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  • Make Strategic Planning For Hispanic Growth Simple

    Posted by on June 5, 2012

    While it’s true the Hispanic market is the largest, fastest-growing group in the United States, that’s not the only reason the country’s credit unions are working hard to learn more about this community.

    To gain that understanding of the Hispanic community, credit unions must begin by fully examining their current outreach and potential for growth. One way credit unions are pursuing this strategy is through the use of Coopera’s Hispanic Opportunity Navigator (HON).

    By asking the right questions the HON will uncover a credit union’s readiness to reach a new market or to take the efforts to the next level. The HON also sets forth a plan of action for credit union staff to follow on its path to growth through the Hispanic market.

    With this plan, credit unions will be encouraged to implement new tactics to grow its Hispanic membership, such as:
    • Developing a strategic plan with milestones and goals for serving Hispanic populations
    • Training employees on the business case for serving Hispanics and on issues related to reaching Hispanic populations
    • Providing basic introductory financial services, including international non-wire remittance services and low or no-cost check-cashing in a way relevant to Hispanics.
    • Tracking Hispanic ethnicity and analyzing data to examine Hispanic contribution to the bottom line
    • Establishing long-term relationships with community organization partners trusted by the Hispanic community

    When implemented in the proper sequence, these tactics will ultimately achieve results much faster and much more cost-effectively for a credit union than if they had gone without a charted course.

    The HON is quickly becoming a standard in the industry. In fact, Texas credit unions hoping to attain the Juntos Avanzamos designation* are strongly encouraged to perform a HON analysis.

    *The Juntos Avanzamos designation, which translates to “Together We Advance,” is an indicator to consumers that the designated financial institution is not only welcoming, but prepared to handle the financial needs of the Hispanic community

    For more information about how the HON can help your credit union’s Hispanic outreach programs, download the white paper “Asking the Right Questions.”

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    Hispanic Outreach Is an Indispensable Investment In The Future

    Posted by on May 29, 2012

    The Hispanic population is very young as compared to other U.S. ethnic groups. The best potential for lowering the average age of a credit union’s membership is by bringing Hispanic members into the fold. Because it is a largely underserved group, helping Hispanic members navigate the U.S. financial system is an important part of the overall credit union mission.

    Hispanic outreach is an indispensable investment in a credit union’s future. But, seeing the benefit of serving the Hispanic population is one thing. Truly understanding what it takes to do so is quite another.

    To gain that understanding, credit unions must begin by fully examining their current outreach and potential for growth. This places the credit union in a much better position for defining success and for developing a strategic plan for achieving that success.

    By asking these questions, credit unions can develop a customized strategy for achieving their goals:

    • Is the credit union well-positioned to target and serve the Hispanic market?

    • How many Hispanic members is the credit union currently serving?

    • What milestones has the credit union already achieved?

    • How many Hispanic members could the credit union serve and what is the income potential?

    • What are the opportunities and challenges faced by the credit union?

    • What are the best-practice strategies that will attract and retain Hispanic members?

    To learn more about how asking the right questions can help grow your credit union’s Hispanic membership, download Coopera’s white paper “Asking the Right Questions.”

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    How to Reach – And Best Serve – The Hispanic Market

    Posted by on May 22, 2012

    Hispanic outreach is an indispensable investment in the future. Yet having a Hispanic growth strategy on its own will not generate the kind of success a credit union needs. It is the integration of a Hispanic growth strategy with the credit union’s overall strategic future that will ultimately create sustainable success.

    One way for credit unions to pursue their membership growth strategy with their local Hispanic community is through the use of Coopera’s Hispanic Opportunity Navigator (HON), an industry-accepted assessment that Coopera has completed for more than 50 credit unions across the country.

    Designed to make strategic planning for a Hispanic growth strategy simple, the HON provides a measurement of a credit union’s Hispanic membership baseline.

    In addition, the program evaluates a credit union’s cultural disposition to serving a new market. As a third assessment, the HON analyzes the credit union’s tactical progress to understand what has already been accomplished toward becoming what Coopera calls a “Best Practice Credit Union.”

    The HON supplies a road map to follow utilizing three Hispanic growth stages: Discovery, Emerging and Best Practice. By asking the right questions during these phases, the HON gives credit unions a customized strategy for achieving their goals.

    One Coopera customer, Arna Reynolds, CEO of Amarillo Community Federal Credit Union, says, “The HON has been an invaluable tool for our Hispanic programs. It has given us the ability to adapt our strategic plan to include target marketing with customized messages to the appropriate age groups. Now with a defined roadmap, we understand exactly which direction to take next.”

    For more information about how the HON can help your credit union’s Hispanic outreach programs, download the white paper “Asking the Right Questions.”

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    Asking the Right Questions

    Posted by on May 15, 2012

    Smart credit union executives realize that the face of the American consumer is changing, and that to grow membership, they must adapt to their new consumers.

    One way for credit unions to pursue their membership growth strategy with their local Hispanic community is by asking the right questions to develop a customized strategy for achieving their membership growth goals:

    Is the credit union well-positioned to target and serve the Hispanic market?
    The goal here is to determine whether a credit union is excited by the philosophical and business imperative to serve the Hispanic market. Answers can be found in a variety of ways, including internal staff/board surveys and a review of materials, such as marketing collateral and strategic planning documents.

    How many Hispanic members is the credit union currently serving?
    This question is about more than numbers. Rather, it is designed to help the credit union understand how far it has come in the Discovery, Emerging & Best Practice phases.

    What milestones has the credit union already achieved?
    The answers to this question provide a snapshot of the credit union’s current Hispanic outreach, including a look at personnel, products, processes and systems, and promotion and marketing strategies.

    How many Hispanic members could the credit union serve and what is the income potential?
    One measure of a credit union’s potential success in Hispanic growth is total income. It can be calculated from three figures: 1) number in the target market, 2) credit union penetration rate, and 3) average income per member.

    What are the opportunities and challenges faced by the credit union?
    Credit unions must take a hard look at the distribution of Hispanic residents in neighborhoods surrounding branch locations; median income of area Hispanics; percentage of local Hispanics who prefer Spanish to determine their readiness for successful Hispanic engagement.

    What are the best-practice strategies that will attract and retain Hispanic members?
    Recommendations will vary depending on a credit union’s market, what they’ve already accomplished and how well they’ve accomplished it.

    The white paper “Asking the Right Questions” can be downloaded at: http://tinyurl.com/7ovghlu.

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