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Turkish bank puts a new twist on the free toaster

How CRM helped Yapi Kredi create campaigns that were “green” in more ways than one

Nazan Somer, Executive Vice President of Retail Banking for Yapi Kredi

Offering a “giveaway” in exchange for purchasing a product or service is a classic marketing tactic for many companies, financial institutions included. In Turkey, Yapi Kredi customers who choose from the “oak” group of products can have an oak tree planted in their honor. But the bank’s green strategy is more than a clever marketing campaign – the approach was developed by analyzing what customers they wanted to reach, how to reach them and then measuring the results.

And the results have been impressive.  At the Premier Business Leadership Conference in Amsterdam, Nazan Somer, Executive Vice President of Retail Banking for Yapi Kredi shared that the bank has doubled its customer base in two years, increased the number of products sold to retail customers by 48 percent, increased its cross-sell successes by 32 percent, and grew retail bank revenues by 43 percent. All of this while not offering the oak tree to everyone.

The key has been a robust customer research management strategy to segment what is marketed to which customers and prospective customers in a way that doesn’t require anyone in sales to do any statistical heavy lifting. “We cook it up for them,’’ explains Somer. A “Winning Customer Index” is created for each segment that Somer’s team has identified. The index is calculated weekly for around 6 million active customers and – this is critical – is available to every Yapi Kredi employee who comes in contact with customers. “You can’t execute this strategy without strong and sound analytics,’’ Somer explains.

The customer relationship management analytics has been critical not only to acquiring new customers and cross-selling to existing ones but also retaining customers in the most cost effective way possible. Yapi Kredi has done extensive data mining and CRM work to identify customers that are most open to phone banking, for instance.   

But back to the oak trees. Turkey is in strong growth mode with a young population and a growing business sector, yet the market is “very competitive,’’ Somer says.  Yapi Kredi wants to grow in a sustainable and profitable manner. To do this, the bank needed a more customer-centric approach that favored customers with the best long-term potential for the bank . The packages that included a free tree planting are specifically tailored to bring in the right customers that fit the bank’s profile. It is not a one size fits all approach and it encourages the sales teams in branches, and within units, to sell specific types of products – not whatever they can sell. Those products, and who they are marketed to, do change as the Winning Customer Index is recalculated each week, allowing the bank to reshape strategy as necessary.  “This has changed from a product-oriented mindset,’’ Somer says.

It is also a process that is heavily dependent on analytics. “We build models all the time, next best product models, churn models,’’ Somer says.  “We can’t sit back and enjoy (our success),” Somer says. “We need to improve churn, need to be fast and integrate social media. All will be powered, inevitably, by business analytics.”  

To read more about Yapi Kredi’s success check out this case study.

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