O Bee Credit Union

Pub Style Banking” Gives O Bee Credit Union The Competitive Edge


O Bee is a cooperative, not-for-profit credit union with locations throughout Washington state. They were founded in 1955 by Ted McGill at the Olympia Brewery and have been recognized by Forbes as the #1 credit union in Washington state. Despite their unique “pub style banking”, O Bee found itself unsure of who their best members and prospects were. That’s when they turned to Claritas for help.


O Bee worked with us to append Claritas P$YCLE® Premier segmentation to their CRM. Not only did this uncover behaviors about their current members that they might not have known otherwise, but it also helped them determine which prospects they should be targeting with their campaign messaging.

An initial brand awareness campaign was deployed at the beginning of the pandemic by Claritas, on behalf of O Bee. The campaign focused on auto loans and HELOCs, and was a multichannel effort delivered via direct mail, email, and Facebook. Based on their segmentation analysis, they also noted that streaming services were very popular with some of their best members, which were made up of families, essential workers, and hikers.

After concluding their brand awareness campaign, they used their segmentation insights to guide the creation of a one-minute commercial. They were able to break the commercial up into seven smaller spots, which they used to target potential members with messaging that would resonate.

O Bee worked with a third party to deploy this OTT campaign via streaming services like Hulu and Roku. The campaign itself focused on HELOCs and was targeted toward “elite empty nesters” and “up and coming families.” The campaign was so successful that they thought it was an anomaly. This led them to test multiple streaming services. Not only did they hit their dollar amount goal, but they ended up hiring extra staff to take on the increased business they saw, proving their success was not an anomaly.


In addition to their brand awareness and streaming/OTT campaign, O Bee also deployed a mortgage refinancing campaign. They had run similar campaigns before, but now they had the added benefit of Claritas data to inform their strategy. Banks and credit unions are currently finding they have too much cash on hand due to high deposit growth associated with the pandemic and government assistance. O Bee saw this campaign as an opportunity to keep that from becoming an issue for their own credit union.

While meant to run longer, the O Bee Mortgage Free campaign ended early. That’s because their loan-to-share ratio jumped from 80% to 97% much faster than originally anticipated. This was more proof that their original segmentation investment was the right decision. Another welcomed “consequence” is that they’ve found themselves in a position where they almost have too many loans from this and other commercial campaigns, along with additional indirect loan growth.

This is in stark contrast to others in the industry who are claiming that loans are dried up. They attribute this to an initial surge earlier in the pandemic. In 2012 and 2016, when the mortgage refinancing campaigns were originally run, without the added benefit of Claritas data and insights, O Bee received 66 mortgage loans for a total of just over $6MM. In 2020 and 2022, leveraging Claritas data, these same campaigns brought in 178 mortgage loans at just nearly $35.5MM. That’s about a 270% increase in the number of mortgage loans and almost 6x the dollar amount!


Today, O Bee is using Claritas data to guide their latest campaign promoting CDs. Moving forward, they plan to continue working with the Claritas team. They’ll use our data to identify the right audiences to deliver campaigns to. They are also looking at new avenues for their credit union to expand into.


270% Increase in number of mortgage loans

Nearly 6x increase In mortgage loan dollar amount


Claritas P$YCLE® Premier was built for the financial and insurance industries to provide comprehensive consumer insights concerning financial wealth, insurance and investment products held, home value, technology behaviors and media preferences.

O Bee was recently one of a few credit unions across the U.S. that were awarded a $10 million dollar grant as part of a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institutions) Fund. The CDFI Fund helps to generate economic growth and opportunity in some of the nation’s most distressed communities.

O Bee’s segmentation analysis uncovered underbanked households living within their footprint so the grant will be used, in part, to fuel marketing efforts to reach these future members.

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