at On Tap Credit Union, she has continually improved her recipe for digital marketing success. She joins us to discuss:

- The foundations and growth paths for credit union marketing

- A healthy approach to automation and iteration

- The importance of reaching out to experts and asking questions

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

...we made sure our marketing wasn't applying now wasn't sales sales, sales. All of the digital marketing that we did is let us help you download a first time buyers guy mm You're listening to banking on digital growth with James Robert lay a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the digital growth journeys series where James robert uncovers and explores some of the industry's biggest digital marketing and sales stories of success. Let's get into the show greetings and hello I am James robert ley and welcome to the 139th episode of the Banking on Digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the digital growth journey series and I'm excited to welcome Jenelle Herrera to the show Journal is the VP of marketing and business development at on top credit union in colorado and she's also a member of the Banking on Digital Growth program with her team that includes Elena kelly who had a great conversation with as well on episode 92 before now, Jenelle came into the financial services industry just three years ago and it has been good to continue to watch her growth the transformation that she's had both personally as well as professionally leading her team at on tap as she continues to focus on progress and that perfection, something that we can all learn from together. Welcome to the show channel. It is so good to have you on and and and really just dive deep into your story about where you've been, where you're at and where you are going to continue to grow as you move forward onwards and upwards on your digital growth journey. Good to have you cheers, Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here, excited to share my story. Well you've got a great one and it's one that goes back a couple of years...

...now since you and I first connected and you are just coming into the industry before we get that piece of this. I just want to focus on the present moment right here right now. What are you excited about personally, professionally as you know, it's always your pick. Yeah, I think professionally and you know, talking to this more later I think. But really as a credit union, we have a great brand uh foundation and I really think it's kind of a best kept secret. We have, you know, stemming from Coors Coors Credit Union, we became on top credit union and we have such a unique, different beer niche and I think we're just working on some things around our purpose and our persona that's really going to allow us to just spread the news broadly and show really how we're helping their people in the industry so excited, I never forget, I was at a sea water cooler conference years and years and years ago was speaking at a conference and we were talking, I think it was like Ron Shevlin Andy jamming and myself was a panel and we were just having a conversation like you and I are right now and we were talking about this whole being a best kept secret and how let's transcend that, let's move beyond and I think it's weird like we'll pick your story up because you came into this part of your own just journey of just growth and now digital growth about three years ago, let's go back in time, let's hop into the, to the DeLorean of our mind if you will and let's take a trip back. What was life like for you back then when you were coming into the space? Yeah, so I was brand new to the credit union space in and of itself when I started three years ago and what I was really excited about was the on tap brand. They had just transformed but we really just started to scratch the surface on digital, you know, launched a new website, sure had a e newsletter and an onboarding automation digital platform and that was it. We had just, that was...

...just the beginning foundations and we hadn't really, you know, automated so many things. We didn't even use digital marketing really at that point other than email and it was, we were just, you know building the foundation. So I was excited to be able to come in and really figure out how to explode what if we had started, it's interesting that you say like we had some automation but it was only in that onboarding space. I'm curious to get your take on this because a lot of times would work with a financial brand. They check yes we have a marketing automation and then when you dive a little bit deeper you realize it's only in that onboarding adoption period of the buying journey. Is there a knowledge gap an experience gap of which we having walked this? What do you think that is for others who are like we're set? But then in reality there's a lot of opportunity to continue to grow here. Yeah I think um I think in the Credit union space you're really hit over the head with make sure you have your onboarding automation setup, make sure you have your onboarding automation setup. And so I came in while that was in mid transition and that was the first piece that they started to set up but we never got to the point of setting everything else up and it kind of just sat there for a little bit. I also think sometimes we let you know platforms or I. T. Gets a little bogged down, they have a lot of things they're working on marketing, supporting marketing is just one small pillar of everything that they're working on. So you know I felt like I was in the queue and so really trying to find a solution that our team could own independently without relying so heavily on I. T. And other departments to get moving a little faster. Obviously they'll come in along the way and support and enhance what we're doing. We couldn't do without all the other departments but we had to be able to have some...

