When Adobe and Econsultancy asked executives in the financial services industry (FSI) how they plan to differentiate themselves in 2017, the number-one answer was customer experience. The majority of these execs cite targeting and personalisation as the top priority for their organisations.
A full 78 percent say they’re working to optimise the customer journey across multiple touchpoints, while 70 percent are striving to ensure consistency of their message across channels.
This process of optimising your FSI customers’ journey breaks down into five key areas: bringing data together, creating individualised content, leveraging decisioning and algorithms, delivering fluid experiences across channels, and continuing to test, learn, and optimise over time.
In this series of blogs, I’m going to take a deep dive on each of those five areas. Today we’ll start with the first area: data.
The centrality of data
Data brings a wide range of powerful new advancements in marketing, along with a host of new barriers. Although FSI firms are by no means short on data, the industry remains one of the most heavily regulated in terms of how that data can be used.
FSI marketing executives, for their part, clearly recognise the need to leverage the data they have. We’ve seen a 17 percent increase year-over-year in interest in data-driven marketing, and FSI companies are 6 percent more likely than their peers in other industries to rank data-driven marketing as a priority. In fact, when these executives were asked about the most important factors in marketing, data topped that list for 72 percent of them.
When asked what the most important factors in digital marketing will be over the next few years, 52 percent of FSI respondents cited “understanding how mobile users research.” Another 49 percent said, “using online data to optimise the offline experience,” while 60 percent said, “using offline data to optimise online.” Another 49 percent said, “understanding when and where customers use different devices.”
These responses make it clear that data is crucial in FSI, and that FSI organisations are data savvy. The question is, how do FSI firms go about leveraging the data they have? They start by bringing data into a unified framework, creating a single view of each customer, and activating that data to deliver personalised content.
Every organisation has key business objectives, which are aligned at the local and group levels. Individual managers have key objectives, while the board has business objectives of its own. To unify your organisation’s digital efforts, these objectives need to be translated into key digital objectives, and further broken down into individual key performance indicators (KPIs) that can then be mapped to your analytics.
In other words, the first step to getting your data in the right place is to build a business-wide KPI framework. All the events and metrics you capture on your website through digital analytics need to be aligned back to your key business objectives.
This will ensure you’re capturing the right data for your business. And it means that when you need to drive a specific action, you actually know what actions to take.
Data visualisation: Reports and databoards
Once you’ve set out your digital KPIs and objectives, the next step is to democratise your data. You need to deliver it into the hands of the people who need it the most—i.e. your marketing teams. When using the right KPI framework, democratizing the data becomes easy as you will quickly understand what metrics and events are relevant to them based on their objectives. From these insights, your teams can generate useful reports and visualisations to drive meaningful marketing efforts.
For example, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) recently built more than 100 custom dashboards, based on website data it was collecting. However, RBS knew that only the right dashboard would guide it to the right marketing tactics. Data points about customer support and retention won’t be useful to a digital marketer responsible for online acquisition.
But when you’ve got the right KPIs aligned around the needs of the business, the right reports and dashboards will often make themselves clear.
Aligning with other datasets
With the help of your KPI Framework and relevant dashboards, you’ll be able to bring customer relationship management (CRM) data, call centre data, branch data, and data from many other sources together to create a single view of each customer.
Finally, you need the data in the right place and at the right time, with the ability to activate it so it’s available to the tools that need it. This essentially puts a “play” button on your data, so you can use it to trigger live events or drive personalised content, or you can deliver the data to third-party tools to deliver individualised advertising or personalised in-branch experiences.
Plus, with the right data and the right democratisation, you can start to get new insights on your customers. This begins when you leverage your data to find unanswered questions, with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques such as anomaly detection, contribution analysis, and intelligent alerts to identify when things are outside the norm. Techniques like these will enable you to leverage the propensity of cluster analysis to build intelligent audience segments. We’ll go into more detail about that later in this series.
But first, the next step is to deliver individualised content. To do that, you’ll need a lot of content. That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in the next segment: how to create all the content you need to address each customer on an individual level. See you there!