How to maximize customer engagement and top-line results

RBA uses analytics to better connect with customers and establish long-lasting relationships

In today’s banking industry, more and more institutions are focusing on delivering personalized offers to their retail banking clients. With consumers having a variety of banks in Croatia to choose from, Raiffeisen Bank Austria d.d. Croatia (RBA) is using customer analytics to ensure its clients are happy and will remain loyal for the long run.

We saw results in just six months. Conversion rates grew from 2.2% to 36% for credit cards, general consumer loans grew from 1.14% to 6.6%  and SME short-term products rose from 0.9% to 9%.

Vlasta Žubrnić-Pick
RBA Board Member Overseeing Retail

The retail group of RBA has prepared and executed direct marketing campaigns to its clients since 2004. However, the bank lacked the data and technology to better manage customer relationships.

Its main challenges were:

  • Product-centric CRM business processes.
  • Suboptimal campaign target selection and campaign management processes.
  • Lack of experienced CRM staff.
  • Insufficient technology and CRM data structure.

Business processes within the bank were mainly oriented toward RBA’s products. Marketing campaigns were limited to current offers and connected promotional activities. A large number of clients were targeted with these campaigns independently from their business behaviors or relationships with the bank. RBA lacked structured data, and it didn’t have experienced staff in the field of business analytics and data mining.

“All CRM campaigns were conducted manually, from the selection of clients and contact policy enforcement to the execution of campaigns through communication channels,” explains Vlasta Žubrnić-Pick, an RBA board member overseeing retail.

Moving from a product-oriented approach to a customer-oriented approach

The bank decided it was time to transform its marketing and sales tactics to better engage clients. It turned to SAS for its CRM needs and to improve sales results in its retail and small and medium enterprise (SME) portfolio.

After RBA and SAS collaborated on the bank’s goals, they determined that SAS® Customer Analytics for Banking, which includes analytics for customer segmentation, cross-sell and up-sell, and retention supported by a banking data model, would be the ideal solution. Employees at RBA delved into analytical customer segmentation to develop predictive models pertaining to credit card applications, loan acquisitions and affinity for short-term financing.

After launching campaigns based on those models, results showed the quality of the models and confirmed the bank’s predictions of clients’ probability to buy. Monitoring migrations of newly defined client segments showed that the segments were stable and well prepared.

From this point, the bank dramatically changed how business was planned and executed, moving from a product-oriented approach to a customer-oriented approach. “Now we’re in a position to offer products and services to our clients with regard to their needs and through each client’s preferred communication channel,” says Žubrnić-Pick.

Major progress in minimal time

“We saw results in just six months,” she says. “Conversion rates grew from 2.2 to 36 percent for credit cards, general consumer loans grew from 1.14 percent to 6.6 percent and SME short-term products rose from 0.9 percent to 9 percent.”

The bank spends less money on customer retention and acquisition activities, while its revenue has increased. And RBA still continues to provide the high level of customer service its clients know and love.

“The most important shift we experienced during the project implementation was a mindset shift, which is reflected in our approach and interaction with clients,” says Žubrnić-Pick. “Now that we better understand our clients and their needs, the marketing and sales activities we plan are differently appointed and executed – and we’ve seen very positive results.”

The transformation to a customer-centric organization had a substantial impact on RBA’s organizational setup, technology and data infrastructure, but most of all on its people. “We have invested in our employees’ skills and knowledge, and in return they showed remarkable interest and engagement,” says Žubrnić-Pick. “We believe that is the only way to remain competitive in today’s changing environment, and above all to meet the needs and expectations of your clients.”

Raiffeisen Bank Logo


  • Top-line results below expectations.
  • Product-centric CRM business process.
  • Suboptimal campaign target selection and campaign management process.
  • Lack of experienced CRM staff.
  • Insufficient technology and CRM data structure.


SAS® Marketing Automation


  • Conversion rates grew from 2.2% to 36% for credit cards.
  • General consumer loans grew from 1.14% to 6.6%.
  • SME short-term products rose from 0.9% to 9%.


RBA was the first bank in Croatia founded by a foreign financial institution. It offers a range of financial products and services to clients in the Croatian market.

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.