...ownership to really run and really make this come to life versus taking two steps forward one step back every time we were trying to launch a new marketing campaign or new automation idea. That's a great point you make about I. T. Because it is a challenge. It is a roadblock that a lot of other financial brands. It doesn't matter if you're a bank or credit union. They do struggle with this relationship here and from my experience it's education and The opportunities to help the unaware become aware of what the future could look like to begin with in the first place and and that's where you and I had connected. It was the queues conference and and to really dive deep and spend some time with you and it's probably 50 or 60 others leading leading that and facilitating that session. Looking back what was the transformational lessons gained to help begin to overcome some of these roadblocks. And I specifically remember some of the questions you ask me. We're around this particular subject right here. Yes. Um It seems so simple now looking back in hindsight but I wanted one simple thing I wanted to be able to reach out, you know, one small part problem, reach out to abandoned apps and what I couldn't get from our current 33rd party platform was a good idea of who these abandoned apps were, there was no way to get it out of the system easy, there wasn't a good way to know hey they've come to our website but they never delivered and I think that was the only question I asked you and it was so simple, you were like, So when they use the 3rd party application platform, just make them click one more button on the last frame that takes you to the website. So you know, if they've completed or not and that to me was just that ah ha moment of it is so simple, don't be bound by the limitations of the system around you take a look at it differently and that...

...one small solution really sparked like, hey, let's make sure our marketing automation platform is a what we want and delivering what we want, but be really start to look at digital in a, you know, don't be confined by what you're told, really reach out there, you know, and if you can't figure it out. I think the other thing that was great about the accused conference was there were so many others in the room that had figured out little bits and pieces, so really building that network, you're able to come up a solution and think of it differently. It doesn't have to ride all on your shoulders to figure it out. So it was that little spark, but that really inspired me and really transformed how the entire marketing department moved forward from that conference. So, absolutely. And I think I'm going to add on to what you're thinking. Don't be bound by the systems, don't be bound by the technology, don't be even bound by the past. Don't be also bound by the limitations of the mind. And what I mean by that is like this idea of abandoned apps and abandoned applications was recently facilitating a conversation with another financial brand. And and and they saw that as an opportunity, but defining what does that mean? Because lending looked at abandoned applications as applications that had applied and they were denied or they went cold in this particular instance, we're moving up higher into the funnel those that start the application process and lead. And it was that ah ha moment in this conversation with another financial brand, they said, you know what that's like, you can't get a much more hot lead than that. And so it was like the light bulbs were beginning to go off and it was alignment between marketing and cells and and I know you've been there, you that's been a big area for you to help bring some alignment internally across the organization, marketing sales service Ops I. T. You've mentioned there's, you know, some mantras that have had a positive impact. And it comes back to simplicity. It's like, what are these two or three...

...simple truths that can, when things get a little bit complex, we can always fall back. What have those been for you, for your team? Well, I think the best one is progress, not perfection, We get bound by, we can't launch anything unless you know, it's perfect and when it comes to money that is very, very important. But when it comes to marketing, you can give yourself some leeway, obviously you don't want anything wrong, but you don't have to have every single piece of educational content available for the membership. You can start with small help them where you can go ahead and launch it, learn what content they like and don't like and then build on it. So that way you're not bound by making sure everything's perfect and they don't feel so overwhelmed, tackling things by those little bite sized chunks are are huge. So yeah, I think that's one of our mantras, you know, I think you're hitting a little bit on the hot leads and that is one area where, you know, I don't know about all the other credit unions, but a lot of them are understaffed right now and for a financial advocate or you know, you know, someone in the branch to be able to take the time to call a lead list, which we used to give lead list of 1000 people who are in the market for an auto, maybe they're interested. We're not really sure to really hone that in and each week feed them, you know, you're 10 20 hot pot leads because they said, yes, I'm interested in all alone and they started to put their information in and got distracted for one reason or another and that really focuses the energy, you know, of the branch staff to make sure that they're not wasting their time feeling like they're cold calling these 1000 person lists that may not even be relevant or not even interested right now to really these good hot leads. So, you know, for our team, you know, protect the brand...

