Digital Solutions for a Unique Business Market

Located in beautiful Northern Michigan, 4Front Credit Union's business members are challenged with a highly seasonal economy. While summer booms with tourists, the winter tends to be quiet as temperatures drop and the snow sets in. Businesses need to move quickly in the busy season, and make sure they make smart financial decisions to get them through the inevitable slowdown.

4Front Credit Union addresses these challenges by being hyper-focused on transforming the member experience, specifically through digital products and services. Autobooks was a key integration to better serve those busy businesses. 

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7.2%

  • Qualified small business member adoption
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$2,500,000

  • Dollar amount of invoices sent by small businesses
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34%

  • Growth in Autobooks within the past 12 months

Delivering Better Business Banking

4Front Credit Union came about from a merger in 2015, creating 80,000 members in Northern Michigan. Their intent was to deliver a better banking experience, primarily through digital channels.

 

Like many credit unions, 4Front excels at delivering consumer-focused products and services, but is challenged to provide the same level of business services offered by regional and national banks in their market. 

 

4Front Credit Union decided to take on the challenge of generating more business membership. They leaned into their digital first strategy and set out to deliver something unique that a business couldn't get with a traditional banking relationship, 4Front turned to Autobooks.

 

Autobooks is a significant differentiator, explained Keith Carey, 4Front Credit Union's Vice President of Marketing. It's not only a differentiator in the credit union space, but enables 4Front to compete with those large banks and their business services.

We do have treasury management services and ancillary products associated with treasury management, but if I had to highlight what makes business membership different at 4Front Credit Union it would absolutely be the Autobooks product.
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Keith Carey

Vice President of Marketing, 4Front Credit Union

Target Marketing Drives Product Adoption

The challenge with launching a new product is introducing the idea to your existing members. Keith found that Autobooks, however, was simple to communicate. It's easy to position in front of current and prospective members, because Autobooks focuses on three key areas of business services: invoicing, payments and accounting. Because Autobooks was made with small business owners in mind, as soon as the business owner hears about Autobooks they understand the appeal.

 

As someone who is constantly being asked to communicate the features and benefits of our product, the marketing support we received from the Autobooks team made them truly an extension of 4Front Credit Union, explains Keith.

 

Keith was also included on all of Autobooks' marketing to 4Front Credit Union's members. He saw the success not only of the email communications, but also heard member experiences when they reached out to the Autobooks Customer Support Team - and all of the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

 

In addition to the help Autobooks provides, 4Front has their own stellar marketing machine. 4Front Credit Union worked with a marketing agency to position and brand Autobooks to their members in a way that was real and relevant. They also ran display advertising on a local news website, the Traverse City Ticker. This targeted approach saw a huge increase in Autobooks sign-ups the week the display advertising was live. 

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An Integration for Future Success

4Front Credit Union admits they embraced the methods Autobooks uses, specifically when it comes to being nimble and anticipating customer needs. By combining their own marketing efforts with Autobooks, the result was an outstanding 7% product adoption in the first year alone.

 

Part of what makes 4Front Credit Union so successful with Autobooks is that they truly view Autobooks as one of their core business services. When a new business member signs up, the 4Front team can't wait to tell them about Autobooks.

 

Autobooks makes my life a lot easier as we attempt to really demonstrate the value a business membership at 4Front can offer, says Keith. He explains that because there's a great deal of noise in the business banking space, Autobooks is what they needed to stand out. And, it's a single product that drives more membership to their credit union.

 

Continuing to take a page from the Autobooks' playbook, 4Front Credit Union is focusing more on providing customized experiences to their members.

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