Banks Need to Unify Their Customer Data for Omnichannel Success

Aaron Brennan | July 31, 2018

Banks Need to Unify their Customer DataTraditional banks and credit unions are uniquely positioned to adopt an omnichannel marketing strategy. Much like retailers, banks already have a strong physical footprint and have adopted customer-facing technology designed to help customers engage where and when they want. Banks also collect extensive amounts of behavioral and transactional data – more than practically any other brand. Despite this advantage in data collection, however, traditional financial institutions are losing ground to financial technology firms, digital-first financial institutions, and non-traditional competitors like Google and Apple. Why is that?

Customer Data Is Locked in Silos

Although financial institutions collect a lot of data, much of it is locked in functional silos. Many of the silos are necessary for privacy compliance and other regulatory reasons, but banks recognize the problem. In one recent study, in fact, 57 percent of banks said that too many silos of data is the biggest impediment to effective decision making. This is a significant barrier to success at omnichannel marketing.

With customer data in silos, banks lack a complete view into the customer’s needs, wants, and desires. Knowing these things would change how the bank interacts, and prevent them from sending the wrong offer to the wrong customer. One example is providing a balance transfer offer to someone who doesn’t carry a balance on their credit card. If banks have a more complete view of their customers across the entire lifecycle, they can more likely avoid sending those kinds of irrelevant offers.

Fix Silos with a Single Point of Control

One of the best ways for banks to bridge data silos is through leveraging a customer data platform (CDP). A CDP functions as a single point of control for customer data, bridging functional silos and connecting all types and sources of customer data in real time. This includes first-, second-, and third-party data at batch or streaming cadences. A CDP is also designed to make a unified customer view, also known as a “golden record,” accessible across the organization, which helps drive more contextually relevant interactions in the right context and at the right cadence to power customer engagement.

A golden record is a unified profile that combines all that is knowable about an individual customer, including behaviors, preferences, interests, and purchases, from multiple engagement systems and data sources into a single, 360-degree view. This unified record consists of accurate, complete, and timely data on a customer that persists over time and is continuously updated with detailed data from batch and real-time streaming data sources. This unified record is a key component of omnichannel marketing, and improves competitiveness through greater insight into customers.

With clean and unified customer data in hand, banks can more readily understand their customers’ channel preferences and more accurately contextualize their marketing. This is a key facet of deploying a successful omnichannel marketing strategy, which is especially critical in an era when banks must compete with digital-first financial institutions, financial technology firms, and non-traditional competitors alike.

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Aaron Brennan
Aaron Brennan

Aaron Brennan is a senior product marketing manager for RedPoint Global.