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Friday, May 17, 2013

Banks: If You Want More From Your Customers, Rethink Your Marketing Efforts

by Ed O'Boyle, Global Practice Leader

This post is part of Gallup's ongoing series on the shifting landscape for financial institutions. It provides insights into channel optimization, emerging customer behaviors and preferences, product penetration and relationship growth, engaging the most critical affluent and business customers, and reshaping banks' overall value proposition.

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As banks face economic and regulatory challenges, they are looking to grow their market share by cross-selling and upselling to their existing customers. But many banks are missing these valuable opportunities by using generic marketing with their customers. Banks’ fully engaged customers -- those who are rationally and emotionally connected to the bank with which they do business -- are the group that is most likely to be put off by these “one size fits all” marketing offers. Most banks have a large amount of data on customer behavior at their disposal, but are not using this information to personalize marketing offers for their most engaged customers.

Gallup asked nearly 9,000 customers in its most recent U.S. Retail Banking survey how they feel about the offers they receive from their bank. Sixty-six percent of fully engaged customers felt the most recent offer was very general, 41% found the offer annoying, and, stunningly, 53% of customers already had the product the bank was marketing with the bank. Using generic and annoying offers with your most engaged customers is a particularly serious problem for banks because fully engaged customers are the group that is most likely to be open to new products or services.

To make your marketing campaigns more effective, you should:

  1. Identify who your most engaged customers are, and review the products they already have with your bank.
  2. Have good need-based assessments so you can make solid recommendations to customers on what products and services they should have with your bank.
  3. Make sure your employees have the flexibility to customize offers, rather than just “sticking to the script.”
  4. Equip your people with the right information, including analytics on customers’ past behaviors, so they can target and maximize their customer conversations.
Getting customers to deepen their relationship with your bank is hard work. It requires talented front-line employees who are able to provide individualized marketing to your customers -- marketing made possible as you provide these employees with the tools, information, and systems they need to tailor their marketing approach. It’s time to rethink your marketing offers and what you are really trying to accomplish with them.

Ed O’Boyle is Global Practice Leader for Gallup’s workplace and marketplace consulting. His role is to drive growth by leading initiatives that ensure that Gallup’s science and consulting have the creativity and flexibility to meet the business needs of Gallup clients. Prior to joining Gallup in 2006, O’Boyle served in marketing, brand management, and innovation roles at PepsiCo, Diageo, Barclays, and Capital One.


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