Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Today’s consumers expect communications be specific to their individual situation. A one-size fits all cookie cutter approach is no longer accepted, and as financial institutions we do not get a pass on this.  Customers know we have large amounts of information on them and expect that we will use it to communicate with them as individuals. To accomplish this hyper-specific customer journey, we must unlock the individualized data to automatically reach each customer with the right message, at the right time, all the time.

Here are 10 steps to help you drive a more meaningful customer journey:

  1. Get the Whole Picture:
    Sometimes in life, we are forced to make decisions without all the information. But given the option, more information is better. All too often, financial marketers approach data in this way. We use data just from their core banking systems to drive marketing, painting an incomplete picture. It’s not uncommon for banks to have dozens of systems containing significant amounts of unique customer information (i.e mortgage, credit card, debit card, home banking, wealth, trust, insurance, mobile, etc.) An effective data strategy includes a complete view of the customer. Without it, problems will follow. 
  1. Don’t Look Foolish:
    Having a complete picture of your customer’s household means you won’t be at risk of asking a customer to open a product, only to have them say, “I’ve had that with you for years!” 
  1. Model for Opportunities:
    Not looking foolish is important, but it doesn’t inspire greatness. Data allows you to project what financial products people have and their likely pre-disposition. Building models of this nature is accomplished by cross-referencing the purchase of off-shelf cross-sales models, or even more robust transaction modeling solutions. Regardless of which strategy best fits your budget and goals, leveraging data in this way enables you to make more compelling offers to your customers that are relevant to their unique situation.
  2. Pace of Data:
    Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t monitor your customers every day, they could leave you. Ingesting and reviewing data on a monthly basis are so last century. To truly anticipate customer needs and present meaningful suggestions, you must continually monitor customer activities on a daily basis at the very least. This continual process of monitoring major and more nuanced changes in customer behavior is the key to relevance.
  3. Drive Automation:
    With a complete picture of your customers, one that is continually updated and modeled for opportunities, you can accurately drive automated marketing through email, text, digital, and direct marketing channels. In other words, your data never sleeps. It’s constantly monitoring a change in customer behavior to kick-off a unique journey based upon what is currently going on in that customer’s financial life, not because back in December you decided June was the right time to talk about debit cards.
  4. Variability:
    Leveraging data is more than building a better list. Drive the data down into the marketing itself to speak to each individual customer based on their specific situation and location on their unique financial journey.
  5. Deliver a Hyper-Specific Customer Journey:
    Today, successful financial institutions have hundreds of potential messages queued up waiting for a customer to do something or not do something. Whatever elements can be captured in a data feed, can be used to kick-off a series of dynamic conversations unique to that specific customer’s current situation.
  6. Understand the Impact of Multiple Channels:
    What if you knew which marketing channel delivered the best results? Would that impact how you allocated your resources? Does text do better than email? Does email perform better than direct mail? What if you used several channels together to ‘touch’ your customers in different ways, at different times? According to a 2021 Marquis study of the banking industry, with nearly one million real-world unique marketing touches—direct mail working in concert with email outperformed email alone by 129.2 percent. Using both channels deliver an exponential effect as response rate more than doubles.
  1. Know Your Results:
    Using data to drive your marketing allows you to use the same refreshed information to track your results. Did the customer have the product or use the service before? Are they now using it for the first time? If so, there is a direct response to your marketing. No more guessing your effectiveness. You will know dollar-for-dollar what you contribute to your institution’s bottom line.
  2. Increase your Marketing Budget and Influence:
    When you can prove your results and show the impact of your marketing efforts, expanding marketing efforts becomes a good business decision. Banking is a business and when you can show your results in terms of dollars to the bottom line rather than likes on your Facebook page, it makes sense to do more of what’s working.



SVP, Regional Manager, Marquis

Sean Cunningham is currently SVP, Regional Manager with Marquis, a company that helps nearly 800 banks and credit unions drive automated hyper-specific customer journeys. The Marquis approach starts by aggregating, assembling, and analyzing each institution’s unique data to build a unique path designed for each individual customer and their specific situation across multiple channels.  Over the last seven years, this approach has yielded a 512% average direct annual return on investment for Marquis clients.

Prior to joining Marquis in 2006, Sean was Chief Marketing & Retail Officer with a community bank in Illinois, where his efforts were focused on achieving positive ROI through targeted marketing.  Additionally, he implemented and managed the bank’s sales and service initiatives.  Sean lives in Central Illinois with his wife and two kids.