How NAB uses data insights to personalise real-time customer moments

GM of consumer marketing and customer strategy details the power of tech and data to create deep and relevant service-oriented personalisation

National Australia Bank is working to deliver personalisation in the moment, rather than after the fact, in order to create great customer experiences, its general manager of consumer marketing and customer strategy says.

Speaking to attendees at the Teradata Summit 2018 Sydney, Karen Ganschow said part of NAB’s marketing strategy involves using data and insights to help guide consumers through ‘life’s moments,’ both good and bad, to create unique human customer experiences at the right point in time.

As an example, she explained how a certain segment of NAB.com is focused on customer life moments, featuring a range of relevant content from buying a home to sorting out finances to losing a loved one.

“We’re trying to pick up all these happy and sad, exciting and troubling moments where the customer really does need to think about what’s going on with their financial circumstances,” she said.

The data-driven engagement strategy also involves reaching out to all customers with an everyday banking account and home loan to gauge their cashflow, a powerful insights-driven check-in to determine the consumer’s relationship with the bank and particular needs.

“It’s a beautiful piece of communication. It has that real service from us. And it’s really about making us more customer-centric, and putting customers in control and understanding what’s going on for them,” Ganschow said.   

Part of NAB’s vision is to help Australians control their money so they can see life beyond it. “That’s where we’re spending a lot of time harnessing customer data enabled by our array of data solutions,” Ganschow said.  

Overall, the goal is to be true to NAB’s brand purpose, captured in the tagline, ‘more than money’ launched last year as part of a multi-million dollar national brand campaign, while also delivering customer ease and deep and relevant service-oriented personalisation, she added.

Building relationships with customers requires the financial institution to use the rich array of data to help personalise experiences.

“When everything is connected to everything else, the role of technology shifts from managing data to managing relationships,” Ganschow said. “We do see banking as a relationship business.  

“The power of using our technology and data to create really personalised customer experiences, and making it great for the customer, and great for thHow the insights team within NAB is working to unlock customer data

e person who’s on the front lines dealing with the customer. There’s no point having beautiful data lakes, if you can’t bring the insights into action.”

As such, NAB is aiming to “walk in the customer’s shoes,” recognising customers don’t want product conversations, but instead want help with their financial situations during life’s range of moments from buying a house, to having a child or even going through a divorce. One way it’s attempting to push the envelope in terms of customer communication is to engage with consumers at non-traditional times – such as when a customer has paid off a home loan.

“We are actually celebrating with our customers when they pay off their home. It is very unusual for a bank to do that because, ostensibly, you are the least profitable for the bank,” Ganschow said, explaining consumers often get downgraded in terms of status.

“But NAB wants to celebrate that with you and more importantly, determine what’s next. Is it property investment, superannuation, is it share trading, or potentially helping your kids get into the house market? We recognise that moment, which is unexpected for a bank to be talking to a customer at this point.”

Additionally, the bank is using data to give customers a ‘nudge’ in terms of particular services or offerings. For instance, a consumer could get a text message immediately after visiting a branch for a specific service, advising them that same service can be made simpler performed online and over the mobile phone.

NAB also plans to use its customer data and insights to sense where customers are going, such as a trip overseas in order to then pitch relevant, personalised messages at the right time and in the right context.

One way the bank is using digital to help with this is by focusing on a big mobile play. According to Ganschow, the “real battleground” is digital adoption and giving consumers the right customer experience in the context of where they are - in their hand or pocket 24/7.

“There’s a huge focus for us to make sure our mobile app experience is a sensational one,” she said, explaining a mobile app is the biggest branch in any retail bank. It does about 95 per cent of all transactions, eliminating most of the need to ring a call centre.

“Our customers are changing the way they think, the way they act, they are changing their banking in terms of their expectations, and they are changing in terms of their buying behaviour. And, of course, as a retail bank, this is very material,” she said.  

Among the bank’s recently initiatives is the Fast Payments platform, and Ganschow said half a million customers already register through their mobiles on pay ID.

But through all of this, Ganschow warned NAB’s marketing and customer teams need to avoid getting too caught up in the technology.  

“We have the greatest speeds and feeds, the greatest widgets and the greatest wow, but ultimately we have to keep coming back to is, ‘What is the problem the customer is trying to solve? What are their anxieties? And what are their concerns?’” she said.

Read more about NAB's digital and customer strategy:

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