Optimising FSI Customer Experiences, Part 1: Data

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.

KPI frame­work

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!

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