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Reimagining Marketing with Personalization

By Paula Piccinini

VP Corporate Marketing
CU Solutions Group

Do you have a plan for data-driven marketing? If the answer’s yes, then at the very bottom of that plan, in big, bold lettering, should be the word “personalization.” Personalization is not only a great tool for data-driven marketing, it is now commonly viewed as one of the main end goals. Yet, marketers are less than confident about their abilities to make use of the massive amount of data at their fingertips. The abundance of data and barriers to integration across platforms have caused companies to mainly rely on resources outside of their marketing departments for their needs. However, as data-driven marketing transitions into the norm, companies are looking to expand their in-house capabilities as well.

Moreover, customers that are connected and engaged now expect personalized marketing. According to at least one recent study by Salesforce, consumers have come to regard a customized buying experience as important as brand reputation. With a glut of options to choose from, especially in the area of financial services, customers will not hesitate to shop around if they feel their needs aren’t being catered to. This is especially true of Millennials and generation Z, who are intimately connected with their smartphones and expect fast, even real-time, service through mobile channels. Tech-savvy users are able to easily research, purchase, and review products at a tap of their fingers, and this has made it easier for them to switch brands when their needs are not being met.

What is data-driven marketing?

By using data-driven marketing, financial institutions can not only attract customers, but retain them as well. Better yet, a credit union with a plan for personalization can turn members into advocates.

In the current customer-centric climate, data is valuable. Very valuable. As important as data is however, marketers are still largely unfamiliar with incorporating data-driven processes, and they have plenty of questions. Where does this data come from? What can we do with it?

Data can come from a variety of sources: from data providers, researchers, in your own MCIF systems, in interactions on social media and customer service agents, real-time behavior, website activity, surveys, etc. The list goes on and on.

Yet, what to do with it? That’s the real question, and marketers are struggling to be the experts that everyone else wants them to be.

“Data has grown to play a central role in how businesses around the globe make critical marketing, product development and other investment decisions,” said Jonathan Margulies, Managing Director at Winterberry Group. “With three years of research now in hand, we can conclusively say that the ‘data-driven’ approach has evolved beyond its ‘direct and digital’ origins to represent a centerpiece growth strategy for both promotional marketing and customer experience—and for businesses all over the world.”


Don’t be afraid of data sharing

Concerns over data privacy are very real, but marketers may be surprised to hear that many consumers are more than happy to trade their data for a more personalized, relevant experience. According to a recent Salesforce survey, 57% of consumers are willing to exchange personal data for tailored offers or discounts, and a similar number are interested in product recommendations and personalized shopping experiences.

More than anything else, consumers expect companies to anticipate their needs. 62% of survey respondents say it’s expected for companies to send offers or discounts based on their shopping history.

Don’t be afraid to leverage data because you think it will scare away members. A moderated approach to data-driven marketing will only help build the connection between a financial institution and its customers.



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