...is something you said, you know, generate leads and generate quality leads is something that we're really focusing on as well. It's interesting to hear you say that because this idea of a hot lead, it's there's intent like you can't get any better than this. They started the application process and then something pulled them away in a recent conversation with the financial brand out on the west coast. Someone in operations had made a comment in this discussion, they said, you know what I'll never forget, it was their experience was with first Internet bank out of Fishers indiana and their story that they were sharing with the group to make this a little bit more real for everyone. They said I was applying for a mortgage. It was on a saturday. I started the process. I realized that I didn't have everything that I needed. And so that I stopped 30 minutes later, he got a phone call from first Internet bank, someone in their mortgage team and M. L. O. Saying, hey, I saw you started, it's, it's, you know, it's, it's James robert. What can I do to help you continue forward? And it was that timeliness that has struck with him. He said this was probably a good 345 years ago, but it was the timeliness number one. But it was just the intention to offer some help to offer some hope to offer some guidance, which has been another area that y'all have focused on, particularly around this particular product right here, which is mortgages, right? Yeah. And you know, we're not there yet and this is where progress, not perfection is right. We're not responding in 30 minutes yet. We want to get there. But I think that's how you build right now. We have, you know, the list and our mortgage loan, a home loan officers call and you know, members say, thank you. When they call, it's not a big brothers. You know, they're really, they're, these are people who are looking members who are looking to figure out their mortgage solution. You...

...know, sometimes it's, yes, I was filling it in and then I just wasn't sure what I was looking for. Great, let me help you and being that helpful guide along the journey is key you, you know, they, it's the members, ultimately their decision and their financial growth path. We're just here to move them along and make it easier for them. And so many are like, oh, if you can just do this over the phone even better, I can just rattle it off for asking questions of, you know, here's my income, but do I include this or doing include that and that just you know, great, I'll do this for you over the phone so we can move this forward. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch if they walk into a branch at all, but your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits, we get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand, marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have to because James robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from amazon inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands And it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits now back to the show. Imagine sitting there, you know, and this is where it's the curse of knowledge comes into play because in financial services we understand like L. T. V. And all of these acronyms, this banker needs that we speak. But if you're looking at that empathetically through the lens of a prospective member or perspective account holder...

...income, well what do I include? But when you connect that human touch, when you, when you bring in that expert, that really helps to facilitate those next best steps forward, it's easy, it's very easy to get overwhelmed in the doing and the doing a digital and as what I would, I would call you, I'll call you a digital leader as a digital leader within the organization though it's also important to take a step back to disconnect to create space and time to review, to reflect, to learn to think what has that looked like for you practically speaking to create balance so that you're not 100% all in stuck doing digital but you, you have some healthy mix here. Well, going back to the mortgage example that we just talked about. Yes, there's a lot of things online but something like a mortgage died right? A physical printed piece or a physical downloaded piece that someone can then have in their hand to help them on their journey. You know, was was one piece, I'll be honest, we're like, hey, we'll try this, I can't imagine, you know, let's see who's going to download it and we'll see if we get that much traction. But the one thing that we did as we were enhancing all of our mortgage pages on our website and adding that guide and doing a pre op for someone to download, we made sure our marketing wasn't applying now wasn't sales, sales sales. All of the digital marketing that we did is let us help you download a first time buyers guide and that started and it's amazing. Once we advertise, we saw tons of downloads of the guide. Once we turn off the advertising, we get trickles in here and there and then we turn back, turn it back on again and we get tons of downloads on the guide. So, and then you have those leads which are helpful as well. So that's one thing where the physical aspect complements the digital aspects, so it's not always just digital. Yeah, so that's kind of one of the examples in looking at this, you know, it's, you turn something on...

...and then you can turn something off. It's the idea of the always on evergreen marketing, full funnel campaign, how is that? Thinking, you know, being in marketing and you're coming from your background, it's always been campaign driven now we're building assets that have a much longer shelf life that are always on so we might get trickles. But if we need to turn the spigot on, we can turn the spigot on and we'll get higher flow. How is that transformed? You're thinking yourself your team and really the organization at large because that's an area of, of continued growth we're seeing in other financial brands as well. Well, yeah, I think in the credit union space and a lot of interesting industries promotion, motion, promotional tracking, those type of spikes become addicting, right? Oh, the lone team needs auto loans, we turn on a promotion, you turn on a promotion, everything's promotion base and now we're focusing all our, all of our energy, a promotion for a short period of time that we revamp, try to keep fresh every year and that becomes a lot of energy spent. Um, now we're shifting so the promotions will still exist, but really having that evergreen content always there and building on it. We use each push, you know, and we have a couple of choices right now you can have backwards on all the time search terms on all the time where you're constantly building a stream of leads to your website or stream of possible members, but they also still add those promotions on. But then those promotions become quick updates, Little banner, things like that versus building the entire journey building the entire page, building awareness to all the way down to the referral funnel, we have that built and now it's just, hey, here's the offer if we want to talk about it and then we pull it down if we don't do. And I think it really,...

