4 Things Financial Services Can Learn from Retail

By Heike Young

Retailers have long understood that personalization drives business. They have also embraced the movement from batch-and-blast marketing to 1-to-1 interactions — and retail customers have come to expect it.

Of course, financial services is a completely different beast, with its own challenges and restrictions. Recently, however, savvy marketers from banks and financial institutions have begun embracing the idea of personalizing every interaction for their customers. Marketers in the financial field are taking fundamentals from the retailer’s personalization playbook, weaving them into their own business strategies.

In a new e-book from Salesforce, What Financial Services Can Learn from Retail, we explore some of these strategies that retail has long used to craft a personalized experience for customers. If you’re in the banking and financial industry, you may want to consider these ideas and do the same.

Here are the top four things that the financial services industry can learn from retail. Read much more detail in the full e-book.

1. Collect data about your customers — then make it actionable.

It might not come as a surprise, but data is king in business today. Retailers know it’s not only about immense amounts of data. They make it actionable and leverage it to make key marketing decisions. Retailers try to collect every click, customer interaction, and purchase — regardless of channel.

2. Create an engagement strategy by taking action on interesting moments.

After you’ve started building the profile through events that capture explicit and implicit data points, it’s time to define “interesting moments” in the sales cycle and encourage customers to take a specific action.

An interesting moment is a pivotal moment in the customer journey. In the retail world, this is most often the time when a shopping cart is abandoned and the action is recorded in the customer’s profile. A reengagement email is then triggered within 24 hours of the cart abandonment. In the banking world, this might consist of a customer logging into their account online and beginning an application for a new credit card, but leaving before it’s complete.

3. Personalize the experience of every customer on a 1-to-1 level at each interaction point.

Imagine a world where every email, mobile offer, social ad, website, and live retail atmosphere was personalized just for you. Believe it or not, this theme is alive and well in the retail world today. This might seem like an unreachable goal, but this is the way businesses are moving.

In financial industries, this could be as simple as understanding customer behavior and creating an automated trigger based on collected data.

4. Create a singular view of the customer across your business.

Retailers have begun to leverage data they’ve gathered about each and every customer in order to arm the entire organization with insights on what their customers are wanting and needing as they interact with different parts of the company.

Each of these four plays is a piece of the puzzle. Collectively, they help retailers capture customer data, build customers’ profiles, and enable marketer to use the data collected to impact and personalize future interactions —and they can help financial services marketers, too.

To learn more about how to incorporate these key plays into your organization’s strategy, download the e-book.

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