It’s personal: how financial comms have evolved

by Stratton Craig

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Big data; big insight
Big data, small data and everything in between means there is now an unprecedented volume of information available on millions of global consumers. Companies are already harnessing the huge potential this offers and customising their products and marketing efforts according to customer profiles.
A personalised approach
This concept, known as personalisation, allows businesses to segment consumers – both current customers and prospects – with granular detail. Personalisation is being applied across all forms of communications, from online content to tailored account dashboards, and SMS and email communications.
Traditionally, banking involved a highly personal relationship between the customer and bank manager. But then the FinTech (financial technology) movement burst onto the scene and changed the nature of consumer banking irreversibly. Nowadays, you’re far more likely to conduct banking transactions on your mobile than you are to step foot inside your local branch. The majority of us no longer have a personal relationship with our bank. Or at least that’s how it may seem.
In actual fact, that relationship is still there; it’s just founded on data rather than personal interaction. If you log into your online financial dashboard, you’ll probably land on a page with offers tailored to your financial activity. For example, if you’ve been managing your finances well, there may be a new loan or new product on offer to reward you for your good financial management skills.
The FinTech revolution
Banks’ reputations took a serious beating following the financial crisis. Perhaps not coincidentally, at the same time the global FinTech revolution arrived and opened up a wealth of new financial opportunities. Crowdfunding organisations and online investment portfolios provided a dynamic alternative to traditional investing, while social trading platforms allowed consumers to start trading on the market. People realised that the reputation and tradition of the financial stalwarts didn’t guarantee security, and they reacted with gusto to new financial opportunities springing up around them.
Banks bounce back
But there’s a new movement afoot. Banks are now remembering the value of building relationships while moving with the times to offer consumers the flexibility and personalised financial solutions they crave. Global banking giant RBS is taking the lead in this approach – focusing on customer service as a way to gain market share. The controversial institution is set to invest more than £100 million in data analytics technology that will enable it to offer consumers a personalised banking service not seen since the 1970s. By harvesting a new level of insight they’ll be able to understand their consumers on a personal level and offer them customised products and financial solutions that meet their needs. What’s more, the advantage of big data technology and modern CRM platforms means they can do this with huge financial and time savings, compared to traditional methods.
Working for the consumer
RBS’s new approach will involve everything from wishing customers happy birthday to analysing their accounts and highlighting potential savings. It will even include texting customers who forget to take their money when using a cash machine to let them know it’s safe. This is certainly a shift in relationship from the profit-driven ethos of recent times.
It seems that the future of financial services is in fact a return to the past, albeit with all the benefits of modern technology.

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