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Insight to Impact: Leveraging Digital Intelligence Platforms For Personalised Financial Services

“I want the world, I want the whole world

I want to lock it all up in my pocket, It's my bar of chocolate

Give it to me now! Don’t care how, I want it now.”

- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory


Seems like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory had an idea of what the digital customers of today would expect from companies. That is, the desire for just in time personalised customer experience which Google, Apple, Amazon have made commonplace today.

The financial industry is in the middle of a paradigm shift, centered on how value is perceived and delivered. However, financial services has been slow to react and for the most part is still pushing standardised products using traditional mass marketing channels. These either fail to consider consumers as individuals or capitalise on opportunities to service their hopes, needs and desires at a personalised level in the right context.

The best experiences are the ones that are seamless. Uber is cited, with good reason, for using APIs to create a new type of experience for a service, in this case private hire cabs, and fundamentally changing expectations. It left the incumbents playing catch up through a series of poorly thought out apps that missed the point that digital transformation is not about having an app. It’s the provision of a highly tailored, personalised service.

The winners in this new world will be those that can effectively communicate the exchange of value that is taking place—both the value of the data customers are sharing, and of the value of the benefits they will receive in return.

Creative agencies and digital marketing firms have realised this trend too. No longer can they rely on marketing to a target audience of everyone that puts them in danger of appealing to no one.

Google even defines these as micro-moments of customer interactions such as: want-to-know moments; want-to-go moments; want-to-do moments; and want-to-buy moments. These have accelerated consumer expectations for “right here, right now” experiences. 

True personalisation

Your digital transformation strategy has to cross the enterprise chasm between marketing, technology, operations and creative to offer personalisation to customers. By leveraging unique first and third-party data, intelligence and real-time decision treatment, a coordinated and tailored engagement can be delivered uniquely to every customer.

Some financial services firms have typically run their “go digital” strategies in siloes across technology, operations and marketing with different goals and objectives. Data has rarely crossed these boundaries be it because of political or other differences in objectives.

However, we’re starting to see firms look across the spectrum to truly leverage customer data, third-party behavioural data and delivery channels. This is evident by key metrics such as better NPS Scores, higher customer wallet share and cross-product usage. Intelligence platforms, which allow you to demystify and enhance the view of your customer, can contextualise customer views based on intent and behaviour.

Digital Intelligence Platforms

To succeed, firms need to examine ways to use the data they hold to bring benefits to their customers, including their technology stack and the ability to gather, interpret and utilise data in interesting and useful ways. It also requires the technology expertise to design and deliver valuable, personalised services.

However, with the opportunity come risks. It’s one thing to be able to tell in advance from the patterns of behaviour revealed in a customer’s transactional data that they are in danger of financial distress. It’s another thing entirely to have the level of trust and personal engagement that will allow your organisation to communicate with them pre-emptively on a sensitive topic.

Most people agree that without the data, the services required to be successful won’t come to fruition. But banks and other providers need to really think about the data beyond trying to drive conversation based on statistical correlations. That will only get you so far.

To win consumers’ trust for personalised services that depend on access to their private data, consumers must clearly understand (and enjoy) the value they gain in return for sharing highly personal information.

This is where digital intelligence platforms can help companies gain insights into customer needs and behaviours that create better experiences and deliver revenue-generating outcomes. This data platform-based approach can help unify marketing, creative, data, technology and operations within your organisation to offer contextual services to your customers.

I see some interesting use cases when talking to clients around leveraging digital platforms and external insights. For example, a retail firm can translate the interest a client has in a certain type of ETF product to marketing teams using the data from an intelligence platform to create tailored products for clients and leveraging digital channels to offer those.

Institutional clients see similar benefits when market signals are converted to actionable engagements at the right time. There are social trends, location trends and data about behaviour which when combined with internal know how of customers can create a right moment, right time brand experience.

The “don’t care how, I want it now” customers of today will need more than a cool interface. They require a well-thought-out intent to impact journey. One that takes the individual’s financial requirements and personal needs into account at every step of that journey. A digital intelligence platform can help financial services firms do just that.


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