ThoughtFarmer enjoys MACU conference for credit unions

Amol and I just returned from attending the annual Marketing Association for Credit Unions (MACU) conference in Montreal.

Interesting stat: there are 320 credit unions in Canada and over 55,000 worldwide!

ThoughtFarmer counts many credit unions as clients, such as Canadian credit union Assiniboine (read the case study). We thought we should learn more about the credit union industry, and this conference seemed like a great opportunity to do so.

Amol demoing ThoughtFarmer at the MACU conference
Amol demoing ThoughtFarmer at the MACU conference

The main conference event was a gala that awarded the best in credit union marketing, like this funny series from Northern Credit Union (project coordinated by ThoughtFarmer client Central 1 Credit Union):

My favourite conference session was by Peter van Stolk, founder of Jones Soda and currently CEO of SPUD, an organic food delivery service (used by our Vancouver office!).

Peter explained how he rejects traditional PR and marketing tactics in favor of campaigns that are low-cost, brash and innovative (sounds like our Intranet Secrets campaign!). For example, he launched a turkey-flavored soda at Thanksgiving that generated $17 million in free media attention because of how absurd it was! His 5 questions for effective campaigns:

  1. Is there style?
  2. Is there substance?
  3. Does it create an advocate?
  4. Is there something to talk about?
  5. Does it keep us real?

ThoughtFarmer’s conference campaign: we gave away free coconut water from our conference booth. It was so popular the morning after the gala that the speaker recommended it to any attendees that needed an electrolyte boost.

Me handing out free coconut water!
Me handing out free coconut water!

We look forward to reuniting with our credit union friends at next year’s MACU conference in Kelowna!

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