Try these innovative ways to better identify and target customer groups so you can increase marketing relevance, engagement and revenue.
- Financial marketers view customer segmentation as a top data analytics priority.
- Traditional segmentation strategies like demographics and life stage are no longer enough to stay competitive in bank marketing.
- Examining data in new and different ways, such as life triggers or intent, provides a more realistic, actionable and profitable way to segment customers.
- Surveys, questionnaires, contests and polls are some ways to gather insights that help you segment based on customer attitudes and behaviors.
- Putting advanced bank customer segmentation strategies into action increases personalization opportunities, message relevancy, engagement and conversions.
Bank marketers ranked customer segmentation as their number one priority when it comes to determining which data analytics will have the biggest impact on their organization, according to a recent ABA survey.1 We completely agree. The more you understand the details that drive your individual customers to take action — especially your most profitable ones — the better you’re able to tailor your messaging and financial marketing campaigns to their specific interests and needs. The payoff? Increased customer engagement, conversions and profits.
What is customer segmentation in banking?
Bank customer segmentation revolves around tailoring content to deliver more relevant marketing campaigns to distinct groups of customers — versus blasting out a generic message to all. It’s a proven way to get your customers’ attention and boost the odds that they’ll react favorably to your message.
But, first things first. Before you dig into your customer data, it’s important to review your overall business goals and objectives. Understanding what your organization hopes to accomplish can better guide your customer segmentation and financial marketing strategies within specific segments.
Once you’ve identified your objectives, you can begin to look at your customer data. Review both internal and external sources. And make sure you’re collecting data from all areas of your organization for a 360-degree view of your customers.
While it can sometimes feel like we’re surrounded by a plethora of data, remember to pay more attention to the quality of data you collect versus the quantity. That way, your marketing team can gain better insights into what drives customer behaviors and actions, so you can deliver the right message at the right time.
How do banks target customers? Advanced segmentation ideas to try.
Traditional segmentation strategies group customers (and target messaging) by basic factors such as demographics or life stage. But that’s no longer enough.
For banks to gain the most benefit from their customer segmentation strategies — and improve their marketing ROI — they must look at and leverage their data in new and different ways. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Life triggers, such as having a baby, putting a home on the market, having a child start college, starting a new job, experiencing a change in income, etc.
- Buying intent. Is a customer car shopping or mortgage rate shopping? Having insights into this type of information helps you better understand customers’ plans, priorities and what stage they’re in on their purchase journey.
- Banking behaviors, such as frequency of deposits and withdrawals, digital preferences versus in-branch banking or number of bank products held.
- Financial attitudes. Is a customer more apt to be a saver or spender? Does the customer need help sticking to a budget or are they confident investors? How do they make financial decisions and what is their knowledge of personal finance topics? Are they worried about their ability to manage their finances or do they feel confidently on track toward their goals?
- Holistic profiles help you view each customer as a whole versus putting them into a bucket based on a specific account held, such as “home equity customer.”
To gain more insights into your customers’ attitudes, behaviors and intent, just ask them! There are multiple ways to capture this type of information for banking customer segments, such as surveys, focus groups, interviews, quizzes, questionnaires, contests, social media polls and in-branch listening.
9 Ways to Put Your Bank Customer Segmentation into Action
Focusing on what each customer segment needs from you gives people another reason to stay engaged with your brand. Try these nine customer-centric best practices, examples and tactics for using your advanced customer segmentation strategies to increase message relevancy, customer engagement and retention.
1. Create a marketing strategy for each segment.
Then, prioritize your financial marketing budget and staff resources toward your most profitable customer segments and the segments most likely to become top customers.
2. Align customer segments with the products and services most relevant to that group.
Take it a step further and create personas based on segments. Then map each persona to the most relevant products and services. This can help your team better understand which solutions your customers need as they move through their buyer journey.
3. Anticipate customer needs.
Look at past behaviors and other data to define segments based on customer needs. For instance, are they viewing the car loan or rewards credit card pages on your website? Create and deliver messaging that focuses on the specific solutions your financial institution can provide for each separate need.
4. Identify new cross-sell and upsell opportunities based on segments.
Customers with multiple products are more likely to remain loyal to your financial institution. Yet, your customers face different needs at different times. Divide customers into segments based on life stage or life cycle, as well as most-likely next-sell. Then build marketing campaigns based around the opportunities relevant to each group.
5. Personalize messaging.
With more digital and fewer face-to-face banking interactions, personalized experiences are more important than ever. When customers receive information that’s relevant to their needs, they feel like you understand them and want to help versus sell to them. For instance, you could pair lifestyle and demographic data to identify groups that would be most likely to use their HELOC — and then tailor marketing campaigns around HELOC uses that best suit their needs. Personalize messaging to your customer groups at every opportunity, including emails, newsletters, landing pages, direct mail, trigger campaigns and in-app messaging.
6. Version your value-added content by segment.
Custom content that addresses the interests or needs of your specific segments helps them make better financial decisions and feel more confident on their financial wellness journey. For instance, you could combine financial attitudes, pain points and life stage to target a group with content on tips to improve their credit score before they finance a large purchase.
7. Communicate with your customer segments based on their preferences.
In a sense, this creates sub-segments based on how often customers want to hear from you, on what channels and which topics. Your Gen Z customers might prefer watching short videos about budgeting on their phones or social media channels. Your retired customers might want tax tips — via email or direct mail. Using a preference center can let you capture these preferences. Include a link to your preference center in digital communications and make sure it’s accessible when customers log in to their online accounts.
8. Ensure your segments can easily access relevant content on your website.
Consider adding a content resource library to your website organized by topics. Better yet, organize and categorize content based on different customer segments, making it even easier for people to find the information that matters most to them.
9. Promote financial wellness tools most appropriate to your customer segments.
Focus on tools that encourage specific actions or encourage positive behavior change for specific segments. For example, if your buyer intent data shows a segment of likely homeowners, make sure they know about your mortgage calculators or “steps for new homebuyers” video series.
Advanced Customer Segmentation in Banking Brings New Opportunities
Looking at your data in new and different ways can help your financial institution better identify and target your most profitable customer segments to create deeper, more relevant and more profitable customer relationships. And the more advanced and creative you can be with your data analysis and segmentation strategies, the greater the chances your brand will be a clear winner among the competition for bank customers.
Developing data-driven strategies and creative solutions for financial institutions is our passion at CCG. Our financial marketing experts can help you create customer-centric solutions to increase engagement, retention and your bottom line. From data analytics to advanced segmentation strategies, marketing strategy, content and digital, learn more about our complete suite of financial marketing solutions. Call us at 303.986.3000 or click below for a no-strings consultation to see what we can do for you.
1 “Maximizing the Impact of Data Analytics for Bank Marketers,” ABA.com, posted Sept. 12, 2022, https://bankingjournal.aba.com/2022/09/maximizing-the-impact-of-data-analytics-for-bank-marketers/, accessed Jan. 9, 2023