By now, a majority of financial institutions recognize that marketing initiatives can and should be based on data, not guesswork. According to Capgemini, more than 60 percent of financial institutions in North America believe that big data analytics offers a significant competitive advantage and over 90 percent believe that successful big data initiatives will determine the winners of the future. Yet, many institutions still struggle to apply big data analytics to their marketing strategies. In fact, the same Capgemini study revealed that 63 percent of financial institutions are still in the exploration or experimentation phases of applying big data to initiatives within their organization.
So, what actionable steps can today’s financial institutions take to apply data analytics to their marketing efforts?
First and foremost, financial institutions should realize that consumers move across channels constantly, based on their current needs at any given moment. This can make it difficult, but not impossible, for institutions to target the right consumer with the appropriate content at the right time. Applying advanced, predictive analytics to aggregated data sets can help banks and credit unions accomplish this. This is possible thanks to the massive amount of consumer insight available to financial institutions. Banks and credit unions have no shortage of transactional data on their account holders, but forward-thinking financial institutions are augmenting their internal data with external sources of data. By doing so, data analytics can help these institutions derive deeper insights into consumer behaviors and demographics beyond what transactional data alone could reveal.
For customer acquisition purposes, financial institutions can leverage integrated data from second- and third-party sources for a more unified view of the consumer. This intel can feed into an institution’s CRM system and provide sales staff with more relevant leads based on data. Additionally, financial institutions that effectively apply data analytics can hone in on nuances in consumer behaviors and their distinct life stages, which facilitates deeper segmentation of those consumers to reveal their banking needs more accurately. This also helps financial institutions understand how customers are using different channels, ranging from mobile and online to social media and clickable advertisements. By gaining a sharper understanding of the patterns in channel behavior, institutions can optimize those channels to improve lead generation and customer engagement. From there, banks and credit unions can target individuals with appropriate marketing messaging and product offers via the right channel.
For existing customers, financial institutions can analyze customer profile data, such as income or demographics, along with their transaction history to gauge a customer’s likelihood of purchasing a new product or service. Armed with this knowledge, the institution can push new product offerings to customers with confidence, boosting revenue and marketing ROI. Likewise, financial institutions can evaluate customer profile data and transaction data to predict the customer’s life stage and perfect the timing of marketing messages. For example, a bank can review profile data to recognize a 17-year-old customer and pull transaction data to determine he or she has submitted several college applications. With this information, the bank can send timely marketing messages about student loans. The window of opportunity here is small, but with data, it is easier than ever to take advantage of that opportunity.
Lastly and most importantly, financial institutions must review the results from data-driven marketing campaigns. This involves evaluating what was successful versus what wasn’t by correlating elements of the team’s marketing initiatives with data. Doing so will help financial institutions continuously improve marketing ROI. The key here is to review results regularly so employees can determine where and how to adjust their strategies, so data analytics solutions that provide marketing dashboards and reporting will prove valuable in the long run.