Why true Omni-channel personalization is still a distant dream for bank marketers

Banks that are ahead on the curve on AI and analytics maturity have some form of investments in marketing personalization. They also have made inroads into what is in the digital world is touted as omni-channel personalization.

But digital personalization does not enable true omni-channel personalization

Conversations around digital marketing and digital personalization have re-drawn the boundaries of what we call omni-channel today to now include a only a shrunken set of channels i.e. website, email, text messages and app notification! Plenty of customers though still walk into the branch or call the bank’s customer support to get things done. In fact, bank branches will never get outdated no matter how enormous the digital wave.

True omni-channel personalization calls for the ability to pick up customer context (information about customer’s situation and need) no matter what digital or physical channel she is on. It also entails the ability to consume and transfer such context in order to personalize marketing action for whenever the customer arrives at the next touchpoint, whether digital or physical. It means that my app notification incorporates any context information from my conversation with the branch executive that happened earlier that day for instance.

It also means that the product proposition made by call center agent at the end of a customer support call has been generated on the back of not only CRM data but also my online behaviour on web and app.

So, what is preventing banks from achieving true-omnichannel personalization

  1. Data in the backdrop of Siloed channels.

    It is always about data. In case of banks, data is trapped in channels and channels are siloed. Though data from the core banking system, transaction system and CRM might all be flowing flawlessly into the enterprise Datawarehouse, banks have a hard time connecting the website clickstream data, and the call center data, branch interaction data to roll all into a unified customer view. Add to this, updating these on a real time basis so that context of customer as generated from her interaction on any channel gets captured, transferred and used for personalizing interaction for the customer in the next touchpoint.

    Personalization thus needs a single customer view – across channels – which updates real time to incorporate every bit of interaction the customer is doing with the bank

  2. Engine to pinpoint the relevant proposition

    While this works to some extent with digital personalization solutions, the product propositions are merely from superfluous visitor/ browsing information. It is real time no doubt, but it does not take into account what conversation the customer had let’s say with the branch executive. Next best product algorithms are good since these are customer centric. But the product recommendations don’t update based on customer context and to that extent there is much left to be desired in terms of enhancing relevance of propositions.

  3. Real Time ability

    The ability to personalize across all channels is intimately intertwined with the ability to update product proposition and render it real time on touchpoints that the customer is at, at any given point in time. The engine that generates the most relevant proposition for the customer needs to be seamlessly plumbed in with each of the channels that the bank has whether it is the call center agent’s screen or the mobile app. And whenever the customer has arrived on any of these channels, the engine needs to render the product proposition that is updated real time (using all customer information – including context – generated so far) on that channel either in the form of a message on digital channel or a display on the screen in the case of the call center or branch executive.

True omni-channel personalization can be orchestrated by solving for the three pillars outlined above. Needless to mention, it cannot be achieved all at once. A roadmap view is most useful. One can plan the program in waves based on the current state of readiness and integrability of each channel. Data integration and in real time are also accomplished in a phased manner in line with the current state of maturity, existing marketing technology and investments planned. A program approach also makes stakeholder buy in easier as gains can be reaped early on by attacking the low hanging fruits first.

Paromita Mitra

Product Head- BRIDGEpersona

Financial Services & Insurance

BRIDGEi2i Analytics Solution

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