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By Nick Evans, marketing practice director, Jaywing

Financial services marketers recognise the immense value of data, in Jaywing’s recent data-driven marketing study we found that 96% of finance markets said data management is a priority for their organisation. Time and time again, we see those that embrace data-driven marketing and analytics leading the way with transforming the customer experience. Yet new research shows that most financial services organisations have barely scratched the surface of what’s possible.

Transforming data into value and turning insight into action isn’t straightforward. Most financial firms are challenged with a data skills gap, with 46% of finance marketers saying this is the top challenge to improving data management. But overcoming these challenges is well worth it. Marketers that transform data into value will open up exciting opportunities to better serve customers and measure return on investment.

Here are eight tips to transform data into value:

  1. Adopt best practice data management

The importance of data management is well known, with 96% of finance marketers saying it is a priority for their organisation.

If customer insight is key to competitive advantage in the digital age, then data will be the fuel to provide this intelligence. But you will only gain the right insights if you have the right data infrastructures and processes in place that capture individual interactions as they happen. A pragmatic approach is required to implementing an appropriate data environment that can deliver immediate business value while being flexible enough to take on new and exciting sources of data as they become available. 

  1. Ensure your retention and acquisition strategy is informed by insight

The competitive nature of the financial services industry today, means firms need to place equal focus on acquiring and retaining customers. Data can inform the whole marketing mix. By ensuring your strategy is based on data and insight you are already steps ahead of the competition.

  1. Get the right technology in place

Most financial services providers are hindered by legacy systems and siloed data – this makes gaining value from data even more complex. Yet with Fintechs emerging with agile systems and an excellent customer experience, financial firms cannot be seen to be lagging behind.

Advancing data-driven marketing can become complicated without access to the right tools and analysis. Emerging marketing intelligence platforms are now bringing these two sides together, integrating rich and disparate customer and market data into a single data-driven model.

  1. Connect online and offline channels

Given the rise in customers hopping between channels and devices to manage their finances and engage with their lender, improving cross-channel marketing and measuring its effectiveness is harder to achieve. By joining the dots between online and offline customer journeys you can create a single customer view, improve the customer experience and improve ROI at the same time.

  1. Personalisation that goes beyond “Hello [first name]”

The majority of finance marketers (97%) personalise email campaigns. But personalising customer communications doesn’t have to stop at emails. By providing customers with a personalised experience across all channels means you can provide customers with a consistent journey that satisfies their individual needs to the letter.

  1. Achieve the right blend of data and creativity

The competitive and crowded nature of the financial services market means that it is difficult for financial institutions to set themselves apart. We now live in an era of data-driven creativity, where data is being harnessed to realise the value of a brand, to shape personal relationships and drive more effective communications. Brands that are turning the tide on this approach are unlocking innovative ideas that deliver game-changing campaigns.

  1. Model advanced attribution across channels at an individual-level

While 65% of finance marketers agree that accurately attributing value across channels is vitally important to their organisation, only 20% are using advanced attribution models.

This means that marketers are still struggling to know the return from their investments, and are unable to attribute revenue across all channels. While digital platforms have enabled brands to collect more data about customer behaviours, marketers are still not joining this data together with their offline data to see the full path to purchase at an individual level. Some leading finance brands are already taking the lead on this approach by developing advanced attribution models that join together online and offline data to gain a better perception of an individual’s interactions with each channel.

  1. Partner with data experts

From new technologies and capabilities, to making sense of the tidal of data in a new data-driven world, data and analytics skills continue to be a vital piece of the puzzle many are missing. A skills shortage is often the biggest barrier to marketing programmes, with 46% of finance marketers citing this as their top challenge.

With the lack of skilled Data Scientists, organisations are increasingly turning to external experts to help them to understand, manage and manipulate data. Expert Data Scientists’ will not only discover new insights, but they have the ability to make it actionable and meaningful for your specific strategy or campaign.

Competing with data science

The way ahead for financial services companies is becoming clearer as they work towards transforming data into value. However it’s clear there are a variety of challenges hindering their ability to make the transition from data-driven marketing immaturity to enjoying a competitive advantage over their rivals. Now though, too many financial services firms are hindered by a skills gap and organisational siloes. For many financial services firms, data and analytics have been driven by the mitigation of risk – rather than the upside potential of increased growth.

In order to use data as a way to grow the business, marketers need to capture and consolidate online and offline data to develop a true single customer view. The focus on using data to create value for customers, before trying to extract value from them, is the key to winning the data-driven marketing race.

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