I think one cannot overstate the importance of customer segmentation. Unfortunately, banking segmentation has remained largely unimaginative, with customers being grouped together based on the size of their accounts. While numbers are important, they do
not paint a complete or nuanced picture of the customer. True customer understanding comes from knowing who your customers really are, and that includes knowing where and how they live, what they do and what they like, think and feel.
It’s time banking segmentation became more creative. Intuitively, we know that people linked by culture or profession will have at least something in common, regardless of how much money they have in the bank. Thus, geography, demographics, language, ethnicity,
gender and profession must all influence segmentation strategy.
When banks look at customers in this new light, they will spot hidden needs that they can go on to fulfil through targeted offerings. And by that I don’t mean just products and services. As they drill-down segments and get to know their customers intimately,
banks can propose an optimal product-service-channel bundle at a “best price” to each customer, based on their preferences. For instance, Gen Y customers, who are mainly “transactors” could be offered savings accounts products and related services over online
channels free of cost, but charged a fee for in-branch service.
Using multi-channel, real-time marketing campaigns at the level of one, would be a great example of how to achieve true customer-specificity. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of any segmentation strategy?
Checklist Item 1: Let customer interest drive innovation
Checklist Item 2: Focus innovatively on each customer
Checklist Item 3: Hold on to your customers!