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How marketing analytics works for banks

Customer intelligence software helps Permanent TSB offer customers what they want, when they want it

Bankers often use marketing analytics to figure out how to sell their products and services. At Permanent TSB, analytics also drives the kinds of products we offer in the first place. By “reverse engineering” the process, we’ve created products and services that better meet our clients’ needs.

Historically we took the blanket approach to marketing – everyone got the same message. We might send marketing messages on mortgages to a retired couple with a paid-off house and to a 25-year-old with no need for one. When we started using analytics, we began to segment customers so that we could target the messages. This dramatically increased the effectiveness of our messages – as it should – because the targeted messages aligned more closely with the customer’s wants and needs.

Reverse engineering

Now we are using the analytical insights to inform our product development decisions. This is critical and has helped us reshape our products over the past two years – offering more Web and mobile applications, and providing loan products that will appeal to a customer base that is recovering from the recent recession. Analytics helped us see that people increasingly want “simple” products – and that’s what we’re offering.

As we’ve increased our use of analytics, we’ve also discovered two key things worth sharing:

  • One question leads to another. When you start working with analytics, you end up asking more questions than you ever thought possible. Each answer spurs another round of questions. That helps drive modernization and improvement.
  • Visual analytics tools matter. To articulate the insights from data, you need to present them in a way that doesn’t require an analytics background to understand. Being able to present the data visually is probably as important as trying to get the data.

Although we aren’t there yet, we are working toward making sure that when a customer contacts us we know exactly the right offer to provide them. After all, if they are contacting us, it’s highly probable that they are actively looking for a financial product. We are utilizing our analytics to prompt our staff to offer just the right product.

Catching the analytics fever

In addition, our early successes in marketing caught the attention of other units in the bank. A lot of other internal customers are looking for customer information that we might be able to supply. A good example is in the collections environment: We’ve unearthed some customer insights that allow collections to focus its efforts a little bit more in certain areas.

There is one area that we aren’t that focused on yet – the whole big data area. We’re a midsize financial institution in a country of four million people. Maybe it is because the analytics solution we’ve deployed is taking care of our needs so well that we aren’t looking to adopt a big data solution right now. It is definitely something we’re watching, though.

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