Personalization Trends in Banking

Learn how leveraging your data can differentiate your brand and power personalization tactics to help increase customer engagement, retention and acquisition.   

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Article Highlights

  • Consumers want personalized content that’s relevant to their interests
  • Leveraging data from multiple sources lets you create more personalized conversations
  • Personalized content keeps customers engaged throughout their journey with your brand

It’s no secret that financial institutions have been slow to adopt personalization strategies compared to other industries. The good news, according to The Financial Brand, is that more financial organizations are now recognizing the benefits of a personalization strategy as a key part of their marketing campaigns. With access to new digital tools and advances in predictive analytics, banks now have the ability to take what they know about a customer and transform that data into insights that are personalized and relevant to the customer.

Personalization is a key element in an effective financial marketing strategy, yet traditional personalization is no longer enough. Customer expectations, competition and new technologies are driving the focus toward a highly personalized experience that consumers have come to expect from their banks.

Personalization in Banking: The Competitive Differentiator

These six consumer statistics validate the impact of personalization on consumer behavior — and on your bottom line:

  • 44% of customers are frustrated when brands fail to deliver relevant and personalized experiences.1
  • 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when a brand offers a personalized experience.2
  • 72% of consumers say they only engage with marketing messages that are personalized and tailored to their interests.2
  • Companies that invest in online personalization technology outsell their counterparts by about 30%.3
  • Digital marketers report a 20% increase in sales through campaigns that provide a personalized experience.4
  • More than half of consumers said relevant content would influence them to switch to a financial services provider they had never used before.5

Consumers Welcome Personalization

Today’s consumers want and expect personalization, research shows, and they’re most comfortable providing personal data when they’re able to manage and control the resulting experiences. For instance, signing up to receive financial incentives like tailored discounts and offers, or receiving alerts about products and services they want, are the greatest motivators to provide data.

In addition, with so many branches still closed due to COVID-19, personalizing customer communications may offer an opportunity to help bridge the gap between in-person customer transactions. This can allow you to deliver more of a human touch and keep your brand top of mind.

Personalization Trends in Banking

Personalization in banking today is about creating a series of tailored experiences across channels, versus simply customizing emails and newsletters with the recipients’ name. The personalization trends below show that leveraging data and artificial intelligence (AI) to better target the right customer with the right information at the right time make it more likely that customers will respond to your campaigns, messages and offerings.

Hyper-personalization

This takes traditional personalization to the next level by further leveraging customer history and data to deliver advanced, real-time customization of offers, content and customer experience at an individual level. Hyper-personalization takes into account all types of data being used across marketing channels and customer journey stages. This approach more efficiently and effectively increases engagement and can help move customers through the funnel faster.

Successful hyper-personalization tactics should focus on these three elements:

  • Engagement, by getting a customer’s attention
  • Relevance, by delivering the right message to the right person at the right time
  • Trust, which comes when engagement and relevance are done well

Multi-source Data

Financial institutions can use data to anticipate customers’ needs by understanding their journey and the stage they’re currently in. To get a holistic view of a customer, it’s important to look at customer behavior and interactions from multiple sources, including physical and digital channels. For instance, you may be able to access home values from public records, current mortgage balances from your customer data, or interest in refinancing based on browsing history on your website. This data-driven approach at every touchpoint along the buyer journey lets you create more individualized conversations that are tailored to a customer’s specific needs.

Location-Based Personalization

This trend uses data to customize content based on a customer’s location information. This could include targeting by customer ZIP code — for example, sending a list of recent home sales in the area. Or it might mean using geo-marketing data to send targeted messages or offers in real-time to a customer’s mobile app when they’re near a branch.

Segmented Customer Communications

Examining data in context with a customer’s life stage, current goals or pain points lets you market to an audience of one. This can help your organization come across as more human, which can strengthen your brand’s relationships with its customers. For example, instead of sending the same email to everyone, Customer A gets information on free checking accounts, based on a customer service call, while Customer B gets information about college funding, based on insights related to their family situation.

Enhanced Customer-centric Experiences

Keeping the focus on what’s in it for the customer by providing personalized advice and information, versus selling, lets customers know your bank is there for them. Taking this personalized, customer-centric approach means you give customers the information they need, when and where they need it, based on their current situation, future needs or personal interests. For instance, when a customer calls the bank with a question, customer service should be able to pick up where that individual’s last interaction left off — even if that last interaction was through a different channel, such as email.

Advanced Automation Tools

Putting personalization at the center of your business model means you may need to invest in automation technology, like marketing software, since it’s nearly impossible to manually collect data and sift through thousands of interactions. This can enhance your institution’s personalization strategies while taking the pressure off already lean marketing teams.

Personalization Tips and Tactics

Today’s personalization trends in banking are driving the following financial marketing strategies. Try incorporating one or more into your bank’s consumer marketing campaigns and communication channels to enhance customer engagement and retention efforts.

