Digital marketing platforms analyze customer movements, established needs, preferences, interests and usage and compare them with available data from other sources.
The resulting information allows the bank to study the behaviour of its customers, but, more importantly, to understand that behaviour, in order to empathize with it and, by extension, to establish services adapted to their clients’ personalized needs.
Everybody knows Aesop's Fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. It’s the story of a shepherd boy who repeatedly tricks nearby villagers into thinking wolves are attacking his flock...
When a wolf actually appears and the boy again calls for help, the villagers assume it is yet another false alarm and the sheep are eaten by the wolf. In the realm of Digital Marketing for banks we constantly read and hear that since the Internet is here to stay banks should reshape their marketing strategies accordingly in order to keep up. We hear this so often that sometimes it might sound as if it was “to cry wolf”. Well, it’s not. If we take a closer look at the statistics we will see that the wolf is actually here, so what should we do?
Let's start by acknowledging that the wolf is not Internet itself, but rather our incapability to see its benefits and adapt to it.
The accessibility of the Internet, and especially the availability of inexpensive smartphones, are driving the way that people buy products and services. Most shopping, looking around, comparing prices, making choices, is now made by customers whilst they are in their homes, not in the stores. In the USA, according to Emarketer, in 2017, 58.3% of the population over 14 had bought goods and services over the Internet. That number is expected to rise to 65.2% by 2021.
In developing countries, even in locations where more traditional public services such as roads, water and electricity are non-existent, according to the Pew Research Center in a 2013 study of 21 emerging economies, 45% of the populations used smartphones. Whilst in the larger economies of Brazil, China and Malaysia, that figure increases to 54%. According to Wiley Online Library, it is fairly standard that 65% of all online transactions comes from mobile phones and tend to be local in nature. This works well for ordering pizza but, when it comes to financial services, whether these are paying micro-loans, moving money between accounts or buying stocks, it is also an area of uncertainty, fear and insecurity for many users.
Online banking started in the 1980s but it was, initially, too slow to catch on with individual users: electronic payments systems for moving large amounts of money, on the interbank system, for international trade, foreign exchange and securities etc., were developed first. But, since 2002, personal online banking has become the fastest area of growth, even, in 2010, being rated by metrics.com as growing faster than the internet itself. In order to grow with the trend and retain competitiveness, commercial banks find themselves having to anticipate the rapid changes in banking use, to target their customers more effectively with specific services, to tailor systems and services to individual needs and thereby, to improve profitability.
Some digital marketing platforms support commercial banks in this challenge without diverting banking staff from their core activities. They tailor their assistance to the character and mission of each individual bank, aiding it to capitalise on, and get ahead of, changes in the way customers use banking services. Additionally, they monitor and adapt banking services in real time in response to constant analysis of customer online behaviour, within the framework of the banking law and the bank’s norms and procedures. T
he permanent analysis of customer movements, established needs, preferences, interests and usage is compared with available data from other sources. The resulting information allows the bank to study the behaviour of its customers, but, more importantly, to understand that behaviour, to have empathy with that behaviour and, by extension, to establish services adapted to their clients personalized needs.
Apart from helping banks to retain the loyalty of existing clients, digital marketing platforms for financial services also allow banks to capitalize on the empowerment that access to the Internet provides to groups that were previously unserved by banking services, such as the elderly, the homebound, lower socio-economic groups who do not hold bank accounts, etc.
It makes banking services more helpful and easy to use, more user-friendly. But more importantly, digital marketing systems tailor the banking services to more individualized requirements, such as language, cultural norms and reading levels, creating trust so that those services resonate with a wider client base. This, in turn, allows the bank to internally monitor the functionalibility and profitability of each service and to digitally adjust immediately as needed.
It’s a win-win situation for customers, the institution, and for the shareholders alike. If we could rewrite Aesop's Fable with full poetic license we could write that in the end the boy found a way to domesticate the wolf and make it take care of his sheep. And everybody lived happily ever after.
In this context, Prisma Campaigns as a marketing automation platform covers all those needs in the finantial world of today.