In the past, this relationship was a personal one. When a customer bought a house or managed their estate, they came into a branch or an office, they looked their agent in the eyes, and they shook hands.
Today, customers still want to trust their financial institutions, but they don’t want to come into a physical location unless absolutely necessary. Today, customers want to interact with brands on their own terms, across channels, and increasingly on mobile phones. According to the 2017 Adobe Digital Index, mobile visits to top retail banking sites have increased 121 percent since 2014 and now represent 26 percent of all traffic.
For one thing, the dominance of digital has opened the door for new competition. A new breed of financial startups have entered the arena — “fintechs” that are designed from the ground up to deliver digitized financial experiences. And perhaps more concerning, tech giants such as Google and Apple, who have deep proficiency in nurturing digital experiences, have started to flex their muscles in the financial space as well. “To open a new account,” says Chris Young, the director of industry strategy over financial services at Adobe, “most customers still go into a bank. After that they never return.”
This is reflected in revenue. According to one Econsultancy report, many financial brands only attribute an average of 31 percent of sales to digital channels. And while the motives for this digital reticence are varied, — maybe customers are sticking with what’s familiar, maybe they still don’t trust certain online transactions — it’s clear that for many financial institutions, digital is letting customers down.
And the place to start is with data. Delivering a connected experience starts with connected data. By integrating data from all your channels, online and offline, you can develop robust customer profiles that help you delight existing customers and successfully woo new ones.
Financial brands on what has the greatest impact on digital maturity.
Integrating data from all your channels — online and offline — is the first step to creating the kind of experience that makes this kind of expansion possible. And according to Econsultancy, financial brands who see themselves as leaders in the charge to digital understand how challenging this can be. When asked what they saw as the greatest barriers to delivering personalized experiences, 40 percent responded with the inability to share data across channels. Forty-two percent said it was the inability to identify the same individual across channels.
As challenging as it can be, however, bringing your data from all channels together is a crucial step to winning with digital. It lets finance brands understand customers and accounts across channels so they can develop whole customer profiles, comprehend journeys and touch points, expand their customer base, and provide rich interactions that focus on their customers.
“Building new campaigns is easy now because customer information is in a centralized place. We can deepen customer relationships with a cross-channel campaign tool that automates every customer communication for maximum impact.”
CRM expert, bpost bank
By connecting the right data, you can create detailed profiles that lead to meaningful interaction between you and your customer. By understanding what motivates each interaction, you can design and deliver personal, connected experiences that give each customer just what they’re looking for.
For example, Scottrade provides investors with right-sized investment products through personalized brokerage services in branches and online and mobile trading. Their devotion to integrated data allows them to build deeper insights into customer segments. Digital marketers and execs use attribution models to see the channel’s potential and where existing investors are coming from, what content they engage with, and what’s driving results.
“[We] pull together online and offline information to develop a more complete story of what leads to an account being opened or other activities. Data workbench capabilities give specific marketing activities the credit they deserve.”
marketing analytics manager, Scottrade
With a foundation of solid data and robust customer profiles, you can improve customer experiences throughout the journey. For example, by segmenting your customers and prospects based on integrated demographic, behavioral, firmographic, and other kinds of data, you can deliver content that makes sense because it’s based on who they are, where they are, and how they’ve interacted with you in the past. By combining your analytics and your audience management solution, you can deliver offers that address real customer needs and show that you know what they’re looking for.
That’s an experience that builds the kind of trust customers demand from their financial institutions and because it’s delivered through digital channels, it’s scalable, repeatable, and automatable. This is essential because as valuable as nurturing this trust from existing customers is, financial brands need to build this same level of trust with new customers.
For many financial services companies, account quality from digital channels is lower than from offline channels. When you factor in the costs to service these new accounts, their ROI tends to be low as well. By integrating your data you can start creating useful profiles even for these anonymous customers — for example, by starting with site behavioral data and then adding third-party data to fill in the gaps — so you can take advantage of the quantity that digital channels offer, but also focus on quality.
One way many successful finance brands do this is to use algorithmic audience modeling capabilities to take what they know about valuable segments and use that to find all-new “lookalike” audiences with the same potential. This ensures that, while the members of the audience may be anonymous, the offer they’re getting is the one that will most likely lead them to a sale.
For 175 years, Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) has helped customers and partners build valuable relationships. Now, to discover lookalikes, D&B evaluates scores of business attributes — including firmographic, predictive, and behavioral attributes they’ve found to be important in those relationships.
“Those attributes do include revenue and industry. But they also include location and behavioral information like the payment history of strategic accounts. It’s utilizing an advanced machine learning system to identify complex relationships in the data that an ordinary list build could never do.”
director of statistical consulting, Dun & Bradstreet
Align your organization.
Understand your data.
Bring your data together.
Create your segments.
Engage existing customers.
Get new customers.
Adobe Experience Cloud helps you create integrated experiences with the combined benefits of three clouds — Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Advertising Cloud, and Adobe Analytics Cloud. Adobe Marketing Cloud helps you manage and deliver experiences on any channel. Adobe Advertising Cloud simplifies the delivery of video, display, and search advertising on any screen. And Adobe Analytics Cloud integrates all your audience data for deep insight and customer intelligence. These three offerings are unified by powerful core services that give you access to your customer profiles, centralized assets, powerful tagging, and an ecosystem of partners and developers to extend the value of all our solutions. All this comes together in Adobe Experience Cloud, providing everything you need to orchestrate a great customer experience.
“Bpost Bank: Garnering New Customers, Deepening Relationships,” Adobe customer story, 2015.
Chris Young, Adobe, personal interview, February 2, 2017.
Denis Olcay, “3 Tips to Optimize Your Programmatic ABM Strategy in 2017,” Dun & Bradstreet, December 14, 2016.
“Digital Trends in Financial Services and Insurance Sector,” Econsultancy and Adobe, 2016.
“Elsevier finds its one global voice,” Adobe customer story, 2015.
Erin Wright, personal interview, February 2017.