Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 2 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'tapplying now wasn't sales sales, sales. All of the digital marketing that wedid is let us help you download a first time buyers guy mm You're listening to banking on digitalgrowth with James Robert lay a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing,sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential bygenerating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part ofthe digital growth journeys series where James robert uncovers andexplores some of the industry's biggest digital marketing and sales stories ofsuccess. Let's get into the show greetings and hello I am James robertley 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 excitedto welcome Jenelle Herrera to the show Journal is the VP of marketing andbusiness development at on top credit union in colorado and she's also amember of the Banking on Digital Growth program with her team that includesElena kelly who had a great conversation with as well on episode 92before now, Jenelle came into the financial services industry just threeyears ago and it has been good to continue to watch her growth thetransformation that she's had both personally as well as professionallyleading her team at on tap as she continues to focus on progress and thatperfection, something that we can all learn from together. Welcome to theshow channel. It is so good to have you on and and and really just dive deepinto your story about where you've been, where you're at and where you are goingto continue to grow as you move forward onwards and upwards on your digitalgrowth journey. Good to have you cheers, Thank you for having me. I'm excited tobe here, excited to share my story. Well you've got a great one and it'sone that goes back a couple of years...

...now since you and I first connected andyou are just coming into the industry before we get that piece of this. Ijust want to focus on the present moment right here right now. What areyou excited about personally, professionally as you know, it's alwaysyour pick. Yeah, I think professionally and you know, talking to this morelater I think. But really as a credit union, we have a great brand uhfoundation and I really think it's kind of a best kept secret. We have, youknow, stemming from Coors Coors Credit Union, we became on top credit unionand we have such a unique, different beer niche and I think we're justworking on some things around our purpose and our persona that's reallygoing to allow us to just spread the news broadly and show really how we'rehelping their people in the industry so excited, I never forget, I was at a seawater cooler conference years and years and years ago was speaking at aconference and we were talking, I think it was like Ron Shevlin Andy jammingand myself was a panel and we were just having a conversation like you and Iare right now and we were talking about this whole being a best kept secret andhow let's transcend that, let's move beyond and I think it's weird likewe'll pick your story up because you came into this part of your own justjourney of just growth and now digital growth about three years ago, let's goback in time, let's hop into the, to the DeLorean of our mind if you willand let's take a trip back. What was life like for you back then when youwere coming into the space? Yeah, so I was brand new to the credit union spacein and of itself when I started three years ago and what I was really excitedabout was the on tap brand. They had just transformed but we really juststarted to scratch the surface on digital, you know, launched a newwebsite, sure had a e newsletter and an onboarding automation digital platformand that was it. We had just, that was...

...just the beginning foundations and wehadn't really, you know, automated so many things. We didn't even use digitalmarketing 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 andreally figure out how to explode what if we had started, it's interestingthat you say like we had some automation but it was only in thatonboarding space. I'm curious to get your take on this because a lot oftimes would work with a financial brand. They check yes we have a marketingautomation and then when you dive a little bit deeper you realize it's onlyin that onboarding adoption period of the buying journey. Is there aknowledge gap an experience gap of which we having walked this? What doyou think that is for others who are like we're set? But then in realitythere's a lot of opportunity to continue to grow here. Yeah I think umI think in the Credit union space you're really hit over the head withmake sure you have your onboarding automation setup, make sure you haveyour onboarding automation setup. And so I came in while that was in midtransition and that was the first piece that they started to set up but wenever got to the point of setting everything else up and it kind of justsat there for a little bit. I also think sometimes we let you knowplatforms or I. T. Gets a little bogged down, they have a lot of things they'reworking on marketing, supporting marketing is just one small pillar ofeverything that they're working on. So you know I felt like I was in the queueand so really trying to find a solution that our team could own independentlywithout relying so heavily on I. T. And other departments to get moving alittle faster. Obviously they'll come in along the way and support andenhance what we're doing. We couldn't do without all the other departmentsbut we had to be able to have some...

