Picture of Clara Hori Written by Clara Hori
on April 12, 2022

Listen to Prisma Campaigns' CEO Felipe Gil talk about what makes Prisma a good fit for credit unions, during his interview at CUNA GAC 2022.

Discover what he sees as the benefits of Prisma, the way he envisions marketing automation and how credit unions can benefit from such a technology to improve the relationship with their members while providing tangible value.



Interview transcript


Felipe, thanks for joining us this morning. Tell us about Prisma, what do you do?


We’re a marketing automation platform for credit unions. We help credit unions leverage their member data in order to personalize communications across multiple channels.

Here's why we think this is valuable for credit unions: every time I meet with customers, I ask “What’s your main business priority?” and the answer is “we need to sell loans”. And that answer never sat well with me, because it's product centric. Where does the member’s priority fit into this? We know that credit unions are very member-focused, but when you discuss marketing with them, they might be still thinking in old-fashioned ways.

We have defined and created Prisma based on three main ideas. The first is you can’t offer generic products and services for your members anymore. You need to personalize what you’re offering. Second, you need to reach members where they are, through email, text, online banking, and mobile apps. Third, data has become a critical asset in terms of understanding your members and delivering unique experiences.


So what's the technology behind marketing automation?


In some ways, marketing automation is an overused term. We like to talk about the combination of data and marketing automation as a way to deliver personalization. I know personalization has become jargon, so not many people understand what it means. Personalization is the capability to deliver customized and targeted offers and messages in real-time to your members.

It’s not just thinking in terms of buyer personas or putting your members in boxes. It’s more than that. It's delivering one to one communications and personalization. In the past, when interacting with your members in a branch, you had the opportunity to explore new things in real-time. You had the luxury of seeing your members' reactions. This was personalization.

In the digital world this isn’t possible, so you need automation technology. We feed data into our solution, like demographics, behavioral data, and product availability. Then, the credit union can then leverage Prisma to find the right moment to deliver an email or show a personalized banner on your online banking, and so on.

A typical example would be onboarding. Obviously, when you onboard a new member, it's great to have two or three different journeys depending if it is an indirect member, or if it has already enrolled in your digital platform. With a solution like Prisma, you can have multiple journeys, unique to each member.


So what's the benefit of this approach?


The first benefit is being more effective in upselling and cross-selling to your members. When a credit union offers a HELOC to someone who has applied and not been approved, or offering a credit card to existing card holders, they are wasting their resources and disengaging members. Instead of promoting generic offers to all of your members, you must promote specific offers for very niche and small segments.

The second benefit is member engagement. For example, we have customers running collection campaigns inside Prisma. Instead of calling your members, you can send them a friendly email reminding them payment is late. You can then send them a text message a few days after as an additional reminder.

You can also include other types of communications, like financial education. In summary, it's about mirroring the physical relationship you have with members into the digital world.


So can you give us an example, a credit union success story?


Let me start with an example that has a lot to do with operations and not selling.

Here in Washington we work with the International Development Bank (IDB) Credit Union. As you can imagine, they have unique members with particular needs, like living abroad and regularly updating W-8 and W-9 forms. IDB was having a lot of trouble managing that, so they implemented Prisma’s automated campaigns to reveal when members log in into the mobile app and prompt them to digitally sign outstanding documents, if required.

Of course we also have more traditional examples like Star One Credit Union in San Francisco. They’ve connected Prisma to their online banking so, instead of showing a generic banner when the user logs in, they display personalized offers which generate a 25% increase in click-through ratios.


Yeah, you're creating seamlessness in the process. 


Exactly. And Prisma not only helps generate interest and deliver messages, it also helps credit unions build subsequent processes.You can create data capture forms very easily. For instance, you can build an online banking popup campaign asking members to update their email and their phone number periodically and automatically.

Again, it's important to mention that when you talk about personalization, and specifically, one to one communication, you don't need to get anxious. I know many credit unions struggle with data and marketing automation. It’s overwhelming. At Prisma, we like to call ourselves marketing automation realists. The important thing is to acknowledge that you need to be more effective when communicating across digital channels. Once acknowledged, we help credit unions build the plan. Plans start small, but we iterate and grow, increasingly adding more sophisticated scenarios. We’re ambitious, but we understand this is a process. Before you can run, you need to learn to walk. Before you can walk, you need to learn to crawl. This is how we ultimately solve customer problems.


So what are the keys to success? Are there do's and don'ts? 


It’s not enough to just acknowledge the problem.  You must prioritize it among your projects and initiatives. When I question a credit union about their priorities, if the answer is to sell loans, they aren’t on the right path.

They should be working towards building an effective engagement and communication platform with their members. When we built our first version of Prisma in 2016, it looked edgy in terms of displaying personalized banners and online banking. Now, however, it's an affordable and accessible technology. It’s a platform any midsize credit union can leverage with minimal struggle.

So the first don't would be don't assume it will be easy. No one should be promising you that you can have everything up and running in four weeks. You can probably have your first campaign running in six weeks if you are really agile, but this is just the start of a journey that will evolve over many years.




Image credit: Prisma Campaigns