Building societies were founded to improve the financial well-being of people through saving and home ownership. Over the years, financial services have become more complex, and the benefits of membership offered by mutuals have become less clear, despite research showing that loyalty and recognition play a key role in member satisfaction.
As part of the long-standing relationship between Mobas and Saffron Building Society, Mobas was tasked with developing a strategy and delivering a plan around the concept of a month-long celebration of membership. The main objective was to drive active engagement with Saffron members and increase the belief that membership has tangible benefits.
With the Members’ Month programme including an array of communications and initiatives, Mobas’s primary focus was on creating an overarching theme that united the activities, making the sum of the campaign bigger than the parts. ‘Going BIG on the little things’ was born out of a strategy to tie all Members’ Month activities together. The concept of ‘Going BIG on the little things’ beautifully captured the Society’s approach to helping its members, which is most visible in small, considered, and personal touches. It also provided Mobas with a powerful theme that united campaign elements to great effect.
Working closely with key stakeholders at Saffron, a comprehensive programme of events, including a branch roadshow, a charity day, prize draws, ‘random acts of thanks’ gifts, and the launch of an exclusive market-leading* savings product for members. To promote the activity Mobas created an integrated on/offline comms strategy for national and regional members, delivering the campaign in branch, and through PR, social media, email and direct mail.
The lynchpin activity of Members’ Month was an inaugural tea party hosted by the building society for its members. Mobas staged The Big Tea Party, sourcing a sought-after location and arranging a truly ‘big’ guest speaker in 6’10” ex-England rugby player and Hagrid body double Martin Bayfield. Such was the demand for the event that just under 1,000 members registered to attend, far exceeding expectations, and a second event was quickly scheduled. What’s more, the tea party really delivered for Saffron, with 71% of those attending saying the event exceeded their expectations.
“Thank you for doing this – a really lovely touch that deepens our connection to the building society”
“Thank you for inviting us, it made us have a warm feeling about Saffron Building Society”
While Members’ Month was a new initiative for Saffron, it proved a huge success. Mobas secured coverage in both local and national press with a reach of over 60 million in both print and radio. This included widespread coverage for the new product launch including Money Saving Expert. While member acquisition was only ever considered a by-product of this retention-focused campaign, over 1,000 new members joined Saffron Building Society during the month, up 60% on average from previous months.
Critically the test-and-learn approach taken by Mobas, working in close collaboration with the client team, has delivered valuable insight for future activity.
Marcus Buck, Head of Marketing, Product and Insight at Saffron Building Society said: “Members are at the heart and soul of our organisation, and we wanted to explore how we could recognise and reward their loyalty.
“We partnered with Mobas to develop, build, and deliver on this member-focused celebration concept. Seeking inspiration from other member organisations like John Lewis and English Heritage, Members’ Month was born, in what we believe to be a first for the financial services sector.
“From initial concept to delivery was just four months. The speed and efficiency at which Mobas turned this around was astounding and showcased just how vital agency / client collaborative working is. The success of Members’ Month exceeded our expectations, so much so, that we’re already thinking to what 2024 might look like. Keep your eyes peeled…”
*At time of on-sale date, June 2023
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