Financial services professionals already understand how using data and analytics can significantly improve the efficiency of customer acquisition. As the foundation of your acquisition campaigns, you most likely use internal data to create profiles of your best customers. But what may be missing from your strategy is the key to unlocking insights that can help you better identify, engage, and retain high-value customers in this very competitive market.
The fact is, the financial services market is shifting. As more and more Millennials choose non-traditional financial services providers, it is becoming even more difficult for financial institutions to attract and retain high-value customers. Consider that, according to a Viacom study, one-third of Millennials think they will not need a bank at all (they’re counting on tech startups to change the way banks work). Not only that, but 73 percent of them are more willing to consider a financial services offering from Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal, or Square than from a traditional institution.
To recapture market share, financial services professionals are relying on internal data and analytics. But many of them may be falling short of their growth goals. Here are three things to consider as you develop and refine your customer acquisition strategy:
- Do you have the quality, unique data needed to inform your analytics models?
In financial services, you are likely tracking economic and demographic trends to predict customers’ future purchases, like new car loans or mortgages. But this doesn’t mean you are able to identify specific prospects who are considering these same financial products. In fact, the data to better inform your analytics models and ultimately provide better insight into probable high-value customers may not even exist in your databases. Your organization may only have a narrow slice of your customers’ financial picture based only on the products and transactions they’ve conducted with you.
A trusted third-party provider can offer reliable, granular data that you can then load into your analytics models. The right provider can even offer new predictive models that deliver fresh insights into who is most likely to be a high-value customer and help you personalize your message to that prospect and deliver it in the channels they use. These insights not only work well for acquisition but can be used in retention efforts as well — so you’re getting the most out of your analytics dollars.
- Does your data help with your omnichannel marketing efforts to keep up with consumer behavior?
When marketers use data-driven planning and analytics, they tend to get better results with their digital display advertising, mobile applications, text messaging, social media, and other marketing efforts.  Customers are everywhere, on multiple channels, and it’s up to you to find out which channels influence them. Most consumers are likely using several devices and sources to meet their information needs, whether they’re checking sports scores or researching their next financial product.
The right data can help you identify the channels these consumers are using to research their decisions and then help you reach them on those specific channels. A third party with deep, diverse data and analytics expertise can provide you with better information to help shape omnichannel campaigns and push personalized offers to purchase-ready prospects that truly resonate with them.
- Does your analytics program help assess risk when you’re identifying potential customers?
The last thing you want to do is spend money on a customer acquisition campaign, only to find that you have attracted the kind of customers who will not stick it out for the long haul and are potentially high-risk. Maybe your customer criteria were not in line with your best customers; maybe your market segmentation was not accurate or detailed enough. Whatever it was, you didn’t get the most out of your marketing dollars and you may have increased the likelihood that your new customers will be unable to make timely payments or commit for a significant time period.
Customer data that includes information from a variety of regulated sources can help you create better acquisition strategies. With unique, third-party data, you’re able to guide risk management decisions, as well as predict purchase behavior — and target customers who are more likely to be able to afford the commitment or the product they have chosen. This, in turn, increases your market share, your loyal customer base, and your bottom line. In fact, financial services firms that apply analytics to customer data have a four percentage-point lead in market share over those that do not. You have a better view of your potential customers and what they need, and are able to craft your acquisition campaigns to those customers.
The most important part of customer acquisition starts long before the campaigns begin. It really starts with the right data and analytics that can help you identify potential high-value customers, reach out to them on channels that resonate with them, and mitigate your risk. The only way to do that is to unify and standardize internal and third-party data, analyze it effectively, then leverage the insights to engage with the best potential customers.
To learn more about how big data and analytics can help improve customer acquisition, download “Five Questions to Ask About How Data and Analytics Can Help Your Organization Meet Its Growth Goals”.
 The Global Review of Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising, GDMA LLC and Winterberry Group LLC, January 2017.
 “Insights, Analytics and Personalization in Financial Marketing,“ The Financial Brand, May 23, 2017.
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