...ownership to really run and really makethis come to life versus taking two steps forward one step back every timewe were trying to launch a new marketing campaign or new automationidea. 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 ifyou're a bank or credit union. They do struggle with this relationship hereand from my experience it's education and The opportunities to help theunaware become aware of what the future could look like to begin with in thefirst place and and that's where you and I had connected. It was the queuesconference and and to really dive deep and spend some time with you and it'sprobably 50 or 60 others leading leading that and facilitating thatsession. Looking back what was the transformational lessons gained to helpbegin to overcome some of these roadblocks. And I specifically remembersome of the questions you ask me. We're around this particular subject righthere. Yes. Um It seems so simple now looking back in hindsight but I wantedone simple thing I wanted to be able to reach out, you know, one small partproblem, reach out to abandoned apps and what I couldn't get from ourcurrent 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 toknow hey they've come to our website but they never delivered and I thinkthat was the only question I asked you and it was so simple, you were like, Sowhen they use the 3rd party application platform, just make them click one morebutton on the last frame that takes you to the website. So you know, if they'vecompleted or not and that to me was just that ah ha moment of it is sosimple, don't be bound by the limitations of the system around youtake 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 wantand 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 wasgreat about the accused conference was there were so many others in the roomthat 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'thave to ride all on your shoulders to figure it out. So it was that littlespark, but that really inspired me and really transformed how the entiremarketing department moved forward from that conference. So, absolutely. And Ithink I'm going to add on to what you're thinking. Don't be bound by thesystems, don't be bound by the technology, don't be even bound by thepast. Don't be also bound by the limitations of the mind. And what Imean by that is like this idea of abandoned apps and abandonedapplications was recently facilitating a conversation with another financialbrand. And and and they saw that as an opportunity, but defining what doesthat mean? Because lending looked at abandoned applications as applicationsthat had applied and they were denied or they went cold in this particularinstance, we're moving up higher into the funnel those that start theapplication process and lead. And it was that ah ha moment in thisconversation with another financial brand, they said, you know what that'slike, you can't get a much more hot lead than that. And so it was like thelight bulbs were beginning to go off and it was alignment between marketingand cells and and I know you've been there, you that's been a big area foryou 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 geta 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 getbound by, we can't launch anything unless you know, it's perfect and whenit comes to money that is very, very important. But when it comes tomarketing, you can give yourself some leeway, obviously you don't wantanything wrong, but you don't have to have every single piece of educationalcontent available for the membership. You can start with small help themwhere you can go ahead and launch it, learn what content they like and don'tlike and then build on it. So that way you're not bound by making sureeverything's perfect and they don't feel so overwhelmed, tackling things bythose little bite sized chunks are are huge. So yeah, I think that's one ofour mantras, you know, I think you're hitting a little bit on the hot leadsand that is one area where, you know, I don't know about all the other creditunions, but a lot of them are understaffed right now and for afinancial advocate or you know, you know, someone in the branch to be ableto take the time to call a lead list, which we used to give lead list of 1000people who are in the market for an auto, maybe they're interested. We'renot 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 aloneand they started to put their information in and got distracted forone reason or another and that really focuses the energy, you know, of thebranch staff to make sure that they're not wasting their time feeling likethey're cold calling these 1000 person lists that may not even be relevant ornot even interested right now to really these good hot leads. So, you know, forour team, you know, protect the brand...

...is something you said, you know,generate leads and generate quality leads is something that we're reallyfocusing on as well. It's interesting to hear you say that because this ideaof 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 ina 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 firstInternet bank out of Fishers indiana and their story that they were sharingwith the group to make this a little bit more real for everyone. They said Iwas applying for a mortgage. It was on a saturday. I started the process. Irealized that I didn't have everything that I needed. And so that I stopped 30minutes later, he got a phone call from first Internet bank, someone in theirmortgage 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 itwas that timeliness that has struck with him. He said this was probably agood 345 years ago, but it was the timeliness number one. But it was justthe 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 aroundthis particular product right here, which is mortgages, right? Yeah. Andyou know, we're not there yet and this is where progress, not perfection isright. We're not responding in 30 minutes yet. We want to get there. ButI think that's how you build right now. We have, you know, the list and ourmortgage loan, a home loan officers call and you know, members say, thankyou. 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 tofigure out their mortgage solution. You...

...know, sometimes it's, yes, I wasfilling it in and then I just wasn't sure what I was looking for. Great, letme help you and being that helpful guide along the journey is key you, youknow, they, it's the members, ultimately their decision and theirfinancial growth path. We're just here to move them along and make it easierfor them. And so many are like, oh, if you can just do this over the phoneeven 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 youknow, 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 wayconsumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers makepurchase decisions long before they walk into a branch if they walk into abranch at all, but your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits,we get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelmingfor any financial brand, marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have tobecause James robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the wayalong your digital growth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com toget a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth or order acopy right now for you and your team from amazon inside you'll find astrategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brandsAnd it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start usingtoday to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits now back to theshow. Imagine sitting there, you know, and this is where it's the curse ofknowledge 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 ifyou're looking at that empathetically through the lens of a prospectivemember or perspective account holder...

