Success Story

CU Link

CU Link Case Study

“SMZ and Rocket Fuel were able to drive a 23% increase in prospective members to the CU Link hub. The multi-faceted CU Link campaign included display, mobile, and pre-roll video. It was truly optimized across all channels.”

John Gielow
VP, Director of Digital Strategy SMZ

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Drive awareness, increase account openings, and generate loan applications


Finding a way to attract new members and conquest customers from other banking institutions

Product Used

Rocket Fuel for Direct Response, Rocket Fuel for Brand, Channels: Mobile, Social, Display, Video


CU Link and is a collaborative effort among Michigan credit unions and their trade association, the Michigan Credit Union League, to showcase the power of the credit union network. Credit unions are an alternative to traditional banking. They offer members fewer fees and lower interest rates on loans and credit cards, surcharge-free ATMs, and numerous other member-centric benefits. Michigan credit unions are definitely growing in popularity these days. In 2014, their membership grew more than 2.5% (more than 100,000 members!), which is the largest growth surge since 1998.


  • Establish CU Link as the destination for credit union education and connections
  • Attract visitors to CU Link to learn about the advantages of credit union membership
  • Increase the focus on getting “joining a credit union” on the consideration map for the next generation


  • Even among people dissatisfied with their current bank, getting them to consider joining a credit union is perceived as difficult
  • Credit union advantages are still not top-of-mind with a lot of people
  • Encouraging current members to do more business with their credit union


  • Rocket Fuel helped drive a 23% increase in prospective members to Michigan credit unions
  • Mobile CTR performance has been strong for the entire campaign, with a 0.44% CTR – 10% above the campaign goal of 0.4%
  • Pre-roll video had an 80% completion rate and a 0.7% CTR

Product Used

  • Rocket Fuel for Direct Response
  • Rocket Fuel for Brand
    • Channels: Mobile, Social, Display, Video

Why Rocket Fuel?

  • Rocket Fuel’s cross-channel optimization solutions provided a robust campaign to learn about the online audience and drive strong success metrics
  • Its expertise in the financial category
  • Its ability to precisely geo target and hone in on the primary audience

Big Data Audience Discoveries

When advertisers work with Rocket Fuel, their advertising learns and improves. What did we learn about the ideal audience for CU Link?

  • Age performance has been strongest with Millennials and younger Gen-Xers.
  • Audience interests are male-centered and are heavy with sports and family activities.
  • Geographically, performance was strongest in Lansing and Grand Rapids, while performance in northern and southeastern Michigan still has room for growth.
  • Performance has been stronger with renters over current homeowners.
    • This indicates the potential for strong mortgage growth as people shift from renting to owning.
    • It could also in part be attributed to student populations in strong college regions.
    • This backs up data regarding age performance, and shows credit unions have potential opportunities with recent college graduates and people with younger families.

Popular Content Categories

The best-performing content categories reflect our audience’s interest in various aspects of personal banking and credit union product offerings. These content categories also show credit unions can be very successful at conquesting customers from other banking institutions.

  • Educational gaming
  • Insurance
  • Banking
  • Real estate
  • Finance