Citi taps new data source to personalise dining loyalty program

Banking group's MD of marketing, digital banking and customer experience says latest initiatives are about adding more value around customer engagement

Citibank MD of marketing, digital banking and customer experience, Linda Duncombe
Citibank MD of marketing, digital banking and customer experience, Linda Duncombe

Citibank is raising the bar on targeted customer engagement by offering location-specific dining recommendations to consumers signed up to its dining loyalty program.

Citi MD of marketing, digital banking and customer experience, Linda Duncombe, told CMO her team has begun using postcode data to provide personalised restaurant suggestions to loyalty customers who have opted into its new dining EDM. Three recommendations of restaurants closest to the consumer’s home will be displayed at the top of the EDMs and rotate on a monthly basis to ensure relevancy.

The data-led service will be fully rolled out this month.

“We were targeting before, although much more broadly, but this is much more personalised,” Duncombe said.

The dining program EDMs have an open rate of more than 60 per cent, an indication of just how highly engaged customers are with the program, she said.

“Some restaurants have said they were already happy with the program, but they’ve now seen even more lift,” Duncombe said of the targeted EDM activity. “It’s about giving back to our customers with something that is relevant to them, and from which they see value. But it’s nice to give something back to the restaurants in the program as well.”

Duncombe also flagged plans to take personalisation to another level come October. The changes are aimed at ensuring the mobile app becomes more time-relevant.

Citi is also revamping its dining mobile app, including a new user interface and location-based services allowing consumers to search for restaurants nearby. The new-look app also integrates into the booking system and is expected to be available in August.

Duncombe said the bank’s investment in mobility was a reflection of the importance of mobile connectivity and content, and demonstrated Citi’s efforts to provide more value-add services to customers.

Read more: CMO50 #23: Linda Duncombe, Citi

“Importantly, it’s about adding more value to people’s lives,” she said. “As a bank, you should be able to trust us to look after your money, so how do we do something different? We’re trying to rethink the paradigm of what banking can be. Banking as a main service of transactions should be expected and delivered. We want to do more.”

Under the Citi dining program, card holders are offered a complimentary bottle of wine at hundreds of participating restaurants supplied by national partner, McWilliams Wines. According to Duncombe, four out of five of its customers choose restaurants based on being part of the program.

CMO interview: How Citibank is dishing up targeted customer engagement

Duncombe said Citi’s restaurant partners had found the average ticket price is higher across Citi customers participating in the program than standard diners, and that the program also generates repeat visitation.

More importantly for the banking brand, it’s driven a much higher level of engagement and interaction with customers, she said.

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