Drive results with focus on customer experience in financial services offer management


I always find it important and enjoyable to share best practices and lessons learned from experts in the field. We feel obligated to provide tried and true methods and tools we know make for offer management success. Keeping up with innovations in marketing automation and marketing technology in financial services today is a critical component for those charged with achieving consistent, sustainable results. The regulatory climate, the need for speed, laser focus on compliance, and the increased volume make for daunting but doable martech tasks.

The titles our clients hold represent the dynamic nature of their work in the highly-regulated, complex industry that is financial services, or finserv: Marketing execution, Marketing strategy, Product manager, Segment manager, Martech data lead, or Martech platform manager. If you’re wearing one or more of these hats, these insights can help.

I recently had the privilege to host a discussion with two highly-respected CX and DX leaders who help finserv martech teams do more, better.

Chandramouli Venkatesan

Capgemini’s Chandramouli Venkatesan, Vice President of Market Development, leads the go-to-market for Digital Marketing services in the Banking & Capital Markets practice. He works with organizations to understand their marketing needs and help them realize their ambitions, through the interplay of martech and data. His work on martech is focused on delivering outcomes through simplification and integration of real-time experience. Chandra has over 20 years of rich experience working with clients across Banking, Payments, Wealth Management and Capital Markets domains.

Rusty Warner

Forrester’s Rusty Warner, Vice President, Principal Analyst, also contributed his expertise to this timely discussion. He is widely-recognized as a leading analyst whose research focuses on enterprise marketing technologies, including cross-channel campaign management, marketing resource management, and real-time interaction management. Through his work, he helps organizations ensure that their marketing technology investments underpin strategies to meet evolving customer expectations and align with overall business technology investments to win, serve, and retain customers. He joined Chandra and I in a webinar on this topic, and I am pleased to consider these two experts collaborative colleagues.

Our goal: share the latest research and innovations on personalization with those who can most benefit from proven platform technology. These partners in personalization work with my teams and me to support the professionals tasked with achieving measurable results in top financial institutions.

This blog series is focused on those roles and the ways to successfully navigate the customer journey to achieve remarkable results. The proven solutions included here are a collaborative representation of the two interview guests, whose work has helped countless martech leaders deliver impressive enterprise business value (EBV).

More than ever, personalized offers in the financial services industry require a laser focus on EBV, which is realized in five important and impactful ways:

  • Sustained ROI
  • Enhanced sales and marketing
  • Cost savings
  • Efficiency gains
  • Strategic initiatives
Truly engaging with customers across their lifecycle can bring sustainable business results. We know this with data-backed certainty, from clients we’ve helped land and expand customer relationships through strategy and technology.

To get and stay ahead of the fierce competition, leading brands must leverage their investments for strategic business enhancements, such as digital transformation, empowering marketing, and establishing lofty but impactful CX goals.

Naheas has a great deal of experience working with financial organizations to help them address and attack the complexities inherent in personalized offer management amidst a fast-paced, competitive, highly-regulated, complex industry. The learnings we share focus on the complete offer management lifecycle as a means to true personalization. We share case studies in success where we’ve helped clients realize better outcomes with trusted, proven partnerships. These form best practices to leveraging platform technology to achieve better customer experiences and profitability.

How can CMOs build customer loyalty?

A report issued by Capgemini focused on trends in personalization. It helped answer the key question: How can CMOs build loyalty with existing customers? This calls for bundling of more products and creating better value for the customer as a whole. It requires looking beyond offering a product, and looking into greater value to the customer. The more products a customer holds with the institution, the less likely they are to move to another institution. Leading wealth management firms are looking at how to create the value for the customer, and being able to articulate that to the customer in an arena with siloed products (auto loans, savings, checking, credit cards, etc.).

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Bank leaders are asking: “What is the value I can offer if you bank with us more?” Multi-product offers and elevated levels of engagement is a challenge inside a siloed manpower and systems perspective for enterprises. Bridging these gaps and thinking through what it takes across all lines of business, and product lines, getting all of the players on the same page from an enterprise perspective is a complex but common challenge. How to get on the same page?

We know from our experience with large banking clients that this goes beyond a departmental initiative. What must martech teams do? 1) think across functions and departments, and 2) invest in technologies that help enterprise-wide processes for greater efficiencies.

