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What’s Tropical Financial?

Based in Miramar, Florida, Tropical Financial Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution whose deposits are federally insured. Anyone who lives or works in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Lee, Collier, Hendry, and Sarasota counties is eligible to join.

Tropical Financial Credit Union was formed in 1935 with just a few hundred dollars and has grown to over $700 million in assets and 60,000 members.


Digitally Transform Marketing

Marketing at Tropical Financial Credit Union needed to be brought into the 21st century, according to Amy McGraw, Tropical Financial Credit Union’s VP of Marketing, who joined the financial services institution seven years ago.

“When I joined the organization, our team was running very old-school style campaigns driven by seasonality. We’d promote auto loans in the spring and the fall, mortgages in the summer. We’d have community relations officers out in the community putting up tables at art fairs. There was no accountability. And the credit union had lost $25 million over the course of three years due to the 2008 recession. In other words, big changes needed to happen.”

Amy McGraw

We knew we needed to go beyond the written word with our content to engage our attention-driven consumer demographic. That meant adding video to the mix.

Amy McGraw

VP of Marketing


From Outbound to Inbound and From Campaigns to Customer Experience—All Built Around Video

Amy brought pedigree and fearlessness to the Tropical Financial Credit Union marketing team. Named marketer of the year in 2011 for her creative use of social media for online member engagement, she knew that digital marketing was the best and most efficient pathway to improved marketing at Tropical Financial.

After stepping into her new role, she introduced a modern, growth-driven website and in 2015 brought in the Digital Growth Institute to build a full digital blueprint for the future. “It was a strategic plan from the board on down. We knew technology would be where we’d put our money,” says Amy.

Tropical Financial’s digital marketing transformation pivoted around a move away from traditional outbound marketing tactics to inbound marketing. “For us to be successful, it became clear we needed to focus on content,” says Amy. “So we built our website around landing pages. We implemented HubSpot and hired an inbound content strategist. We also knew we needed to go beyond the written word with our content to engage our attention-driven consumer demographic. That meant adding video to the mix.”

Amy had a vision for getting educational video-based content right in front of her members. “Eleven of our branch locations have a television. Typically they’d all be playing some home and garden channel because it was benign. But it drove me crazy that commercials from our competitors would be playing alongside those programs. I wanted our customers in our branches seeing our branded video content playing on those televisions. I didn’t want to see buffering or controls exposed on the screens. And I wanted to be able to leverage and track the performance of that video content for other marketing purposes, for instance in emails and on our website.”

In 2016, Amy attended HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference on a mission to find a platform that would allow her and her team to efficiently host and track video content.

At INBOUND, Amy ran into Tyler Lessard, Vidyard’s VP of Marketing, who introduced her to the Vidyard platform. “Vidyard was exactly what the doctor ordered,” says Amy. “It’s was cost-effective. And it integrated directly into HubSpot.”


Educational Video Content at the Branch Level
Catches Customer Attention

Using the company’s in-house video studio, Amy’s team began creating educational content to engage members at the branch level. “When we became inbound focused, the mindset on our team completely changed. We were no longer creating seasonal marketing campaigns but rather, building content to help our clients with the process of life decisions where financial decisions come into play. For instance, rather than talking about a car loan, we’ll talk about steps to buying a car or how to negotiate the best price,” says Amy. “We’re on a mission to educate first and sell services second because it is all about our customer and their success.”

Throughout the introduction of Tropical TV, Vidyard has proved to be a responsive and helpful partner. Recently the project hit a technical glitch—a hardware issue—that was causing buffering or freezing of the video playing the branches. Vidyard assigned a support person and worked closely with the company’s IT team to resolve the issue. The issue, which had stymied the IT team for over a month, was resolved within 10 days. “Vidyard never gave up on us,” says Amy. “They were imperative in helping us pinpoint the problem and get our playlist back up and running again.”

When Tropical TV began playing in the branches, customers—and staff—sat up and took notice. “It was really wonderful to talk to branch managers and hear that they had people coming up asking about the different products and services they were hearing about through our educational content,” says Amy. “We also send our video content out through email nurturing campaigns as a reinforcement and can point to increased engagement.” Being able to view Vidyard’s video analytics within Hubspot also allows Amy and her team to refine their content to get their message across with maximum impact.

“We are in the business to consumer market. We are often dealing with a customer journey that takes hours, not weeks or months. So we need to get to the point right away. Thanks to Vidyard’s analytics for video on our social channels, we can see what people are viewing and where they are dropping off. For instance, we had a car loan video but observed that people were dropping off at the 20-second mark. So we took that information and moved all the good stuff—the important stuff—up front to catch people’s attention right away and improve audience engagement.”

Amy points to another successful video marketing program Tropical Financial is using to promote ‘ChangEd’ a new app that rounds up debits from a checking account and applies the ‘change’ to a person’s student loan debt. ChangEd videos are running on Tropical TV, combined with an email nurturing campaign also using video.

Vidyard and video have played a huge role in helping Tropical Financial Credit Union make its transformation into a digital marketing machine. Thanks to Vidyard, Amy and her team have been able to fully leverage video in branches to better educate and build a brand with consumers. And the execution and tracking around those content assets become super easy thanks to Vidyard. “Now, when we get the video back from editing, we just upload it to Vidyard and we’re good to go.”

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