Last week--March 28th--in a webinar co-sponsored by ForesightOne and Lemnisk, our own Pedro Rego sat down with Pedro Barata, a Digital Strategy Executive at Itau Bank, and Alan Sarasohn, who serves as the VP of FinServ Practice at the advisory and contact recruitment firm Softworld, to answer an important question.
What does the future of marketing for banks and FinServ institutions look like, and what solutions and strategies will ultimately lead the way.
The resulting conversation is worth listening to in full, and the contributions of each speaker are vast. As I myself listened, I was thrilled to hear Mr. Rego, Mr. Barata, and Mr. Sarasohn engage with traditional ideas about banking marketing with an eye towards innovation--digesting what works and throwing out what doesn't.
Think Globally, Act Locally
Mr. Barata begins his portion of the conversation by invoking this maxim, swiftly noting that it's become a well worn cliche. More often than we'd like to admit, however, cliches are cliches for a reason, and over the next ten minutes, Mr. Barata teaches listeners how to leverage the essential kernel of truth to the platitude, while avoiding the laziness that often comes with working of common wisdom.
As Mr. Barata explains, the core challenge facing many banks is the temptation to simply latch on to whatever solutions seem trendy or popular, blindly replicating the approach in hopes of automatically replicating the success of other institutions. It is in these scenarios that the "cliche-ness" of a saying such as "Think Globally, Act Locally" becomes detrimental, because in these scenarios, banks and other businesses act on the superficial suggestion of the saying without ever truly interrogating why it's true, or what they might have to do to deploy the strategy in a way that's unique to them.
Per Mr. Barata, clients that are more in touch with their mobile devices, and the convenience of banking with them, are going to be more demanding and more expectant--the basics of digital marketing are now rote instead of impressive. Compounding this challenge is the fact that the market is moving faster, and institutions must be more agile, as a result. Banks who are complacent in their marketing tools and solutions will lose clients who expect increasingly more from their banking providers.
In this case, the wisdom of "Think Globally, Act Locally" goes beyond "focus on individual customers, and build strategies that can do so on the largest scale" and demands that banks keep in constant contact with both the smallest and the largest ecosystems--from the individual customer to world finance as a whole--and develop strategies that dynamically respond to the perpetual evolution of each.
For Pedro Barata, the key to this lies in developing an agile culture for your bank--one that is always in touch with the core principles of your institution, but it also willing to take risks and respond to diverse customer ideas and needs.
Open Banking, as Mr. Barata emphasizes, represents that culmination of truly agile marketing culture: the integration of applications and partnerships with various businesses and brands, so that your bank is able to provide services for customers from their favorite retailers or airlines, while also leveraging the data customers provide for your own bank, and protecting it as per customer preferences.
With this approach, banks create a sprawling and inter-connected network of features, solutions, and deals that are all rooted in the individualized behaviors of the customer.
This model has no better ally than Customer Data Platforms.
Added Value Platforms vs Transactional-Based Systems
In exploring the value of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) in achieving the goals Mr. Barata outlines, Mr. Rego hits on an important point: how is your marketing team--and the strategy of your business--treating customer data?
Part of the power of CDPs is the efficiency and accuracy with which they are able to collect, sort, and ultimately leverage customer data--creating hyper-personalized profiles that empower banks to deploy individualized marketing initiatives that can predict and respond to customer wants in real-time.
What's vital to this approach is the recognition that data cannot simply be viewed as transactional. Your relationship with a customer cannot be in the model of "give me your data and down the line we'll send you a cool discount on something."
That transactional system is transparently manipulative, mercenary, and off-putting. In order to create a relationship, your solutions must present specific, clear, and organic value-adds for your clients. As various high-profile hacks and instances of data misuse become more and more common, clients must trust that you have their best interests at heart, and that you aren't simply lusting after their data to sell to other businesses. Providing a roster of truly beneficial offerings will drive success for banks in both the B2B and B2C endeavors (and the partnerships formed in each of these use cases will ultimately benefit those in the other, if properly tended).
Relationships are built on trust, and the foundational value of all of your marketing and the relationships it strives to build must be the genuine desire and ability to make the lives of your clients better and easier through your offerings.
Digital Strategy Means Digital Security
In his segment, Mr. Sarasohn turns an eye to the question of compliance and data governance, emphasizing not only the crucial nature of both these topics for banks, but also how Open Banking and CDPs offer a more transparent and dynamic approach to solving such issues.
As he rightfully acknowledges, many larger banks have begun adopting these strategies and solutions, while smaller institutions are just getting started. Still, Mr. Sarasohn emphasizes, understanding the growing implications of digital transformation and compliance, as energized by regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, is essential to building a marketing approach that not only unites the departments of your bank, but accurately and securely builds organic and responsive customer relationships.
The Future is Here. Don't Miss It.
In excavating a diverse range of topics as specific as Lemnisk's unique approach to banking CDPs and as broad as the essence of digital transformation, the conversation among Pedro Barata, Pedro Rego, and Alan Sarasohn provides a wide variety of insights as to what the future of banking marketing will hold, and how businesses should be preparing for it.
ForesightOne is consistently looking to explore topics relevant to you, our readers, and if you enjoy this webinar we would love to hear your remaining questions, and what issues in MarTech, AdTech, and the FinServ industry you want to discuss.
Did you Know? Innovative Marketers Already do!
At ForesightOne we can help your FinServ Institution develop an Innovation Center of Excellence and leverage innovative technologies such as Lemnisk's Customer Data Platform to drive marketing performance.