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Harnessing Big Data for Financial Services

Once we’ve mapped out trends and patterns elicited from big data, what do we do with them? How do we get them to ring the register? The answer is Marketing Automation, and it’s not the future of marketing in our industry, it’s right now.

Marketing automation is another one of those terms that makes some a little nervous, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Once you learn about what it is and what it can do, you’re going to want to give it a big ol’ hug and ask where it’s been all of your life.

The best way to think of marketing automation is to call it a nurturing program — an easy-to-follow and -manage process for building relationships. If this worked in the real world, we’d probably have a lot less alimony payments out there. Why? Because it helps us pre-qualify those we want to be with and efficiently move them along the cycle.

There is a clear, direct relationship between big data and marketing automation. Simply put, you can’t create marketing automation/nurture programs without having big data to build your logic in the first place. Step 1: Analyze your data and identify trends. Step 2: Use these trends to plan out a nurture program.

Whether we’re targeting new customers, or cross-selling and upselling current ones, the key to our success is at the intersection of automation and big data. This is where the most low-hanging fruit is. Like a healthy orchard, if cultivated properly, it will continue to provide ripe, sustainable harvests you can plan and depend on.

Time for another insight we gained from our big data analysis: financial services consumers value brands that use multichannel communication to reach them, and those brands are rewarded with more data.

This works in both B2B and B2C applications. With new customers, you can use your own big data to identify what services or products first engaged them. For your current customers, what is their behavior history?

For many financial institutions, you already have countless current customers at different paths of their relationship with you. How did they go from entry-level investors into high-valued clients? How did someone go from a free checking account in their 20s to securing a mortgage in their 30s? How did your small-business clients become some of your most vital partners? This information is already in your database. You just need to review the success you’ve already had and use it to speed up the process.

This is what marketing automation does. Once we’ve identified how our customer relationships have grown, we can help facilitate new relationships faster, and help existing relationships grow deeper and stronger.

Tune in next week for the next post: Breaking Down Marketing Automation for Financial Services.