...income, well what do I include? Butwhen 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 andas what I would, I would call you, I'll call you a digital leader as a digitalleader within the organization though it's also important to take a step backto disconnect to create space and time to review, to reflect, to learn tothink what has that looked like for you practically speaking to create balanceso that you're not 100% all in stuck doing digital but you, you have somehealthy mix here. Well, going back to the mortgage example that we justtalked about. Yes, there's a lot of things online but something like amortgage died right? A physical printed piece or a physical downloaded piecethat someone can then have in their hand to help them on their journey. Youknow, was was one piece, I'll be honest, we're like, hey, we'll try this, Ican't imagine, you know, let's see who's going to download it and we'llsee if we get that much traction. But the one thing that we did as we wereenhancing all of our mortgage pages on our website and adding that guide anddoing a pre op for someone to download, we made sure our marketing wasn'tapplying now wasn't sales, sales sales. All of the digital marketing that wedid is let us help you download a first time buyers guide and that started andit's amazing. Once we advertise, we saw tons of downloads of the guide. Once weturn off the advertising, we get trickles in here and there and then weturn 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 thingwhere the physical aspect complements the digital aspects, so it's not alwaysjust 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 funnelcampaign, how is that? Thinking, you know, being in marketing and you'recoming from your background, it's always been campaign driven now we'rebuilding assets that have a much longer shelf life that are always on so wemight get trickles. But if we need to turn the spigot on, we can turn thespigot on and we'll get higher flow. How is that transformed? You'rethinking yourself your team and really the organization at large becausethat's an area of, of continued growth we're seeing in other financial brandsas well. Well, yeah, I think in the credit union space and a lot ofinteresting industries promotion, motion, promotional tracking, thosetype of spikes become addicting, right? Oh, the lone team needs auto loans, weturn on a promotion, you turn on a promotion, everything's promotion baseand now we're focusing all our, all of our energy, a promotion for a shortperiod of time that we revamp, try to keep fresh every year and that becomesa lot of energy spent. Um, now we're shifting so the promotions will stillexist, 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 canhave backwards on all the time search terms on all the time where you'reconstantly building a stream of leads to your website or stream of possiblemembers, but they also still add those promotions on. But then thosepromotions become quick updates, Little banner, things like that versusbuilding the entire journey building the entire page, building awareness toall 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 downif 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 inwith and without the promotion, so you're constantly having a stream ofactivity and support for your branches for your lending department that youcan point to and help with or without the promotion. So I think you getdouble bang for your buck actually by doing that and that takes some culturaltransformation 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 culturaltransformations that you have made to ensure alignment, not just withinmarketing, because they, I've found historically, over the years, if thisconversation just stays in a marketing department, there'll be some progress,but then they'll probably be more roadblocks that you hit versus if youinvite a larger group to experience this together, what has it been likefor you? So yeah, culture versus digital culture to different things. Wetake pride in our culture being a beer theme. We have this keg culture kindelegance, genuine is the acronym for keg, which is awesome. And as well asthe king of acronyms, I attached to any acronym because it's easy to rememberand I love that keg is kind elegant and genuine and it was actually built withthe employees. We did, it wasn't a top down thing. You know, we got everyonefrontline staff all the way every department involved and they came upwith this. So there was really that piece of ownership. So that's importantwhen you're developing a culture. So the same thing, if you're trying tobuild a digital culture, you've got to be careful that it isn't such a topdown push, but you almost have to show the path, show the journey. So somelittle things, right? First of all, we...

...created a digital marketing coordinatoron 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 toreally focus on on what they need to do and not get distracted in all otherdirections. So that's kind of a little seed that you put in there. Then westarted to show like, hey, here are the leads that we're getting because wechanged the website, you know, starting at one product, right? We're nottransforming the entire website. We're taking one product, we're guiding amember 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 Iknow our auto section for lack of a just to focus on that product. I knowour auto section may not become a, you know, a product brochure cheat sheetfor our staff, which is kind of what it is used to be. You know, we're reallydeveloping this for potential members and existing members to get whatthey're looking for. So I think it's just those little things and nottransforming everything at once and shoving it down people's throats that'snever gonna, that's never going to work. You have to show the results almostalmost before before people get on board. I think now we have so manyneeds, we're looking at another headcount to help support that. But Icouldn't go in saying, hey, we need a headcount because I'm gonna have theseleads, we had to have all the leads and have the staff say, wow, we can't evencatch up with them. How can we get help to justify the head count and to showthe money we were leaving on the table by not calling them was another hugeway 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 befrom the outside in, it has to be from the inside out. This is why we'reseeing 60-85% of digital transformation...

...projects fail because either a gets allstuck on the technology be, we don't think about who's having to deploy thisthinking, see how is these, how are the changes that are required going toimpact someone particularly internally emotionally? And so as you look aheadtowards just your own the future of growth, I want you to leap ahead inyour mind, it's two years, you're in a really good place. Life is grand andlook back to this conversation today. What has to happen between now untilthen for you to continue to make progress on your journey? What doesthat look like for you? Yeah, if he would have asked me this two years agoas we were starting, my list would be a mile long. What I realized it was, itwasn'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 youtry to do too much. So we do these little, you know, 90 day sprints thathelp. 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 justlooking for is us to continue to finding what we've done, what we'veestablished today and build right, build on what we've established today,you know, and I talked a little bit about our best kept secret. Hopefullywe're not a best kept secret anymore. That's what we're really working. Youknow, really fine tuning what our purpose is as a credit union and ourunique purpose, not the credit union industry purpose, but are on tap,unique purpose, really refining that so that it's crystal clear to everyone andhaving our personas defined with that so that we're really communicating theright thing to the right people and then being able to blast thateverywhere because it's no longer a...

