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Connexus : Issue 38
the feeling’s mutual naMe Mark Holland pOsItIOn Marketing Manager eMplOyer Community Alliance Credit Union (CACU), Wollongong NSW lengtH OF eMplOyMent Eight years WHy tHe MUtUal sectOr? I was working at the credit union part- time while I finished my university degree (commerce with a major in marketing at the University of Wollongong). On the day I graduated, one of the people in the marketing department resigned and I put my name forward. I’ve been working my way up the ladder ever since, taking on more responsibility. The major attraction of the mutual sector is having the opportunity to be involved with the local community, touching people’s lives rather than being focused only on profits. When I speak to people at other credit unions they feel the same way. We sponsor more than 20 local sporting and community groups and being able to help people in their day- to-day lives is very important to our credit union and all mutuals. We listen to feedback from our members and try to quickly adapt our products and services to meet their needs. When people walk into one of our branches they’re known by name and often have a chat about their day – it’s more than just banking. Successes Three years ago we noticed that our Junior Saver account was not performing. I put a submission to our team proposing a new Wildlife Saver Account. Each year we donate 1c in every $1 deposited into the accounts to support Symbio Wildlife Park, a local business. Children who open an account receive a lanyard (which entitles them to free entry to the park), a credit union money box plus much more. When they visit the park, Symbio staff look out for the kids and invite them to participate in demonstrations and other activities. We’ve now got over 2,000 Wildlife Saver Accounts with an average deposit of around $800, so we’re seeing a real benefit, the members are seeing a benefit and we’re able to help Symbio with their initiatives to save endangered animals. In addition, I’ve taken a leading role in the development of websites for each of CACU’s brands. So far this year we’ve launched four, with one more on the way, and we’re also in the process of redesigning our internet banking pages and will soon offer online statements. In the middle of last year I took on the buying and placement of our advertising, which had previously been handled by an agency. It’s been fantastic building those relationships and getting some genuine value for money. By taking a much more holistic approach we’ve been able to double our exposure for the same investment. Another big project I’ve been managing is the rebranding of our Unicom Credit Union, which will be launched in October. Keep an eye out for that, because it’s going to be very different from anything else in the industry. It will have a new name, a new look and a new logo. We enlisted a branding agency in Sydney to work with us to develop our own brand guidelines and a specific tone of voice, which will enable us to communicate with our members more effectively. Because the brand is targeted towards the university sector, specifically the staff, we want to ensure we relate to them and really become involved in their world. Inspiration My growth and learning has been a result of the relationships I’ve built over my life so far with friends and family members, work colleagues and a network of business contacts. In recent years I’ve had a lot of interaction with our executive team which has given me the opportunity to observe and learn from experienced professionals who are leaders/ innovators in their own fields. There is always room for improvement, and I am always trying to better myself, so I’ve chosen to continue my academic studies and I’m now half way through an MBA. EMERGING LEADERS Connexus www.abacus.org.au 70