Tech Time: A Lending Analytics Case Study

smiling young man sitting inside and leaning through open window of new car
JB Orecchia Photo

3 minutes

How one credit union leveraged data to achieve record auto loan volume through personalized marketing and educational tools

Interest rates have steadily risen over the last year, and the Federal Reserve just hiked them again. These steep rates in conjunction with inflation and the possibility of a recession have made consumers leery about taking on loans, making loan marketing for credit unions more challenging and important than ever.

$66 million Lanier Federal Credit Union, Oakwood, Georgia, experienced the importance of loan marketing firsthand. Even while maximizing cost savings and focusing on the financial health of its members, the credit union lost members to predatory lenders. To address this, Lanier FCU implemented digital tools, including SavvyMoney, to leverage credit and share-of-wallet data to drive a successful educational auto lending campaign.

Through implementing a credit score solution, Lanier FCU was empowered to improve member relationships through digital personalization and real-time analytics. Data-driven insights delivered the right offer to the right prospective borrower at the right time.

Data = Growth Opportunities

Making data-backed decisions is paramount to gaining and retaining members and outperforming competitors. A data-driven business uses data analysis to understand and  predict what customers want and proactively make them relevant and attractive offers. Consumers who receive personalized offers are more likely to remain loyal. Data analysis can also identify unhappy members so credit unions can intervene before the member leaves. In the digital age, data collection and analysis are a financial institution’s best friends.

By implementing digital tools, the Lanier FCU team used credit and share-of-wallet data to identify such actionable growth opportunities as:

  • using portfolio analysis to determine opportunities for lending and make meaningful offers to members;
  • utilizing credit analysis to track participation and improvement by credit score tier;
  • leveraging performance tracking to understand how to better engage members with loan offers and products; and
  • using campaign management to track engagement details to effectively re-target users.

By using data, Lanier FCU relied on evidence instead of intuition to drive loan marketing decisions. These data-backed choices increased the credit union’s confidence in its ability to attract more members. Since more members generate more data, Lanier FCU used the insights it gathered to offer members valuable, relevant and trustworthy options, ultimately allowing the CU to fund more loans.

Personalized Campaigns Drive Loans

In today’s ultra-competitive world, personalization is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have. Over 70% of consumers expect personalization, and 76% become frustrated when their buying options lack it. A campaign can't be successful without delivering tailored options to each consumer, so organizations must prioritize collecting and using consumer/member data to determine how to personalize offers most effectively to target specific individuals.

Lanier FCU strengthened its member relationships while executing a highly-targeted, data-driven campaign to drive auto loan volume in March 2022. From personalized ads for specific members to optimized landing pages that increased conversions, member data-driven digital tools allowed the credit union to customize the campaign for each target member. For example, the CU sent specific messages with quantified interest savings at the member level to increase engagement.

Personalization and accompanying data analytics also helped Lanier FCU realize other significant gains, such as:

  • $2.7 million funded auto loans in March 2022—a record high month, with 85% of volume attributed to SavvyMoney;
  • a positive ROI, as LFCU only had to invest $1,000 into the campaign; and
  • a more user-friendly digital experience for members through educational content and interactive financial decisioning tools.

Analyzing member data helped the credit union team focus on imminent opportunities and enabled Lanier FCU to increase the visibility of money-saving offers. Members learned about the importance of maintaining a healthy credit profile and how to strengthen their financial well-being. This campaign drove millions of dollars of auto loan funding in just one month.

Organizations need data analytics to launch highly personalized campaigns that drive new sales and retain members. Data provides the insight to customize offers—a key differentiator in today’s ultra-competitive environment.

JB Orecchia is president/CEO of SavvyMoney. Since 2011, JB and his team have built SavvyMoney into an industry-leading credit and lending tool that today integrates with 35 digital banking platforms and supports nearly 1,000 financial institutions in their goal of providing financial education and personalized lending. JB has more than 34 years of experience in consumer finance, fintech and interactive media.

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