In today's turbulent economy, prudence and targeted investments have replaced investors' unbridled market optimism, which drove active trading and propelled profits at financial services firms. Not only are investors harder to "sell" in the current environment, they are also increasingly difficult to reach, as a growing number of consumers are tuning out marketing and advertising. According to a white paper by business management consulting firm Peppers & Rogers, "Consumers see over 3,000 [direct and indirect] marketing messages each day. Over 60 percent cite 'over-solicitation' as a reason to defect." And organizations continue to fuel consumer "tune out" with marketing programs that fail to leverage proprietary company intelligence to create timely, compelling messages.
Disparate data sources and systems, and the inability to draw accurate conclusions from company data, are at the very core of today's financial services marketing challenges. To address sales and profitability goals, financial institutions must automate and streamline marketing processes throughout the three core customer marketing areas: attracting, retaining and growing customers. Organizations that implement a cohesive campaign management solution across all departments are well positioned to increase revenues by establishing long-lasting dialogues with customers that translate into ongoing sales.
Attract Customers: Speaking Their Language
Financial institutions have traditionally implemented broad-brush marketing campaigns rather than develop tailored messages designed to resonate with specific audiences and their unique needs. This approach is simply not effective with today's consumers, who are increasingly accustomed to more-personalized marketing, particularly via online channels that leverage customer histories to present tailored content.
The situation is increasingly complex for financial services institutions, as customers access information and communicate with them through multiple touch points. Organizations have ramped up quickly to provide new applications, such as live online chat, to communicate effectively with customers and prospects. The drive to implement new customer-facing applications rapidly has created a corporate disconnect internally, with each communications channel owned by a different department. Segmented ownership of customer information prevents organizations from effectively serving -- and selling to -- their key target audiences.
Many financial services organizations still must integrate multiple systems and platforms to gain a comprehensive customer view. Technologies such as Web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA) are enabling organizations to integrate multiple systems, while databases and other enterprise applications are providing the performance and availability to support dynamic campaign management programs.
Effective Data Capture: Efficient Lead Generation
Marketing executives are building a strong business case for more-precise, -targeted and -intelligent data-driven marketing campaigns. Effective capture and analysis of responses to a marketing campaign are central to a new strategy for attracting customers. Equipped with this information, marketers can track, refine and improve their future campaigns. This task has been simplified as firms have improved their data mining and customer segmentation abilities.
Campaign managers use data mining and scoring exercises to generate target lists. Once a campaign is identified, campaign management software can automate and integrate the planning and execution of a campaign. It ensures the creation of a single data repository that can capture and store all customer and employee interactions across all channels. To harvest companywide data, real-time decision (RTD) platforms deliver both rules and predictive analytics to power solutions for real-time enterprise decision management.
A central component of enterprise decision management is communicating with sales targets based on their preferences. Opt-in and opt-out preferences, for example, are managed automatically in real time to ensure a campaign only contacts viable prospects. Contacting clients via their preferred method, which is often electronically, reduces marketing costs and increases the number of impressions for each campaign. Additional campaign visibility -- including which customers opened the e-mail -- is invaluable when analyzing campaign success and augmenting future programs.