...best kept secret. And we have thefoundation there now when they go to the website to support what we'recommunicating, because what we didn't want to do is communicate who we thinkwe are and then drive people to a website that didn't deliver, right? Sowe're or to a phone call that didn't deliver. So really building thatpurpose from inside out, like we were talking about is crucial. And while twoyears sounds like a long time, I'm pretty sure it's going to take twoyears 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 thatinto these, you know, the 90 day growth method that's eight iterations, whichreally goes by very, very quickly. And if you think about setting properexpectations, it can help drive and build the courage to commit. It canhelp build that confidence as you look back at. like I said, look, look backto where's where you were before, to where you're at today. There's a lot ofprogress, there's a lot of growth that you've experienced personally. There'sa lot of growth and progress you've experienced as a team. For someone whois listening, they might be in marketing, they might be in cells, theymight be on the leadership team, all progress. All growth starts with a verysmall first simple step. Let's send something very practically here. Andthis has been a great conversation journal. You just, you know, a lot ofgood ideas already, but let's get really, really practical. What is onesmall simple step that you would recommend for someone who has listenedto you and says, I want that. What would that be honestly reach out tosomeone? Reach out to an expert, I was sitting in the seat wanting to do 100things and feeling a little paralyzed on where to start and how I couldn'tget past the roadblock. And I think we've talked about before the way toget 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 stepforward. 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 thatmatter just to ask the first question because I think getting past thosefears and those own roadblocks in your to allow you to take that for beyond iscrucial. So it's a great point, reach out to appear a colleague, you don'thave to do this alone. That's one of the big reasons were so big oncommunity and even before we hit the record, I'm like, I need to connect youwith so and so over here, because it's like, what you're working on issomething that they've experienced already. There's always gonna be thisbeautiful transfer of knowledge. Someone might be a little bit furtherahead. It doesn't mean that they are, quote unquote winning. It just meansthat they're at a different stage of the journey and then you're gonna beable 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 evenbetter together. And as you talked about, you know, reach out to me, reachout to Jnl what's the best way for someone to make that connection withyou to just say hello, maybe even to to learn from you. What would that? Howcan someone do that listening? Oh, absolutely. You know, they can find meon linkedin, email me online, my email address Jenelle herrera and on tap seeyou dot org just reach out and because everyone person's situation isdifferent for me, the step forward I needed to take was the marketingautomation 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 firststep is. So absolutely reach out. I'm a I'm a helpful guide for the creditunion community you brought up a great point to that I want to address andwe'll wrap up on this thought here. You talked about this idea of reaching outto get out of your own head to get over some of the fears that might be holdingyou back. And and I see that like as an...

...individual, I see that with teams andteams are made up of organizations or teams make up organizations. When youtalk about this idea of fear, what are some of the fears that either a youhave 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 withas well? What might some of those be for me in particular? Because I was newto the credit union industry, I thought I new digital and had a good grasp ondigital, 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'tfamiliar with all these third party vendors and third party systems, so Icouldn't visualize how to get past them. They were scary to me initially now Ifeel like I know them like the back of my hand, but that was, that's whatscared me, that's what my nudge was. Um but someone else may not have doneanything digital or you know, I think a lot of credit unions don't spend a lotof money on digital media and so they try something and they don't seeimmediate results and then they don't underst they run the opposite direction.So I think having some foundational elements first and not being afraid totest things but don't test them and run away from them, test them and learnfrom them and move forward. So absolutely fear of the unknown isalways the very first fear that we have to address and the best way to overcomethat fear of the unknown is to just reach out, talk to someone, get sometraining, get some education, then the future doesn't look so scary, Jenellethank you so much. This has been a fantastic conversation, appreciate youjoining me on another episode of banking on digital growth, awesome,thank you, cheers as always and until next time be well, do good and makeyour bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digitalgrowth with James robert. Ley. Like...

...what you hear, tell a friend about thepodcast and leave us a review on apple podcast, google podcasts or Spotify andsubscribe while you're there to get even more practical improvementinsights visit www dot digital growth dot com to grab a preview of James,roberts, bestselling book banking on digital growth or order a copy rightnow for you and your team from amazon inside, you'll find a strategicmarketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus thatempower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits untilnext time, be well and do good.

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