Financial marketers are tasked with understanding and using new technologies that can help them reach consumers, even as those consumers’ preferences are rapidly changing. It’s like trying to hit a moving target while shooting from a moving vehicle. Embracing big data and analyzing both internal and external data, structured and unstructured, can help bank and credit union marketers keep pace with the massive changes sweeping across the financial industry.
Many financial marketers are successfully leveraging big data to gain insights into how they can improve customer interactions, deliver more relevant product offers and create a more meaningful, personalized experience. But that’s the exception — big data is still befuddling many retail banking providers. Some institutions lack the technology tools, others haven’t embraced a data-driven culture, and for many, the stumbling blocks are more basic: marketers don’t even know what data they should be analyzing.
Even the most astute and progressive financial marketing professionals need to be asking the right questions of the right data sets before they can begin to extract any value from it. They need to understand that it’s not just about data inside their institution’s walls that should be analyzed. In fact, what can be learned from unstructured data that is publicly available can deliver real insights that help lead consumers down the purchase funnel.
Here are three common marketing challenges facing retail banks and credit unions, and how analytics can help address them.
The Millennial generation is a paradox to many institutions. Some market studies report that Millennials are very careful with how and where they spend their money, while other surveys reveal that they’re fickle and nomadic. The truth is that Millennials are not much different than other demographics when it comes to their needs and expectation of financial services. They want personalized service, and want to feel like a valued customer — with every interaction and at their channel of choice.
If marketers aren’t using analytics to understand what resonates with Millennials (and other customers) and further cultivate them, they are missing a golden opportunity. A survey from Segmint found one in two Americans are open to receiving marketing communications and personalized advertising from their financial institutions, and that proportion increases among Millennials. The survey also found nearly two-thirds of Millennials are open to marketing communications that may help them reach their personal finance goals. Financial marketers aren’t going to get the full picture of this from data within their own network, especially if they’re trying to reach new customers. This means using analytics to gain information from outside, unstructured sources such as social media, where Millennials are more than likely commenting about finance goals such as trying to pay off student loans, saving money, or moving out on their own.
Consumer preferences are the predominant force in digital transformation. In a report by renowned digital analyst and futurist Brian Solis, 71% of executives said their number one challenge is understanding the behavior and impact of new customers.