Westoba is the eighth largest credit union in Manitoba with 16 locations. The full-service financial institution is committed to enriching lives and communities by helping to make financial dreams come true.
Westoba strives to be a community leader that puts its members first. To deliver on that promise, it needed to develop a clear picture of its member base by identifying their needs and serving them effectively. Westoba wanted to leverage its member behaviour data to identify growth opportunities, optimize its retention strategies and develop customized sales and marketing plans. However, it would often struggle to find ways of making these data meaningful and actionable. With big ambitions and aggressive goals, Westoba had no plans to allow their smaller size stop them from accessing sophisticated tools used by their larger competitors.
With branches in urban, exurban and rural settings, Westoba serves a highly diverse membership, with different financial needs and challenges. To simplify its messaging and help members and staff understand its product lineup, Westoba needed to plug its research gaps to answer questions that it couldn’t effectively address with its own data. The project began with hygiene of the Westoba member files, which involved removing invalid postal codes and retired businesses. Once that was completed, we integrated data from across departments to develop a single view of its membership.
With the groundwork in place, custom segments were developed to capture all of Westoba’s members and Manitoba’s households. The 10 resulting segments describe their demographics, lifestyles, finances and social values. Personas were developed for key segments to highlight the products and services that the members prefer. These personas led to differentiation in advertising strategies between urban and rural markets.
An interactive dashboard was developed to help Westoba socialize the segments and personas across its entire operation. The dashboard summarizes the essential learnings for the front-line staff. The new data-driven insights are being used to influence everything from product development to marketing strategy. At the branch level, Westoba was able to analyze the market and inform their retention and acquisition strategies. In other areas, it helped the credit union optimize and target its direct-marketing initiatives by knowing which regions offer the greatest return.
The project resulted in several quick wins. For instance, the targeting of key member segments contributed to strong results in Westoba’s digital e-blasts, which had a 30% open rate and a 13% click rate, which are far higher than the financial industry’s standards of 20% and 2.5%, respectively. Guided by the member segmentation system, Westoba targeted four market segments for its preferred shares offering. The targeted approach resulted in a strong response rate, enabling Westoba to sell out its offering and develop a waiting list of members interested in its next offering. The learnings also informed the creation of a new chequing account for youth, students and seniors called WestobaONE, which offers more free transactions per month.