With Microsoft and Google investing more and more money into mapping technologies, GIS and 3D modeling is become easier and easier. I’d like to see a CU take Google’s Sketch-Up tool (http://sketchup.google.com/) and build their branches. You can input your 3D model into Google Earth and have people “fly to” your branch on your website. Forget 2D maps, fly me there in 3D!
I’ve heard it said before that blogging is the new focus group, and I believe it now. I just sat through a focus group for a product development project we’re working on and received very valuable feedback. I received so much in fact that I’d love to be able to do a monthly city hall type meeting and encourage members just to come and chat about the credit union.
Increasingly, I’m seeing the divide between what upper management thinks our members want and reality. I think that the city hall type meeting, more focus groups, and blogging will go a great distance to changing some of those misguided perceptions.
So we’re going through a re-design of our website. And I’m seeing more and more of the so-called “generational gap”. I never thought that I’d see it first in personal differences in web design, but sure enough, here it is.
I’m what a recent Fast Company article would call a “millennial”, while most of our marketing department thinks like Generation D when it comes to web design. Our IS team is actually writing the site, with direction from marketing. The IS guys know what’s going on. Sites like bellco.org and celumimagine.com/en.htm are some wonderful examples of up-to-date web design. In my experience there are a few CU’s coming around and accepting the Web 2.0, but most credit unions are stuck in the Web 0.1.
Even though we’re coming up with some fairly good web design elements, the old guard of our credit union is hindering us. Its the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality. If credit unions do not begin to dust of their brands and lose “my grandparents belonged to this credit union” feel, they will begin losing, rather not attracting, the members that will see them through the future.