2009 RAMA Marketer of the Year Awards

ESL Federal Credit Union


Semi-finalist: Non-Profit Marketer of the Year

Case Study:
Founded in Rochester by George Eastman, ESL Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution with $3.5 billion in assets. Although it has more than 290,000 members worldwide, ESL maintains strong ties to the Rochester community. In creating the marketing plan for its FREE Checking program, ESLís primary focus was to acquire new checking accounts. However, a secondary goal was to honor itís Rochester roots and brand image as Rochesterís largest, locally owned financial institution.

For several years, ESL had been promoting a free gift Ė such as backpacks, gardening sets and coolers Ė with account openings. As ESL has strong roots in Rochester, an incentive offer was developed that showcased local events and attractions, which fit the ESL brand. ESL partnered with a mix of area organizations including the Red Wings, the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Strong National Museum of Play and Long Acre Farm for its incentive packages.

A fully-integrated campaign, which ran from January through September, was implemented, including print advertising, direct mail, e-mail, branch signage, billboards and radio. Program analysis revealed a significant lift during the promotion. Results exceeded expectations with triple-digit increases in account openings over the forecast. The partnerships with local organizations received positive member feedback and more than 17,000 accounts were opened.

Judges Comments:
ďGood use of historical data to refine approach. Creative execution clear, attractive and consistent."