I have often thought that credit unions, being significant players in the auto lending market, could teach their members how to buy cars online and then finance them at the credit union. To this end, I toyed with the idea of making a video on YouTube describing how this works. However, there are already many such videos online.
This YouTube video, for example, is very straightforward. I am sure there are more out there. The credit union could make its own to deliver a marketing message with credit union branding.
What next? Build a marketing program around educating your members on how to buy a car online then use your existing auto lending department and resources to see if the member qualifies for a loan. It’s a very simple concept. Credit unions can own this market just by advertising this mechanism to its members. More ambitious credit unions could direct members to a website that sets up the shopping part. Some sites, like this one from Cleveland.com, allow people to search for cars and also get dealers to bid against each other on pricing. That’s quite a bit different from the experience your member would get buying a car in person.
Really, all the credit union needs to do is provide tips to its members on how to get started and then get the member to apply for a car loan once he or she has picked out the desired vehicle. Traditional marketing: newsletters, flyers, banner adds– can direct the member to the educational material. The rest should fall into place from there. It is a natural extention of the direct lending most credit unions already perform.