Digital marketing: driving personalized relationships with Financial Services customers

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Engaging and personalized customer experience makes all the difference in building a competitive edge today.

Within today’s competitive and fast-changing financial services environment, it takes high-impact customer connections to quantifiably boost a firm’s success. Engaging, personalized customer experience makes all the difference in building a competitive edge. But, where to start?

Enter digital marketing, the use of valued content delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps.

More and more, digital marketing is helping traditional financial firms to shed their buttoned-up communications approach to better connect with Gen Y and tech-savvy consumers. For example:

American Express: A social media campaign promoted the Blue Cash Everyday AMEX card with fun videos congratulating real millennials on their “adulting” successes such as hosting their first dinner party or getting a promotion. The campaign delivered more than 30 million views and a 20% lift in brand consideration for AMEX.[1]

Bank of America: An ad posted on Facebook earned 1.2 million views in less than a month as part of a campaign in support of the Special Olympics, which BofA supports. Without ever mentioning Bank of America, viewers got a sense of the financial brand’s values: inclusivity, perseverance, and bravery.[2]

Bank of Ireland: The Irish bank created FeelFree, a campaign to attract student account holders. Participants were eligible for €100 worth of incentives such as cinema tickets, pizza vouchers, and beauty treatments. Rewards were chosen through suggestions from actual students. The bank created a Snapchat account that featured content students said they wanted, such as saving hacks and tips.[3]

These customer-centric digital marketing campaigns were successful because they were built on a compelling digital marketing strategy that focused on customer experience. Increasingly, financial services firms are aligning their technology and business strategies to gain insight into customer behavior and to more clearly understand what attracts or turns consumers off. Data-derived insights set the stage for engaging, customer-centric marketing campaigns, and more relevant, attractive offers.

Successful digital marketers attract customers through a personalized online experience that features creativity, context, and content to drive engagement and conversion. But first, the firm must know its customers well enough to present the right offer at the right time.

Insights through DMP and social media

By leveraging a data management platform (DMP) that integrates online and offline data to deliver a unified view of all audiences, financial services firms gain knowledge of customers – for better segmentation and targeting. Similarly, the real-time capabilities of social media can spark new and meaningful conversations with customers.

Effective digital marketing is closely tied to each firm’s fundamental business processes – with initiatives divided into manageable and repeatable processes. Via incremental steps, a proof of concept, tests, and revisions, new business opportunities can be seized as they arise. Focus is maintained through carefully measured results.

For many financial services organizations, this iterative approach demands a fundamental reassessment of how to affect change. Instead of long, drawn-out projects stretching over four to six months, think short, focused, iterations of four to six weeks.

A successful approach to change links people and business, data, and technology through the following steps:

Test and learn: As new opportunities arise, business capabilities, such as real-time community engagement, are built through a test-and-learn process. This approach validates the skills and services needed to make use of new technologies and data sets, before fully committing.

Build to sustain: The transition to digital marketing processes should be based on mature business, technology, and data architecture that can deliver flexibility and scalability. Utilize best practices to focus on the target model rapidly, and then customize it to suit specific circumstances.

Measure and relate: A key to success in moving from the test-and-learn phase to a sustainable transformation is the ability to measure outputs and outcomes in business terms. Apply data and key performance indicators (KPIs) to educate the business about digital marketing opportunities.

Sure, it is easy to understand the importance of providing useful and relevant content to consumers as they pass along their customer journey, but it’s often challenging to implement. Some firms are experimenting with chatbots, artificial intelligence, and other cutting-edge tech solutions. Other incumbents are just now enhancing their website, supporting a social media presence, or creating a portfolio of digital content.

One thing is for sure, digital marketing is a major component within the digital transformation initiatives now underway at most financial services organizations. With the right digital marketing strategy and a carefully planned approach to change, forward-looking firms can turn today’s challenges into a springboard for growth and new opportunities.

Coming up …

Leading up to the September 18 launch of the World Retail Banking Report 2018, Capgemini will publish a variety of blogs that examine three central banking topics: Customer Experience and Business Models, Technology and Operations, and Product Management. Stay tuned for insights and practical advice about digital transformation and the new normal for retail banking. Or, learn more about Capgemini banking solutions by visiting:


[1] IMPACT, “27 Social Media Campaign Ideas From Big Brands You Want to Be,” Ramona Sukhraj, July 19, 2017,

[2] Spredfast, “3 Great Video Marketing Campaigns from Bank of America, H&R Block, and United Overseas Bank,” Jaime Netzer, August 9, 2017,

[3] Zahra Media Group, “3 great content marketing campaigns from banks,” May 10, 2017,

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