Financial Marketers often find themselves having to understand and utilise new technologies in order to reach out to new and existing consumers, even as those consumers’ preferences rapidly change. Embracing Big Data by analysing both internal and external data, structured and unstructured, can help bank and credit union marketers keep pace with the massive changes sweeping across the financial industry.

Many financial marketers are already using data analysis software to successfully leverage their organisations’ data lakes in order to gain additional insights that could help to improve customer relations, deliver more relevant product offerings and create a more dedicated, bespoke customer experience, but even the most astute and progressive financial marketing professionals need to be asking the right questions of the right data sets before they can begin to extract any value from it.

Here are three common marketing challenges facing retail banks and credit unions, and how data analytics is helping to address them:

1. Millenials Don’t Want Traditional Banking

The Millennial generation is a paradox to many institutions. Some market studies report that Millennials are very careful with how and where they spend their money, whilst others reveal that they’re fickle and nomadic. The truth is that Millennials are not much different than other demographics when it comes to their needs and expectation of financial services. They want a personalised service that makes them feel like a valued customer — with every interaction through their channels of choice.

If marketers aren’t using analytics to understand what resonates with Millennials (and other customers) and further cultivate them, they are missing a golden opportunity. Financial marketers aren’t going to get the full picture of this from data within their own network, especially if they’re trying to reach new customers. This means using analytics to gain information from outside, unstructured sources such as social media, where Millennials are more than likely commenting about finance goals such as trying to pay off student loans, saving money, or moving out on their own, is necessary in order to fully understand this demographic and respond accordingly.

2. Customer Loyalty is Dead

In a report by renowned digital analyst and futurist Brian Solis, 71% of executives said their number one challenge is understanding the behaviour and impact of new customers. Staying on top of consumer behaviour is possible with greater use of data analysis technologies combined with critical decision-making. Marketers at financial services firms can achieve better results through data analysis, but a good first step is figuring out which business problems are a priority, and where the data exists to analyse and strategize around those problems from a marketing perspective.

Many banks and financial firms closely tie their customer relationships with loyalty programs, and while this strategy is successful in retaining valued current customers, it’s inwardly focused. Banks and credit unions need analytics that can help them evaluate unstructured, external data that can provide insight into other key metrics like brand awareness, brand consideration and brand perception.

3. Struggling to Define the Customer Experience

Institutions are collecting huge volumes of data to stay agile, refine and adapt their marketing and sales opportunities, and ultimately provide the best customer experience possible. Data from each customer touchpoint, social mentions, and publicly available digital channels is all part of the picture of what needs to be analysed to gain a holistic view of the customer experience.

But what is customer experience? It’s a buzzword that gets associated with a lot of elements pertaining to how a company interacts or approaches customers. The report from Brian Solis also found that “customer experience” is the top driver of digital transformation, supported by ongoing investments in IT and marketing technology. Attracting new customers is an obvious marketing goal, but keeping current customers satisfied is equally important. Marketing should apply analytics around metrics such as “buying experience” and “current customer engagement” to help them understand their customers. Analysing all available data is the fastest way to get closer to customers, and the closer an organisation is, the better experience it can deliver. This can help lead them through the decision funnel to purchase.

Read the full article here.