The CMO and marketing function might be the best place to start operationalising a bank-wide data strategy. But, to be effective, the CMO needs to combine all they’ve learnt about data-driven processes to create intelligent conversations with customers. They have the opportunity not only to dissolve their own data silos but to create a model for data orchestration from which the whole bank can learn.
Marketing has led the way with its use of data
– yet still suffers from focusing on using specific data for specific outcomes. Too often decisions are made at the level of technology tools – a new CRM that adds a few extra bells and whistles to target and disseminate offers. The use of data has evolved from early ‘spray and pray’ campaigns to increasingly sophisticated segmentation approaches. Today, best in class marketers are using event-based approaches to target specific individuals with offers tailored to what’s happening in their lives. But marketers are still focused on creating better mousetraps. A data point triggers a marketing response that is either successful or not. It’s a binary outcome with little feedback or conversation and which does little to reduce the cost to serve.
The bank of the future will instead engage customers in ongoing, two-way conversations that centre on their needs, not the products the bank wants to push. Understanding the customer journey has been marketing speak for years, but in reality, it has been a staccato pattern of one-way trips. Now with increasingly granular data and the ability to analyse and make decisions in real time, banks can start to link engagements and touchpoints to listen to customers and adapt to what they need. Interactions can build on each other and across channels to create richer, more useful and timely customer insights.
For example, millions of customers visiting a bank’s website are currently offered a vanilla experience that seldom tallies with their precise needs. But, with a consistent data platform, web browsing data can be combined with customer profiles and recent event triggers to provide a much more detailed view of what they might be looking for. Offers can be created on the fly to match these more precisely. We know it works. Banks have seen click throughs increase by a factor of fifty – and open rates of follow-up emails fifteen times better. Just by implementing these steps a bank can see tens of millions of dollars in additional revenues.
In the real world, every customer has multiple ongoing conversations with their bank. They are held all over the bank with different teams using and creating different data often in discrete systems and channels. Big Tech thrives because it can link all these data and use it to create a detailed and accurate picture of its customers. Banks struggle to do this even within their marketing teams! To compete marketers must listen, understand, decide and act in real time to meet the expectations of customers. This requires data from across the bank -available instantaneously for analysis and action.
This is more important than a tactical decision about which CRM or ‘mar-tech’ to select. Intelligent conversations with customers may be led by marketing, but they require access to an enterprise-wide orchestrated data platform that collates the sum of all the bank’s data on an individual. And intelligent conversations need no longer to be the preserve of marketing. Operations, fraud, compliance can all benefit from this joined up view of the customer’s journey, equipped to step in to assist when needed.
In the bank of the future, it will be the customer that initiates conversations. They will in effect be accessing their own data, mediated through the expertise, products and insights provided by the bank. All marketing will be ‘pull’ with marketers charged with presenting a range of options in response to customer interactions rather than pushing a defined set of products in planned campaigns.
Those that are able to define and operationalise a data strategy to do this will win and retain customers. Those that don’t will most likely fail. If you are still worrying about which CRM point solutions to use, and delegating the decision, it’s likely you may end up on the wrong side of this divide. My next post will look at how to avoid that fate!