Personalization: The new ingredient in BFSI marketing

The BFSI space is undergoing a digital transformation. Its becoming eminently clear that mobile and e-channels will drive the next wave of banking. Linked to this transformation seems to be two dominant themes that are hogging the CXO mindshare. For one, BFSI players have recognized the need to make their digital assets much more transaction centric. Secondly, and focus of this article, they want to use the rich data available with them to drive customer experience on the brand’s owned digital assets

The starting point of creating such an experience is to understand all data sources available in the first place. Clearly, these are:

  • Digital “First Party” data: Just a fancy way of saying “whatever your customers are doing on your digital assets”
  • Offline first party data: That’s all the transaction history and other CRM data available about your customers as an offline data source
  • “Third party” data – Just means “whatever your customers seem to be doing on other websites”

There is also a category called “second party” data – customer behavior gathered on group websites or other related/partner portals. But in this article, we will assume this gets clubbed with first party data.

Great, so we have the entire universe of data mapped into these categories. The next step is to assign priority so that you know which data source should take precedence. Here is a framework:

First party > CRM > Third Party


First party first

Customers visiting your digital assets are clearly brand aware and are showing specific intent – there is no substitute for this data, it’s gold. And should be prioritized over all other types of data.

Offline next

Data you own and already have about your customers’ transaction patterns should be the next source you turn to. Structuring and mining this data can help you decide what message you want to show each and every customer.

Third Party at least!

At a minimum, you should be able to understand the customer’s third party interests and create a personalized experience – though this is certainly not as rich and relevant as your own digital and offline data. An example – recommend a travel credit card if the customer has shown travel intent recently.

Showing a “one message fits all” is the worst thing you could do and any static non-personalized creative should be your last resort.

So there you have it, a simple but effective framework to organize and use all the data you have to create a personalized experience on your digital assets.

Personalized messages produce an average of 200% lifts in site engagements leading to a higher volume of leads and sales. What you need is a data and marketing platform, that allows you to execute on this strategy through a tight integration of your data sources with your website creative slots.

Smart tags on your website would capture first party behavior. Offline data is ingested as a file and specific customers are identified using anonymized hashed customer ids. Finally, your marketing partner’s audience database of Internet customers can ensure you have the richness of third party data at your disposal. All this data must be maintained on your own cloud hosted data management platform (DMP) and available for use in a highly intuitive customer interface for segmentation.

And the best part – every segment can be activated on your website through a seamless integration. Gone are the days when you needed to bring in a complex workflow involving multiple functions to take creatives live. You could be up and running in minutes.

So if you are a BFSI marketer – when in the e-commerce world, do as the e-commerce players do. No, that does not mean you give random discounts and burn through cash like there is no tomorrow!! But it’s well worth imitating the e-commerce data driven marketing playbook and squeeze every ounce out of the data you have.

This article was originally published in the NASSCOM Blog.

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