Susan's Super Citizen Showcase

Friday, March 06, 2009

Tim McAlpine keynote on "challenge marketing" at BCAIM luncheon

Tim is a Gen X-er whose dad worked in banking, and he is an expert on reaching Generation Y (under 25s) and convincing them to become credit union members. Demographic forecasting showed the importance of winning a younger market and it made sense for the credit unions to reach out using social media. In Alberta, 2,300 Generation Y "kids" (I can say that because I'm 41) signed up to become credit union members and deposited $4 million Canadian.

Tim is the president and creative director of Currency Marketing and yesterday he presented an overview of his Young & Free story as keynote speaker at British Columbia Association of Integrated Marketers luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Here is a link to Tim's presentation.

The company's first campaign Young & Free Alberta, for Common Wealth Credit Union in Lloydminster, won a 2008 Groundswell Award in recognition of social media with business value.

Here's how the awards team described Young & Free Alberta: "A credit union in Alberta started a campaign to generate more young customers. They conducted a contest to find a young spokesperson, who then used a blog, YouTube, and Facebook to connect with other young people in Alberta. Result: 2 million impressions, 2,300 new accounts, and $4 million Canadian in new deposits."

Each spokesperson - one preferred the term "spokester" - agrees to produce five blog postings and one video posting per week. Tim said they aim for 60 percent funny and 40 percent money. Check out the blog of Miles - the new Alberta spokesperson. Quite honestly I would have participated in this type of discussion when I was in my early 20s - but back then, 20 years ago, there was no internet as we know it today... alas part of the Gen X experience...

Currency is also running challenge marketing campaigns in Texas and South Carolina. Hundreds of entrants submit one-minute videos explaining why they want to be the Young & Free spokesperson. Tim showed several samples and they were funny, charming, creative - and prolific!

"All this creativity is going on outside the walls of the agency. It means there's no more heat on us to come up with creative ideas," says Tim, with a laugh. "All this stuff is just coming in by the dozens each day. We encourage our applicants to go nuts."

Tim says Currency's goal is to partner with one credit union in every province and state in North America. As a long-time member of Vancity Credit Union, I'm glad to see all this great effort to promote our cooperative, community-based financial institutions and I hope all the young people have a chance to learn about and make good choices re: money matters.


At Sun Mar 08, 01:54:00 PM PDT , Blogger TJR said...

A very smart luncheon topic. Great to see some credit unions taking a long term view. The average credit union member age of 50. If they don't attract young people today, all that money will go into banks when the younger generation inherits it.

At Sat Mar 14, 09:26:00 PM PDT , Blogger Tim McApine said...

It was nice to meet you Susan and thanks for the terrific recap!


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