Bank marketing needs to go omnichannel - now

Consumer marketing is transitioning to personalized, one-to-one interactions, replacing the less customized traditional “push”-based approach. Specialty retail and other consumer-savvy industries are using a powerful new model called “omnichannel.” Banks need to take notice.

The traditional bank marketing model was “multichannel.” Multichannel encouraged customers to use the channel most appropriate for their needs.  This could be anything from a visit to a bricks and mortar branch, web surfing by tablet or laptop, making a phone call or even reaching out using social media email, or SMS text such as WhatsApp. But multichannel bank marketing tended to assume that customers would use channels in sequence. In practice, it often meant trying to route customers to the channel that involves the least cost to the bank. This meant that inquiries coming in by phone sometimes ended with a request for a customer to visit the bank branch. Also, internally, each channel typically had its own organization and revenue goals.  These ‘silos’ or ‘lanes’ caused cross-channel competition and misaligned incentives. Customers were often left confused on how to best communicate with the bank.

Omnichannel is different. It calls for orchestrating personalized offers to customers who like to use a combination of channels. From their initial touchpoint through trial, sale, usage and ongoing brand interaction, customers enjoy a consistent experience moving between channels to research, purchase, and connect with your products.

Example: Digitally inclined millennials as well as older generations want banks to provide the kind of digital service that online retailers like Amazon provide in suggesting products they might like. They expect banks to deliver informative experiences across online and offline channels so they can access banking information and transact in real time.

Another example: when a customer opens a checking account, a bank uses software like Adobe Campaign to send them a welcome email and pro-actively make an investment offer tailored to their profile. A cross channel campaign can deepen customer relationships while automating every customer interaction for maximum impact.

As customers use more channels, particularly online and mobile, banks can aggregate a large volume of data that, when consolidated and analyzed, helps to better segment the market. You can then profile the customer to determine the most appropriate product or bundle of products to offer at any given time—including intelligence from past campaigns and previous interactions with the customer across channels.

A bank that can apply analytics to a single, integrated view of customers will develop insights on their behavior and needs, a starting point to orchestrate personalized interactions that use the best features of all channels.

Facing intense competition from fintech and other non-bank companies, banks that can connect the dots across the channels they use to communicate with and market to customers will be the winners.

Author: Gabriella Csanak Senior Industry Expert, Financial Services T-Systems Hungary
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