We find when people are going through strategy, to operations, marketing, customer care, fulfillment, some parts of the process break down. At the core is compliance: it seems simple but needs to be emphasized: don’t make an offer that breaks the rules. Meeting all requirements is critical, and takes people from across the entire enterprise working in tandem.

Managing the complete product and offer lifecycle is fundamental to strong results and revenue. Those having greatest success understand this.

Strategy and operations teams must ensure that the customer has a great experience without compliance issues. Strategy includes product definition, pricing, channels, timing, other offer attributes, stipulations and rules. These teams are driven by the necessity of delivering more personalized products and services to deliver better risk-adjusted returns. Those charged with marketing operations are focused on eligibility, which entails a decisioning engine and segmentation rules. Creative and production teams ask for help executing campaigns across all channels without error, as they are dealing with presentment. This involves content, disclosures, personalization, as well as quality assurance, validation and delivery. Compliance, at the core of the offer lifecycle, is laser-focused on ensuring all regulatory compliance requirements are met. Last but never least, fulfillment is engaged with customer status, compliance and performance, as well as customer care resolution and actionable insights.

There are many different technology tools in play that require manual intervention. Some are older and tried and true, but require manual intervention. More than ever, banks are asking what form a modern architecture might take to help facilitate the different players in keeping the promise. This calls for a closer look at the entire martech landscape.

Engagement Channel Architecture

When we consider engagement channel architecture, it is necessary to look at the entire landscape to calibrate offers. You need complete integration. In our discussion, Capgemini’s Chandramouli Venkatesan, Vice President of Market Development, reinforced these concepts, offering compelling commentary.

“There is a complex interplay of martech technologies to ensure we deliver the right offer to the right person on the right channel at the right moment to create the right value to the customer,” said Venkatesan. He added, “The promise of personalization calls for thinking end to end on an enterprise level, ensuring all technologies come together to drive the final experience for the customer.”

Examples are many, and prove instructive. Even something like changing the prime rate can take multiple people and weeks to update the offer. This happened at a top banking institution, which shows how common it is across the entire industry. But once the system is automated, the prime rate change can be adjusted within one afternoon. Flows through channels to make this change happen.

The bottom line is this: the value of building a modern marketing stack which can connect to the full banking system offers immense ROI.

How can a martech manager know whether the enterprise is ready to move forward with technology to drive offer management personalization? Where to go to determine how and with whom to proceed with platform partnerships?

Benchmarking assessments: Getting a Read on Readiness

The financial services industry is fortunate to have CX and DX experts like those we partner with. Together, having helped hundreds of top-level finserv marketing teams, they offer learnings on ways to direct change management and marketing methodologies for clear results. As one of our collaborators noted, “Moving parts from technology, people, process perspective, many institutions say this is how we have always done it.” To move forward, they need guidance on how to benchmark good or best practices. He adds, “We start with helping the team see how to understand what is possible, and share past results to convince them there is a better way.”

To that end, we have developed a tool. We have data that allows us to evaluate an organization based on four key values: Risk-adjusted value, customer experience, compliance, then speed and flexibility. We use this model to create a benchmark to show how they compare against other institutions in the same sector in these individual parameters.

naehas blog people cartoons 2We take a look at the people, process and technology to show what is the readiness of the organization to be able to take advantage of this platform. This allows them to better build ROI, with an understanding of how ready they are. Further, it helps devise a roadmap that brings them greater value. There are methodologies that can be used, for example in speed and flexibility, to deliver value to the customer in only 90 days. This is a valuable step after the initial benchmarking. Naehas and Capgemini provide this Benchmarking and Readiness Assessment. Taking this assessment allows teams to quickly learn where they stand against the industry benchmarks and identify areas for improvement.

“That’s a valuable tool that represents the customer experience goals and allows the client to see business value, as well,” said one consulting partner. He noted, “Those two perspectives, in addition to regulatory compliance, operational aspects, improving people and process for speed and flexibility, combine for a valuable framework that helps the client ‘keep the promise’ that drives greater personalization.”

Organizations that follow best-in-class practices can effectively adhere to internal controls, minimize liability, and be transparent with customers, all while meeting regulatory requirements and business goals.

For an in-depth overview on this topic, including insights from industry leaders, view the webinar, “Drive Greater Profitability and Exceptional Customer Experiences with Personalized Offers.”