Case Studies

Black Hills Federal Credit Union | Rapid City, South Dakota | Assets: $1.9 billion

Strategic Consulting (FKA OnTrax) • Demographics (FKA Demographics Plus) • Digital Communications (FKA DocuMatix)

Our relationship with Marquis has been great! The support we receive … in developing campaigns, defining our target audience and the follow up after campaigns is unmatched.

Adam Beshara
eCommerce Manager, Black Hills Federal Credit Union

Based in South Dakota, Black Hills Federal Credit Union serves the needs of over 80,000 members. As a forward-thinking credit union, they continually explore new ways to engage their members and retain relationships. They realized that data and automated marketing were essential to their goals and joined the Marquis family in 2017.

Black Hills FCU currently uses three of Marquis’ most powerful marketing products:

Digital Communications: A digital marketing suite designed specifically for financial institutions

Strategic Consulting: Data-based marketing, analytics, and campaign tracking

Demographics: Demographic, psychographic, and predictive data to pinpoint communications and maximize results

With the help of these powerful tools, they leveled up their marketing efforts and were able to garner excellent results. 

Loan growth was a priority for Black Hills FCU in 2022, and they initiated a multi-loan campaign using direct mail and email channels. They worked closely with their Marquis marketing strategist to maximize demographic and propensity data usage in order to target the right member with the right message. With the understanding that exclusions are just as important as inclusions, they focused on their most engaged members and:

  • Applied their standard exclusions (minors, employees, opt-outs, etc.)
  • Included only those with active checking accounts and enrolled in direct deposit
  • Excluded deposit-only relationships, such as those with just a share savings account or share certificate
  • Excluded any member with a loan in place (credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, etc.)

Once the relationship criteria were established, Black Hills and their marketing strategist took a deep dive into market scores and propensity data to determine the viable candidates for loan products. In addition, they utilized risk scores to ensure they connected with members most likely to be approved once they applied for a loan. 

Although this impacted the number of members who received the communication, it allowed Black Hills to connect with those most likely to respond and apply for a loan. Less-engaged members were not presented with unwanted messaging, and those with loans were not encouraged to take out another. This is a primary expectation of consumers today—a personalized experience with relevant messages and offers delivered at the right time.


With the data in place, Black Hills ran their loan-savings campaign, focusing on refinancing a variety of loan products with Black Hills. The campaign began in late February and was tracked through to the end of May. Over the course of the campaign, 203 new loans were opened generating $4.6 million in new balances. According to Marquis’ data, the response for loan ITAs typically averages 1-2%. With the strategic use of demographics and propensity data, Black Hills FCU’s campaign doubled the average with a 4% response rate

With the help of Strategic Consulting, Black Hills was able to produce reports they could share with management. They were able to clearly present data proving that for every $1 invested, their return was $7.87. They showed that the product ratio of the marketing group increased by almost 1.5% and their average loan balance increased over 75%. These are real numbers management could relate to and enabled support for future campaigns.


Thanks to the strong results generated through the collaboration between Black Hills and their marketing strategist, Black Hills continues to turn to Marquis for their growth and retention strategies. With new locations opening in 2022, Black Hills is working with Marquis on market area analyses that will help create the roadmap for several prospecting or new-member campaigns to coincide with the openings.

Setting the correct parameters and incorporating demographics and propensity data took a bit of time, it was well worth the effort. Targeting members on a macro-level ensured the message went to members most likely to respond—and they did. The results speak for themselves.

By the numbers



$4.6 Million

New Balances


Response Rate


New Accounts