Intelligent marketing for independent customers

Swiss PostFinance AG focuses on customers who value independence and efficiency. Nearly half the bank’s 2.9 million customers manage their financial transactions online. How do you get to know customers who never (or rarely) come to a branch? By analyzing online and offline customer contact to understand customer needs.

The bank wants to use big data analytics to cross-sell in a way that maintains a positive customer experience. Data showed that two of three offers don’t fit a customer’s current situation, and the traditional approach of flooding customers with ads, mailing or calls not only annoys customers, but is too expensive and potentially violates newer, more restrictive laws designed to protect consumers.

Our experience shows there is no alternative to the analytical multichannel marketing. The benefit to our customers, our employees and our results of operations is obvious.

Fabian Kollros
Head of Marketing Services

“It was already clear several years ago that customer relationship management was radically changing. That is why we are counting today on analysis-based, highly specific marketing across all channels,” says Fabian Kollros, head of PostFinance’s Marketing Services. “We want to approach the right customer with the right product at the appropriate time via the channel of his or her choice – and with little effort and with good prospects for success at that.”

Matching the offer to the event

Kollros uses credit card marketing as an example. The right customer is likely to respond to the offer – for example, somebody who has a PostFinance account but uses a credit card from another institution. An example of offering the right product is a credit card for someone who is often abroad but does not carry one. The right channel is the communication channel that the customer prefers. For instance, the customer who banks in person might not be a good candidate for an email.

But the biggest challenge is selecting the right time to make an offer. It is important to be able to quickly match an event, such as an upcoming wedding or career entry, with an accounting event, such as a large deposit of money. “We must take up such opportunities at once. For, these are the moments when customers not only approve of advice but even expect advice,” Kollros says. Making these matches requires analytics that can quickly sift through transaction and outside data sources for nearly 1 million customers. Millions of pieces of information on these customers must be continuously analyzed, evaluated, processed and distributed. And the information must be available to PostFinance’s 11,000 employees when the opportunity presents itself.

PostFinance chose SAS® Marketing Automation. “SAS can sensibly deal with large data volumes. After all, having good campaign ideas and wanting to use new channels is not good at all if you then become slowed by the infrastructure,” Kollros says. PostFinance can now calculate offers for each customer daily – 2.9 million cross-selling proposals and 1.6 million customer care suggestions for branch employees and marketing professionals – for both in- and outbound activities.

“Our experience shows us that there is no alternative to the analytical multichannel marketing,” says Kollros. “The benefit for our employees and our results of operations is obvious. For PostFinance, this definitely means a competitive advantage in the saturated Swiss market.”



Individualized, event-related and customer-oriented marketing for 2.9 million customers in one of Switzerland’s leading financial institutions with 115 billion CHF in customer assets (US$118 billion) as of 2013.


SAS® Marketing Automation


Automation of 2.9 million customized cross-selling proposals and 1.6 million customer care recommendations.

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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