The digital transformation in financial services is in full force, and whoever is not ahead of the curve is falling behind. You know your bank or credit union needs to take part, and most institutions are investing valuable resources to do so–but how can you be part of the future of this massive shift? The answer lies in better understanding your members and customers, from preferences to intent, to provide a more personalized customer experience and differentiate your services from your competition.
Where is the digital transformation headed?
According to the 2019 Digital Banking Report, financial services marketers see “optimizing the customer experience as their most important opportunity” in 2019 (41%), followed by “data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual” (23%). As consumers wise up to traditional marketing methods, there’s a new understanding among marketers that people want to be treated as individuals–exactly as they would in the real world; this means that online promotions need to mirror and build upon offline brand interactions. The good news is that customers are willing to share their personal information in order to be treated as valued members of your brand ecosystem. Despite recent data breaches and privacy concerns, “82% of customers will share relevant information about themselves in exchange for connections between their digital and in-person experiences” (Salesforce).
The caveat here is that they want to be in control of the data you’re collecting, so transparency is imperative– especially in financial services. Moreover, 72% of “consumers expect vendors to personalize engagement to needs” (Salesforce). Modern-day empowered consumers demand a new type of engagement strategy. An omnichannel approach builds on the already widely implemented multi-channel strategy to consider the customer at its core; the goal is to create a holistic picture of the individual to develop personalized interactions with your brand across every customer touch point.
What is omnichannel marketing, and why do marketers keep talking about it?
Omnichannel is a marketing buzzword that was initially reserved for retailers to create a more seamless online/offline shopping experience for consumers. Data suggests it’s been a gamechanger with “89% of customers retained by companies with omnichannel engagement strategies” (Invesp) and “23X higher rates of customer satisfaction experienced by companies with omnichannel strategies” (MarTech Advisor).
Naturally, other industries have followed suit to create seamless experiences for customers, maximize retention, and more. Banks and credit unions are in the early phases of adopting omnichannel strategies because many institutions have been latecomers to digital transformation in general, and an omnichannel approach adds another layer of complexity. Though initially daunting, the payoff of developing an omnichannel marketing strategy will ultimately land greater returns and keep financial institutions at the forefront of the digital-first marketplace.
What do I need to start planning in an omnichannel mindset?
Developing an omnichannel strategy starts with data. Here’s a breakdown of the major data buckets you should be using to plan for your institution:
First Party Data – this is your data, collected first-hand from newsletter sign-ups, form fills, social followers, website analytics, CRM data, etc.
Second Party Data – this is someone else’s first party data, collected by your technology partners via Google or Facebook, or by other partners (think grocery store reward programs).
Third Party Data – this is data you’ve purchased from a data-aggregator that allows you to supplement your more valuable first and second party data.
All of these sources and types of data work together to paint a picture of your current audience and give you insight into audiences of opportunity. With great data, comes the ability to better influence customer decision-making, and to connect with customers more genuinely via personalized offers and more targeted messaging. Every piece of the meandering customer lifecycle, from online interactions to customer feedback to location-based data gathered via branch visitation, allows banks and credit unions to fully capture the customer experience and provides a playbook for optimizing that experience in the future.
To truly encompass the nature of omnichannel, it’s important to centralize your data in a master database or data warehouse. All necessary departments within your institution should have access to that database for a single view of the customer, which will naturally waterfall to more personalized service and interaction.
Download our data organizer to start understanding what data you currently activate, how that data informs your creation of customer experience and marketing for new customers, and where you have gaps in your existing data ecosystem.
Stay tuned for part two, where we’ll show you real-world context about what a financial services customer lifecycle looks through an omnichannel framework, and where to apply the information in your data organizer along the way. If you download the data organizer, we’ll automatically send you part two follow-up!