...it gives you kind of that out, gosh, what's the word I'm looking for that? Like you're always having leads come in with and without the promotion, so you're constantly having a stream of activity and support for your branches for your lending department that you can point to and help with or without the promotion. So I think you get double bang for your buck actually by doing that and that takes some cultural transformation as well to get the buy in. And I know one of the things that, that you did internally, words have power and culture has always been a big, big thing for you at the credit union. What have been some of the cultural transformations that you have made to ensure alignment, not just within marketing, because they, I've found historically, over the years, if this conversation just stays in a marketing department, there'll be some progress, but then they'll probably be more roadblocks that you hit versus if you invite a larger group to experience this together, what has it been like for you? So yeah, culture versus digital culture to different things. We take pride in our culture being a beer theme. We have this keg culture kind elegance, genuine is the acronym for keg, which is awesome. And as well as the king of acronyms, I attached to any acronym because it's easy to remember and I love that keg is kind elegant and genuine and it was actually built with the employees. We did, it wasn't a top down thing. You know, we got everyone frontline staff all the way every department involved and they came up with this. So there was really that piece of ownership. So that's important when you're developing a culture. So the same thing, if you're trying to build a digital culture, you've got to be careful that it isn't such a top down push, but you almost have to show the path, show the journey. So some little things, right? First of all, we...

...created a digital marketing coordinator on the team with the word digital on it. That's a signal to everyone. Hey, digital is going to be important here, right? And it also allows that role to really focus on on what they need to do and not get distracted in all other directions. So that's kind of a little seed that you put in there. Then we started to show like, hey, here are the leads that we're getting because we changed the website, you know, starting at one product, right? We're not transforming the entire website. We're taking one product, we're guiding a member through their questions to get to what they need. Um, so by showing, you know, the entire organization that, hey, this is what we're doing. So I know our auto section for lack of a just to focus on that product. I know our auto section may not become a, you know, a product brochure cheat sheet for our staff, which is kind of what it is used to be. You know, we're really developing this for potential members and existing members to get what they're looking for. So I think it's just those little things and not transforming everything at once and shoving it down people's throats that's never gonna, that's never going to work. You have to show the results almost almost before before people get on board. I think now we have so many needs, we're looking at another headcount to help support that. But I couldn't go in saying, hey, we need a headcount because I'm gonna have these leads, we had to have all the leads and have the staff say, wow, we can't even catch up with them. How can we get help to justify the head count and to show the money we were leaving on the table by not calling them was another huge way to just kind of sell and build this digital culture digital transfer. Yes, and it is that idea of progress is greater than perfection. We're not trying to transform everything all at one time, it can't be from the outside in, it has to be from the inside out. This is why we're seeing 60-85% of digital transformation...

...projects fail because either a gets all stuck on the technology be, we don't think about who's having to deploy this thinking, see how is these, how are the changes that are required going to impact someone particularly internally emotionally? And so as you look ahead towards just your own the future of growth, I want you to leap ahead in your mind, it's two years, you're in a really good place. Life is grand and look back to this conversation today. What has to happen between now until then for you to continue to make progress on your journey? What does that look like for you? Yeah, if he would have asked me this two years ago as we were starting, my list would be a mile long. What I realized it was, it wasn't my long, it was and what I realized going through this process, you can only tackle so much at once and you're going to burnout people if you try to do too much. So we do these little, you know, 90 day sprints that help. So really where I want to be two years from now where it sounds like, gosh, two years we should be able to do so much more. But what I'm really just looking for is us to continue to finding what we've done, what we've established today and build right, build on what we've established today, you know, and I talked a little bit about our best kept secret. Hopefully we're not a best kept secret anymore. That's what we're really working. You know, really fine tuning what our purpose is as a credit union and our unique purpose, not the credit union industry purpose, but are on tap, unique purpose, really refining that so that it's crystal clear to everyone and having our personas defined with that so that we're really communicating the right thing to the right people and then being able to blast that everywhere because it's no longer a...

