Article | July 29, 2020
Retailers and restaurants are increasingly offering contactless payments as a safer alternative to cash in the new-normal of COVID-19 while improving the overall customer experience. Tapping to pay in the U.S. has increased 150% year over year from March of last year. More U.S. consumers continue to receive new contactless cards, with more than 80 million Visa contactless cards added in the first six months of 2020 and 300 million expected in market by the end of the year. It’s clear: workers and consumers alike want to minimize personal contact as much as possible.
Article | December 10, 2020
Customers in the financial services industry want personalized experiences. They, in fact, expect and demand them from their service providers. They prefer to stay loyal to a company as long as they receive this special treatment. As a result, personalization has become the number one priority for marketers in the industry today. They are waking up to the realization that delivering personalized experiences highly depend on understanding customer data.marke
Very few companies have the means to understand this data and use it to enrich the customer experience. The technology that has been recently making waves in every industry is known as the Customer Data Platform (CDP). A CDP is a packaged SaaS (software-as-a-service) product that is designed to build a unified customer database for an organization. Implementing a CDP can help achieve consistent customer engagement, increased loyalty, and higher sales.
David Raab, CDP evangelist and Founder of the CDP Institute, was invited as a chief guest at the Customer Data Summit 2018 event organized by Lemnisk.
David is a widely recognized thought leader in marketing technology and analytics. He was one of the first people to recognize that digital marketing systems were not just proliferating but also the data that these systems were throwing up were getting grouped into silos, making it really hard for marketers to understand customers holistically.
David also realized that there was a tremendous opportunity if he could bring these disparate systems together. Around this insight, David coined the term CDP and founded his institute in 2016. The CDP Institute’s work has been seminal in helping marketers understand the need for a CDP and the ways that they can derive value from it.
David’s thought-leadership session imparted the following key insights:
The most challenging barrier to Marketing Automation success is data integration between the various marketing systems of an organization. Financial marketers in Asia face the same challenges as their peers elsewhere, which include unifying customer data, providing superior customer experience, working within compliance constraints, and finding the budget to pay for solutions.
The CDP industry has seen a good growth rate of around 73% over the last 12 months. Two-thirds of the growth is attributed to new vendors and the remaining to existing vendors. The adoption rate has been high for B2C marketers as their businesses depend highly on user engagement and digital conversions. Companies that opt for a CDP prefer to have a complete packaged solution that includes the core CDP functionality along with analytics and engagement.
A CDP works well when all marketing systems are interconnected. One interesting observation is that one-third of CDP users lack an integrated technology stack. Companies that claim to have a CDP do not have this system integration and, therefore, do not fall under the CDP-classified vendors.
Things such as churn prediction and predictive modeling are a set of classic algorithms that thrive on good data. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is totally data-driven and works well with data that is highly detailed. A CDP can play a major role in developing custom algorithms and advanced intelligent systems such as AI. One of the things that it can do is create a standardized variable or model score and make that shareable to all systems that it connects to.
Of its various capabilities, a CDP also enables cross-device personalization by associating each device with the customer’s master ID when they log in. The master ID is used to build a unified customer profile with all device data. The right message for each master ID is selected and shared with all devices. The unified and complete customer profiles help financial marketers in selecting the right message and deliver a consistent experience across all devices.
It is still early days for a CDP in Asia. Many organizations are still at the stage of learning for themselves why options such as DMP (Data Management Platforms), Enterprise Data Warehouses, and marketing clouds won’t solve the problem that a CDP addresses. The core technologies used in Asian financial institutions can support any level of marketing sophistication that their users are ready to deploy. The early CDP adopters are touted to have an advantage over others in the industry.
Article | June 1, 2021
The axing of third-party cookies by Google and the other major browser companies will require a major readjustment by financial services organisations.
The decision, coming fully into force next year, will effectively choke off the data that has enabled personalisation, optimised website interactions and driven much internet advertising. It is no comfort that the browser companies have acted because of fears about infringement of privacy and data protection legislation such as the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) in California.
