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Cornerstone's Marketing & Business Development Conference: Marketing Your Coop Advantage
Friday, July 11, 2014 6:40 AM

Roberta MacDonald, senior vice president of marketing with Cabot Creamery Cooperatives believes there is an enormous opportunity to be had by credit unions if their marketing reflected their pride, not only in the particular products and services they sold, but in who they were as co-operatives. She will share her insight at the Cornerstone Credit Union League’s Marketing & Business Development Conference Oct. 1-3 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

According to MacDonald, in any transaction to meet our needs, the transaction should be different if it is based on co-operation.  Marketing, she says, is no different. She believes the following are the four major marketing opportunities for co-operatives:

  • Making trust the core and soul of all member relations, and member, management and board education programs, and marketing.
  • See marketing as a vital form of education. Marketing based on manipulation can lead to alienation, but when it is used to inform and empower, it leads to trust. Co-operatives' commitment to education is unique enterprise strength. 
  • Use character/values marketing, marketing that flows from the nature of your business and the values and principles you cherish, that fits comfortably with the commitment of co-operatives to education and their value base.
  • Use relationship marketing, marketing that seeks to create a relationship and loyalty between an enterprise and the people it serves. Relationship marketing is one of the most powerful tools available for co-operatives - a real, rather than a contrived characteristic that enhances their character.

“The challenge for cooperatives is to respond thoughtfully and creatively to the question: I know how it is done in corporations, but how is it done in cooperatives?” suggests MacDonald. “This is the key to Marketing our cooperative advantage.”

Cornerstone’s Marketing & Business Development Conference offers an opportunity to learn and network with the best and the brightest in the movement. Through a wealth of general sessions, as well as breakout educational sessions, attendees will learn about the hottest trends and new ideas, and gain fresh perspectives. Building Our Success Brick by Brick is the theme for this year’s conference.

Credit union marketing and business development professionals planning to attend the fall conference are encouraged to register by Aug. 1 to secure the best conference and hotel rates.    

Credit unions will find additional information on the Marketing & Business Development Conference on Cornerstone’s website. If you have any questions, please contact Training & Events, at (469) 385-6630 or (800) 442-5762, ext. 6630

Educational grants are available through the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation. To learn more, please visit