Provide content based on customer preferences.

Relevant, useful content helps build trust, from educational general finance content to information about your services and products that fill a current customer need. Use preference centers to deliver content that’s customized and personalized to that individual customer’s topic interests, and preferred frequency and channel.

To keep content relevant and fresh, consider doing a content audit from the vantage point of advanced personalization. Tag your existing content by audience, life stage or sales funnel stage, and needs. Then create new personalized content to fill any gaps based on those specific customer factors. Offer content in a variety of formats, such as how-to’s, instructional videos or checklists. Ideally, you should review content performance metrics to identify which customers responded best to which content formats.

Personalize educational information to help customers more easily manage their finances.

Research shows that consumers want their banks to help them manage their finances, understand their needs proactively and deliver the right information to help them achieve their financial goals.

Show customers you understand them with personalized financial guidance. For example, show a customer’s current debt account balances along with a consolidation offer that could lower their monthly payment — and show what that payment may be.

Increase engagement with your home equity line of credit (HELOC), mortgage and refi products.

Use personalization to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your mortgage marketing. For instance, boost engagement by including highly personalized and relevant information, like an individual customer’s home value, estimated equity and estimated HELOC or refinance payment amount. Consider including a picture of their house and any other customized information or suggestions that show the customer you know them and want to help.

Develop personalized trigger emails.

Use data based on customer interactions to create a series of trigger emails to increase engagement. For example, send new customers a series of welcome emails that include tips on how to navigate your site. Confirmation emails, transaction emails, reminder emails and so on can all be sent based on customer actions. You can also use a trigger email to encourage a customer to pick up where they left off, such as a loan application or an inquiry about different types of savings accounts.

Recommend complementing products or services.

Position yourself as a helpful resource by providing information about a product, service (or even a financial education blog) that could complement a product or service the customer already has with your bank. Or, use data collected from previous interactions to make real-time suggestions based on products and services they’ve used in the past.

Create personalized call-to-action banners and pages.

Make your website more personalized and functional for customers. One way to do this is to create hero banners based on returning customer data and lookalike model data. For example, a college planning banner for students, a retirement planning banner for baby boomers or a life insurance banner for new parents. Banners could be based on customer information when a customer logs into your site.

You could also connect email copy to personalized landing pages for different segments, which can help increase conversions. For example, Customer A gets an email linking to a landing page about mortgages, because your data shows they’ve previously expressed interest in mortgage loan options. But Customer B’s email links to a landing page about CDs, because your data modeling shows they have a propensity to open a CD account. You can also tailor and deliver landing pages by audience segment or where a customer is in the funnel. The possibilities are as wide-ranging as your data.

Personalization in Banking is Key to Higher Engagement and Profits

Leveraging data to take advantage of these banking personalization trends and tactics can keep your organization poised to stand out in a crowded playing field — while improving customer acquisition, engagement and retention.

If you’re looking for help with a data-based personalization marketing strategy, give us a call. CCG’s customer data, analytics and research services include segmentation and cluster analysis, mortgage refinance targeting, predictive modeling and more. Our financial marketing experts have decades of experience working with digital strategy, content and design. For a free consultation, click below or call us today at 303.986.3000.

1 ”Generation P(urpose): From Fidelity to Future Value,” Rachel Barton, Accenture, posted Feb. 20, 2020, https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/strategy/generation-purpose, accessed Sept. 14, 2020

2 “26 Essential Personalization Stats for B2C Marketers,” SmarterHQ, https://smarterhq.com/blog/personalization-statistics-roundup, accessed Sept. 10, 2020

3 “Gartner Survey Shows Brands Risk Losing 38 Percent of Customers Because of Poor Marketing Personalization Efforts,” Gartner, posted March 11, 2019, https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-03-11-gartner-survey-shows-brands-risk-losing-38-percent-of, accessed Sept. 18, 2020

4 ”Hyper-Personalization Is Taking Marketing to the Next Level: Here’s How,” Vartika Kashyap, Tweakyourbiz.com, updated Sept. 26, 2019, https://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/marketing-strategy/hyper-personalization, accessed Sept. 15, 2020

5 “4 Ways Financial Institutions Can Build Better Personalization Strategies,” The Financial Brand, posted June 9, 2020, https://thefinancialbrand.com/97142/financial-institution-data-segmentation-personalization-strategies-targeted-ad-campaigns/, accessed Sept. 10, 2020

Greg Sultan

Author Greg Sultan

Greg Sultan is CCG’s senior vice president, financial strategist. With more than two decades of experience in the sales and marketing industry, he understands client needs and how to both establish meaningful goals and plan a path to reach them. He brings a problem-solving mindset to help clients with their database marketing and custom direct-marketing programs.

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