The move will affect how UK financial services organisations interact with millions of people. More than three-quarters of Britons now use online banking and 14 million use digital-only banks, expecting a slick, light-touch interaction. So it appears that just as many people go digital, financial services organisations will no longer have access to information they need for personalisation, being unable to track where customers go on the internet after they have visited a bank’s website. All that data about individuals’ habits and preferences will be unavailable.
It seems catastrophic, but in reality, it is not. Financial organisations have a new opportunity to radically improve how they interact with web visitors and customers. AI-powered behavioural analytics offer far superior, real-time capabilities, using the data from the first-party cookies on their own website domains and where available, data from customers’ transaction histories.
The result is a solution that is faster, more accurate and responsive than conventional technology relying on cookie data owned and stored by third-party organisations. Instead of relying on such data for relatively rigid profiling and personalisation, behavioural analytics enables real-time interactions based on a more dynamic picture of how an individual’s requirements are changing.
The technology analyses all the browsing characteristics including time on site, speed of movement and page views, as well as more obvious features such as interest in specific products. Historical data added to the analysis includes what customers did on previous visits and the interval between those visits, establishing patterns where possible.
The flexible advantages of behavioural analytics hubs in financial services
Segmentation allows a bank to identify customers as soon as they arrive on its site, according to whether they are a new or existing customer. Their behaviour then indicates what they want. Knowing what customers are interested in is important. Customers visit financial services websites for a host of reasons – from seeking information, to opening accounts, exploring loans and mortgage offers, making or setting up new payments. They may also want advice about investments and savings, pensions or small business finance. Almost all of these requirements involve quite complex mental processes which financial organisations can influence while consumers are on their sites.
Collecting the data is not difficult – the skill is in making it actionable in an effective way, replicating the ability of a perceptive employee to read a customer’s state of mind. Banks can do this by setting up a behavioural analytics hub to understand what a customer’s behaviour means and how it can be optimised.
Using customised parameters, the hub will, for instance, trigger a screen notification that prompts the web visitor to fill in a form requesting an appointment. In the case of existing customers, the technology can correlate health insurance offers with spending on fitness, and, in general, savings and investment recommendations can be tailored to the client’s concerns or goals as revealed by their navigation of a bank’s website or mobile app.
Banks can set up analytics to see when consumers are behaving in a way that indicates they about to leave the website, allowing them to intervene with a notification that could include an offer. This provides a positive outcome and avoids the blanket use of offers that undermines profitability.
It is a more sophisticated and personalised approach that avoids annoying pop-ups or recommendations that fail to match individual preferences. As part of a single AI-powered segmentation platform, the technology enables banks to personalise marketing content in SMS messages and emails sent to consumers (who consent), which deliver far better results through precise targeting.
Solutions for last-mile interaction in the open banking era
The single platform approach also has another major advantage. It is much easier to implement and far more efficient and streamlined compared with separate solutions for different parts of the customer journey.
The benefits of using AI-powered segmentation solutions should be part of the financial sector’s broader strategy to transform its systems for the open banking era as we approach the end of third-party cookies. For established banks, the reality for some time has been that complexity of systems has undermined their ability to deliver a high-quality last mile. This they can now address without huge disruption or investment.
The alternative is for financial services organisations to become lost on an ocean of data, losing track of customers. Behavioural analytics will bring banks new insights into customers that surpass third-party cookie data, being actionable and accurate and in real time. To provide a streamlined and profitable experience for themselves and their millions of customers, banks must now employ the latest advances in AI-powered behavioural analytics.
Article | August 10, 2020
The world of accountancy software has changed significantly during the course of the last few years and in this blog we are going to attempt to unravel the minefield of online accounting software to give you a clear understanding. Small business accounting is a huge area in which many small business owners struggle to get right. To find the best accounting software for small businesses in the UK we must first assess what cloud accounting is.