Redefining Member Engagement: 5 Benefits of a CDP for Credit Unions

With impending interest rate cuts later this year and beyond, the time is now for financial institutions to optimize their tech stack. History has shown that when interest rates drop, it sets off a chain reaction in the market. Consumers rush to secure mortgages, explore refinancing options, and seek alternative financial products. When the time comes, those who are digitally prepared will capitalize on the influx of consumers seeking new mortgages and refinancing deals. 

Credit unions, known for their member-centric approach, are uniquely positioned to capitalize on this shift. However, many still struggle with fragmented data and outdated legacy systems, hindering their ability to fully leverage their inherent advantages. In today’s digital world, the key to successful digital engagement hinges on harnessing the power of customer data. This is where a customer data platform (CDP) comes into play. In this blog post, we’ll explore how credit unions can benefit from adopting a CDP, while highlighting its role in enhancing member engagement, improving organizational efficiency, and driving sustainable growth.


Understanding a Customer Data Platform (CDP)

Let’s start with understanding what a customer data platform is. At its core, a Customer Data Platform (CDP) aggregates and organizes customer data from various sources into a centralized repository. Gartner defines a CDP as “a marketing technology that unifies a company’s customer data from marketing and other channels to enable customer modeling and to optimize the timing and targeting of messages and offers.” A CDP creates comprehensive 360-degree views of each customer in the form of customer profiles, helping businesses understand their behavior and preferences across all interactions. Learn more about CDPs and how they fit into the modern data stack in a recent webinar with insights from David Raab, Founder of the CDP Institute, and Vijay Chittoor, Co-Founder and CEO of Blueshift. 

Now, let’s explore five benefits that a CDP brings to credit unions:


1. Data Unification Made Easy

Fragmented data and silos hinder a marketer’s ability to access and use their data effectively—a challenge credit unions are all too familiar with. Having access to rich first-party data is critical for delivering the personalized, relevant experiences that members have come to expect. A CDP solves this challenge by providing a single platform for data collection, unification, and activation. It simplifies the tech stack by eliminating data silos, giving credit union marketers access to all the data needed to deliver personalized member engagement all in one place. This includes capturing online and offline behaviors, engagement, preferences, and account-level data, as well as other essential data from across the credit union, giving them a deep understanding of their members’ signals and preferences. 

Furthermore, members today interact with credit unions through multiple channels such as online banking, mobile apps, and in-person visits, making a unified view of member data crucial for consistent and cohesive cross-channel engagement. This allows credit unions to track member interactions holistically, providing insights into their preferences and behaviors regardless of the touchpoint used.


2. Powerful, Easy-To-Use Segmentation

One of the most common challenges we hear from credit unions seeking a CDP is the cumbersome and timely process required for list pulls and audience segmentation, leading to delays in campaign execution and limitations in reaching the right members. The process would often take 2-4 weeks and required a heavy reliance on IT and data teams. With a CDP, real-time audience segmentation gives marketers the control needed to segment members based on any combination of attributes such as site activity, affinities, transaction history, and other custom data attributes that can be viewed and leveraged immediately. With precise and easy-to-use segmentation, creating and sizing highly targeted segments takes mere minutes or even seconds, as opposed to weeks, and no SQL expertise or IT resources are needed.

At Engage 2024, our annual event for B2C marketers, Ben Savage, Director of Marketing at Ent Credit Union shared their experience before switching off of their legacy platform, stating “The biggest efficiency we gained is around segmentation. Previously, it would take about 25 hours of work time, usually about two calendar weeks, to identify an audience and get an approved audience back. Now, we do it in minutes.”


3. Intelligent Campaign Automation

Another common challenge for credit unions is resource limitations. With one platform for data activation and cross-channel automation, all in an AI-powered, easy-to-use platform, credit unions can streamline their operations and make the most of their resources. In addition to increased efficiency and effectiveness with audience segmentation. CDPs can also streamline campaign management, allowing for both segment and event-triggered campaigns that run autonomously. These campaign journeys are fully automated and triggered based on real-time member actions, such as behavioral and transactional campaigns like home refinancing and cross-selling opportunities.

With a robust journey builder, marketers can also easily create and deliver responsive member-centric cross-channel journeys all in one robust journey builder. This allows them to connect and activate any touchpoint along the customer journey and extend beyond traditional channels such as email, SMS, and web, to include support, call centers, CRM, data management, and other cloud app integrations. A CDP with activation allows credit unions to do more, reaching each member in the moment, without an army of marketers.

In a recent webinar with Suncoast Credit Union, Dana Martin, Marketing Automation Strategist, shared the impact that automation has had not only on increasing efficiency but also on their ability to deeply engage with their members at scale. A great example of this, detailed by Martin, was Suncoast’s overhaul of their consumer loan campaign, which previously entailed a labor-intensive process of crafting, reviewing, updating, and deploying 35 unique emails. With the power of automation and dynamic personalization (covered in the next section), Suncoast streamlined those 35 emails into just 5 automated and dynamic ones in Blueshift.


4. Scalable Personalization

As mentioned above, resource constraints pose a common challenge for credit unions. However, armed with the right tools, they can not only enhance operational efficiency but also offer smarter, more intelligent member journeys—a win-win for both members and credit unions alike. Personalization is key to driving member engagement, whether through face-to-face interactions or digital channels. Historically, credit unions have excelled in delivering high-touch, personalized experiences in-branch. Now, with readily available data, they can seamlessly translate these rich, personalized experiences into 1:1 digital engagement.

With a CDP in place, credit unions can effortlessly connect with each member, delivering highly relevant financial insights, offers, and product recommendations at scale. Dana Martin from Suncoast Credit Union also shares her experience, stating, “Blueshift has allowed us to foster a closer 1:1 relationship with our members. By segmenting our member data and understanding their unique needs, we can provide tailored communication and resources.”

With a comprehensive understanding of each member’s financial journey, credit unions are able to craft personalized experiences that resonate deeply, offering contextually relevant offers and next-best recommendations to assist members at every step of their financial journey. By anticipating and addressing member needs proactively, credit unions can foster long-term member loyalty and advocacy. Each 1:1 interaction strengthens the bond between credit unions and their members.


5. Confidently Meet Compliance

In a highly regulated industry, compliance is paramount. A robust CDP, like Blueshift, offers built-in capabilities to safeguard member data while enabling personalized engagement. From Fair Lending Laws to stringent privacy regulations, credit unions can navigate compliance effortlessly, ensuring member trust and confidence. Additionally, with data privacy concerns on the rise, credit unions must prioritize the security and confidentiality of member information. A CDP offers a suite of advanced security features including data encryption, access controls, audit trails, and the ability to blacklist specific attributes from segmentation, among others. These features empower credit unions to maintain compliance with industry regulations and build trust with their members.


Small Teams Win Big With Blueshift

A CDP empowers credit unions to not only navigate market changes but forge deeper life-long connections with members. By leveraging the capabilities of a CDP, credit unions can enhance their operational efficiency, drive personalized engagement, and ensure compliance with regulatory standards. This not only prepares them to capitalize on the market changes to come but also equips them with the tools needed to deliver tailored digital experiences that resonate with members on a meaningful level. Ultimately, embracing a CDP and unlocking the power of member data enables credit unions to thrive in today’s digital world while fostering long-term loyalty and trust among their members.

Want to learn more about the power of Blueshift’s CDP? Watch now to see how Ent Credit Union increased member engagement by 32%.

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