The mission of building one-to-one communication and engagement is not a new concept. Back in 1993, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., proposed that organizations could use technology to gather information about, and to communicate directly with, individuals to form a personal bond. The book, The One to One Future: Building Relationships One Customer at a Time, stated that technology had made it possible and affordable to track individual consumers, to understand each person's individual journey, and to provide contextual offers at the optimal time of need. Six years later, internationally recognized best-selling author Seth Godin published Permission Marketing. He built a logical case for creating incentives for consumers to accept advertising voluntarily.
Over the past decade, the marketing profession has moved from art to science, with a foundation of new technologies powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT), and with a level of personalization and real-time communication only dreamed of in the past. Consumers are continuously connected through mobile devices and have complete control over the organizations they interact with and purchase from. Their expectations are elevated -- and the opportunity for banks and credit unions that master the new technology has never been greater. Management's expectations are elevating as well. Rather than asking to see the newest TV commercial or hear the next radio commercial, financial institution leaders will increasingly say, "Show me the money" as it relates to the impact of marketing initiatives.
Almost every large financial services enterprise is undergoing some form of digital transformation as they prepare to meet and service their customers in an ever-evolving landscape. That was a key finding of Brand New Media's "Digital Marketing of Financial Services 2017" report, which identified the organizational structures, budgets, processes, and metrics that financial companies in the U.S. are using. Following are the biggest trends identified in the comprehensive study. "Seeing as though mobile and website are the top priorities, the mobile-optimized website becomes something that financial marketers need to nail," said Frank Dudley, president and CEO of Brand New Media (BNM) and a professor at Northwestern University. "We've seen a shift from apps, as they are more utilitarian and focused around a discrete set of activities.
Financial Marketers in recent years, have been actively leveraging all types of traditional and new-age marketing channels to engage customers on their digital and mobile journeys. However, customers still expect Financial Institutions to know their preferences and provide a much richer personalized experience. In this era of hyper-personalization, data about users is paramount. Even with all the digital transformation in progress, data is largely available in silos among different departments such as Marketing, Sales, Operations, and Customer Care. Users visit financial websites and mobile applications at different times and on different devices and these visits could often be mistaken as different users.
AI and machine learning are making the customer experience more personalized and contextual than ever before. Banks and credit unions are using advanced technology to make websites, emails, digital advertising, social media and other content more efficient and effective. This is increasing marketing ROI as well as customer satisfaction. Subscribe to The Financial Brand via email for FREE!There is a great deal of discussion of the potential value of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics in banking. Unfortunately, much of the implementation of these technologies lags the potential by a significant margin.