CMO and CCO
Finance marketers are presented with a much-changed landscape since the one they knew before the world shut down. Gearing up for a post-covid and post-tracking world is no mean feat, especially when finance regulations around data and marketing are added to these general industry challenges.
Reaching customers in a relevant and timely way is more important than ever. Finance marketers know that it’s crucial to find customers in important moments of change in their life: as they buy a new house, have kids, write their will, retire or make any other decision that might make it time to change banks. Engaging with a potential customer or existing one in a personal way is crucial to getting noticed in those moments.
What’s more, marketers need to understand what their customers need and want in a wider sense to have any chance at effective decision-making based on smart insights, rather than guesswork based on behaviours that existed pre-pandemic. However, understanding customers, how their lives are changing and what might be coming next is a challenge exacerbated by recent changes in the industry.
Google Chrome has delayed the coming ‘death of the third party cookie’ until 2023, but this is just that – a delay. Although the industry may not yet be ready (cue some scrambling from Google to find more time), marketers are simply being given an opportunity to test new technologies that ultimately do not rely on third-party behavioural tracking. Meanwhile, with Apple asking people to opt-in to tracking (which, most seem to be saying no to) along with ever-tightening privacy and data laws, marketers in finance may feel that making informed decisions around what a customer wants now or will want next is becoming an increasingly daunting task.
First party, last resort?
Of course, most brands sit upon a wealth of data directly from their own customers. What could be more useful to a brand than insights that directly relate to how an individual engages with your specific brand, one might ask?
While first-party data is an incredibly useful resource for marketers, it does have huge limitations that will come into sharp relief as the ability to track individuals across the web wanes. Understanding how someone interacts with another brand not only adds dimensions to a given brand’s understanding of the individual, it also enables them to predict more accurately how that person may want to interact with the brand in future.
Take, for example, a credit card company that knows it has a customer on an airline rewards program. If it also knows how that person interacts with hotels, spas, restaurants, concert venues – they can get a true idea of what motivates them to travel and which offers or messages might appeal. For example, a person who loves to splash out on a spa day when they travel may well be a good recipient for a push around wellness-based rewards. This is one small point around how a wider understanding of someone can enable both brand and customer to get the most out of the relationship.
Danger in the walled gardens
A finance marketer might then think – great, Facebook and Google can find those who like to splurge on experiences. It’s true that these platforms can help financial institutions find audiences that are right for the message.
However once again there are limitations – each platform only enables reaching those audiences within that platform. So across other parts of the web and the customer relationship, the business starts to lag in terms of delivery of relevant and personal customer engagement.
A privacy-first approach
So it seems that on top of first-party data and engagement within the walled gardens, marketers need a supply of data that can deliver rich insights across individuals. Of course, the foremost concern with any data for this purpose is that it is privacy-centric and absolutely secure.
Key to this is data partnerships. First-party data can be taken from a brand, tokenising it so that sensitive data ever needs to leave the business’ firewalls and remains totally anonymous to any outside parties, giving partner brands insights into customers. At Adara, we are able to leverage these insights, layering them on top of each other from multiple brands to create a fully anonymous and secure individual graph to enable relevant and personalised customer engagement, as well as understanding of what customers need and want from their financial institutions of choice. This means that brands have access to intelligence they know to be accurate, and predictive – so they can make informed decisions both about what a customer wants today and what they may well require in future.
In other words, they can make decisions with confidence. Confidence that they understand what their customers want, and what they’re comfortable doing in this new world. And most of all, confidence that this insight does not come at the expense of privacy or security – that it is safe to use and unexploitable by other parties.
Navigating changing behaviors for a financial institution is critical, as customers’ behaviors and preferences have changed dramatically and old data will not suffice to make decisions with confidence. While old tracking technologies may still exist, they are on the way out: now is the time to be sure your brand is ready.