The power of ‘when, where and how’ in banking comms

 In Customer Experience, Data

The demand is out there. 

Recent Tealium consumer-led research from the UK, Italy, Spain, German and France shows that the appetite exists among retail banking customers for their account data to be used smartly to inform the type of promotions they are provided. If the customer demand is there, a brands supply needs to match it.

But knowing that a customer is happy for their data to be analysed and is appreciative of special offers when they’re sent only tells half of the story.

If you don’t understand how and when to send these communications, any strategy risks undermining the understanding of the customer entirely and missing the opportunity.

Here are 3 key guiding principles to showing your banking customers that you know who they are.

Pace yourself

Enthusiasm is always a good thing to have as a brand – but excess can become grating. It’s key to understand that while your customers are open to having personalised promotions sent to them, overdoing it makes it ineffective or maybe even worse, intrusive and annoying. These are not strong foundations from which to grow loyalty and advocacy.

So what amounts to ‘the right’ cadence? Perhaps as expected, it’s certainly not daily. Only around 3% of customers in each of the countries we surveyed (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain), felt that this was a frequency they’d welcome. The optimum tempo peaks at monthly interactions, with 30% of French and Spanish; 31% German; and 26% of Italian and UK consumers welcoming such a regularity.

Understand the impact of age on frequency

However, the crux of putting this into action relies on an awareness of age-related appetite –demonstrating how clear, clean data is an essential factor in high quality, successful marketing strategies.

In terms of frequency, our survey showed an increased demand as customers get older; in the UK, 20% of 18- to 34-year-olds want monthly offers, rising to 25% for 35- to 54-year-olds, and 32% for Over-55s. This is echoed in every single country – most markedly in France where we see the figures jump from 21%, to 30%, to 46% respectively, so from just one in five of the younger generation to almost one in two of the more mature. The clear message here is that ignoring the differences between age groups risks alienating one or more groups of customers.

A similar age-defined behaviour can be seen when we bring the communication regularity down to once a week, where the appetite flips on its head. Here we see the younger age group welcoming such frequency significantly more than the older – most markedly in France where the difference moves from 19% of 18- to 34-year-olds, through 12% of 35- to 54-year-olds, down to just 7% of the over 55s wanting a message from their bank to land in their inbox each week.

Personalise for success 

There’s clearly an appetite from customers for their current account data to be used by banks for personalised promotional offers. The opportunity sits in using the right tools to clean, analyse, parse, and understand this data to match expectations, and align a customer retention strategy around it.

What the data around frequency and the impact age has on effectiveness shows is that rigorous testing is needed while building out such a strategy to constantly refine the picture of every customer. This can then establish profiles against which marketing activity can be positioned in order to achieve maximum returns – a profile which will only become more and more sophisticated over time. This can be augmented further still through machine learning tools, by bringing a wider pool of anonymized data together to deliver focused insight on the future path an individual might take. 

There’s no one-size-fits all.

Every single customer has a unique individual fingerprint on their bank statement, and communications from their bank should be just as personalised.

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