...best kept secret. And we have the foundation there now when they go to the website to support what we're communicating, because what we didn't want to do is communicate who we think we are and then drive people to a website that didn't deliver, right? So we're or to a phone call that didn't deliver. So really building that purpose from inside out, like we were talking about is crucial. And while two years sounds like a long time, I'm pretty sure it's going to take two years to get there. And that's not a bad thing because you want to do it, right? So, And on that point, I mean if you take the two years, you break that into these, you know, the 90 day growth method that's eight iterations, which really goes by very, very quickly. And if you think about setting proper expectations, it can help drive and build the courage to commit. It can help build that confidence as you look back at. like I said, look, look back to where's where you were before, to where you're at today. There's a lot of progress, there's a lot of growth that you've experienced personally. There's a lot of growth and progress you've experienced as a team. For someone who is listening, they might be in marketing, they might be in cells, they might be on the leadership team, all progress. All growth starts with a very small first simple step. Let's send something very practically here. And this has been a great conversation journal. You just, you know, a lot of good ideas already, but let's get really, really practical. What is one small simple step that you would recommend for someone who has listened to you and says, I want that. What would that be honestly reach out to someone? Reach out to an expert, I was sitting in the seat wanting to do 100 things and feeling a little paralyzed on where to start and how I couldn't get past the roadblock. And I think we've talked about before the way to get ahead as people or processes,...

...there's a third p I'm forgetting about, but really, you know, reaching out to people to help you take that step forward. I mean, linkedin is a is a huge opportunity area and, you know, you know, someone in the credit union industry reached out to me for that matter just to ask the first question because I think getting past those fears and those own roadblocks in your to allow you to take that for beyond is crucial. So it's a great point, reach out to appear a colleague, you don't have to do this alone. That's one of the big reasons were so big on community and even before we hit the record, I'm like, I need to connect you with so and so over here, because it's like, what you're working on is something that they've experienced already. There's always gonna be this beautiful transfer of knowledge. Someone might be a little bit further ahead. It doesn't mean that they are, quote unquote winning. It just means that they're at a different stage of the journey and then you're gonna be able to learn from them and then pay that back, you know, to someone else. And as a result we all are going to grow, we're all going to get even better together. And as you talked about, you know, reach out to me, reach out to Jnl what's the best way for someone to make that connection with you to just say hello, maybe even to to learn from you. What would that? How can someone do that listening? Oh, absolutely. You know, they can find me on linkedin, email me online, my email address Jenelle herrera and on tap see you dot org just reach out and because everyone person's situation is different for me, the step forward I needed to take was the marketing automation platform change to get us going. That was our step. But I don't, everyone's in a different place, so there's no way to say what that first step is. So absolutely reach out. I'm a I'm a helpful guide for the credit union community you brought up a great point to that I want to address and we'll wrap up on this thought here. You talked about this idea of reaching out to get out of your own head to get over some of the fears that might be holding you back. And and I see that like as an...

...individual, I see that with teams and teams are made up of organizations or teams make up organizations. When you talk about this idea of fear, what are some of the fears that either a you have experienced that you've been able to overcome and be maybe not just you, but what are you hearing from others that you're having conversations with as well? What might some of those be for me in particular? Because I was new to the credit union industry, I thought I new digital and had a good grasp on digital, but you know, finding I was new to the entire financial industry, all the different systems and pieces out there were my roadblock. I wasn't familiar with all these third party vendors and third party systems, so I couldn't visualize how to get past them. They were scary to me initially now I feel like I know them like the back of my hand, but that was, that's what scared me, that's what my nudge was. Um but someone else may not have done anything digital or you know, I think a lot of credit unions don't spend a lot of money on digital media and so they try something and they don't see immediate results and then they don't underst they run the opposite direction. So I think having some foundational elements first and not being afraid to test things but don't test them and run away from them, test them and learn from them and move forward. So absolutely fear of the unknown is always the very first fear that we have to address and the best way to overcome that fear of the unknown is to just reach out, talk to someone, get some training, get some education, then the future doesn't look so scary, Jenelle thank you so much. This has been a fantastic conversation, appreciate you joining me on another episode of banking on digital growth, awesome, thank you, cheers as always and until next time be well, do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digital growth with James robert. Ley. Like...

...what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcast, google podcasts or Spotify and subscribe while you're there to get even more practical improvement insights visit www dot digital growth dot com to grab a preview of James, roberts, bestselling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from amazon inside, you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits until next time, be well and do good.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (208)