HOW WE HELPED A CREDIT UNION CONNECT WITH THE BUSINESSES THEY SERVE
Discover how we used research, creative thinking, strategic messaging and design to help a credit union connect with the industries that needed it most.
Stride Credit Union (Stride CU) serves over 19,000 personal, commercial and agricultural members in the central plains of Manitoba, with nine branches in operation across eight communities: Austin, Gladstone, Glennella, MacGregor, Neepawa, Oakville, Plumas and Portage la Prairie.
Stride Credit Union had a clear goal: to increase brand and product awareness in the agriculture and small business sectors. However, they (and we) faced a serious challenge: in pandemic-era 2020 and 2021, supply chain issues, new regulations and changes in consumer behaviours made it difficult for small businesses and agriculture companies to focus on growth. At the same time, however, their ability to pivot and adapt in changing circumstances was critical to their ability to survive and thrive.
How could we increase inquiries from prospective members in two very different industries, whose attention was so preoccupied? And how could we promote financial products to a market facing so much uncertainty?
The financial solution offered by Stride Credit Union—business loans—was designed to alleviate the pressure felt by small businesses and agricultural companies. In order to reach the people who would benefit most from this service, it was important to communicate Stride CU’s genuine empathy and understanding of the issues they faced.
We realized we needed to strike a different tone for each segment. By providing unique messaging to agriculture and small businesses alike, we could speak about their unique needs and what they’ve been through in the past months, with a positive, connected, and local spin. Our strategy was straightforward: to tell small business owners that Stride CU could help them stay open, and show the agriculture sector the growth opportunities in front of them.
Through modern, dynamic and vibrant design, we developed a creative execution that brought a supportive, positive message to a market in chaos. We used the Stride CU website to house the financial solutions in one unified hub, and crafted messaging that identified what the sectors of small business and agriculture have in common: supporting each other.
We developed unique ads that connected with both audiences at key points in their decision making journeys—from first asking the question of “where can I find help?” to the final decision of “Stride CU is the right fit for me”—including a remarketing ad that provided both audiences with a positive, connected, and local message.
AGRICULTURE & SMALL BUSINESS AD
In order to ensure we were getting Stride CU’s message in front of the people who could benefit from it most, we created relevant in-market, custom-intent and life events audiences whose activities showed they were interested in learning about banking, financial services, borrowing services, and agriculture.
We used Google Search to reach individuals in business and agriculture who were looking for borrowing services, and used Google Display to reach both groups with messaging unique to their sectors.
Facebook and Instagram helped us raise awareness of Stride CU among people in the business and agriculture sectors, with unique dynamic and non-dynamic ads, images, carousels, and videos for each audience group.
When sincere and empathic messages acknowledge people’s barriers and motivations, their responses won’t take long. As we move forward with Stride Credit Union to help them connect effectively with businesses and individuals, we look forward to updating this case study with conclusive results that could guide us through a new phase.