The digital path to growth is getting a lot of attention lately. Reading financial industry articles or listening to podcasts, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the digital marketing, technology, and data trends. You might even worry your organization is falling behind. Just what is this ‘digital transformation’ anyway?

Beneath all the hype, digital transformation is really just the integration of digital technology into all aspects of an organization. In the financial industry, it’s blossoming into the application of digital technologies to all aspects of a member’s journey or relationship.

But what if a better path to growth isn’t technology at all? What if your organization could grow using more human touches? Recent research shows the human touch might just be the best way forward for credit unions and community banks.

Who can compete with big tech?

The study shows consumers are more likely to trust a big technology firm (think Amazon, Google, etc.) with their money than a bank. That’s quite a shift in how people view ‘banking’ from just five or ten years ago. This paper encourages banks to amp up their digital offerings in order to be considered an option to those big tech firms.

This just isn’t feasible for medium-sized financial institutions, much less for small ones. How can a smaller organization find the resources to compete? Margins and budgets are tight enough without having to fund a huge digital project. But what if smaller organizations use their existing resources to compete?

Creating loyalty through value

That same study indicates loyalty is gained when banks deliver on value. And value can be defined as having several key elements: quality, followed by saves time, reduces anxiety, simplifies and heirloom (a good investment for future generations). These elements CAN be provided by smaller financial institutions.

And when a credit union has loyal members, growth comes with that loyalty. Loyal members use multiple products and services. They refer the credit union to their friends. They open accounts for their children. It’s easy to see how the generational aspect is one of the elements of value – you are creating an heirloom for your members’ children.

Strategic branding and marketing can make a big difference in those value elements. Your organization is already a quality financial institution – let’s get your branding to magnify that aspect. Your digital products save your members time, which also simplifies their lives. Your well-trained, talented front office staff will do what they can to reduce your clients’ anxiety. And a credit union or community bank is certainly a great relationship to pass on to future generations.

So let’s use your communications to drive home those value messages:

  • Quality
  • Time savings
  • Simplify
  • Reducing money anxiety
  • Heirloom

Being consistent in those messages and authentic to your brand are tactics you can do something about right now. This path to growth might not be as flashy as fintech, but it sure is more feasible, reliable, and long-lasting.