What is takes to build experiences so customers want to bank with Macquarie

Macquarie Bank head of marketing talks through the technology, data and cultural approach driving the retail banking brand proposition and relationship with customers

Using technology to build relationships, data to understand customers and connecting through deeply human experiences to keep them is how Macquarie Bank’s retail brand is looking to build scale.

Speaking at this week’s Salesforce World Tour in Sydney, Macquarie Bank head of marketing, Craig Griffin, discussed the elements fuelling the organisation’s retail marketing approach and the importance of complementing technology with systems and cross-functional ways of working to realise customer experience excellence.

At a top-line level, Griffin said Macquarie Bank is driven by a purpose to empower people to innovate and invest for a better future.

“Like every organisation represented here, we believe the only way to do that is by massively focusing on the customer and in a way that creates those human experiences enabled by technology,” he told attendees.

As a digital-first bank when it came to building out a retail brand proposition, Macquarie Bank embedded digital technology into its systems, processes and experiences from the outset. This had to be the foundation for enabling teams to deliver on experience expectations, Griffin said.

Prior to launch, Macquarie replatformed the bank, working with Salesforce as a strategic solution partner for customer engagement and building out digitally native banking experiences. For example, Macquarie Bank’s app allowed customers to natively search any transaction, geolocate them and attach receipts digitally.

“That capability led us translating that into wonderful customer experience,” Griffin said.

But just as critical is the culture supporting the ambition. When the ‘I bank with Macquarie’ brand platform came to fruition in 2017, getting internal buy-in to the platform had to be the first step.

“I bank with Macquarie began as an internal program for advocates. We knew we couldn’t get the community to believe in it if we couldn’t get our own staff to believe it,” Griffin said.

Knowing its customers is the other side of the coin. Helping customers build confidence in the financial decisions they are making is the space Macquarie Bank wants to own. As it brought the brand to market, it put real customers and their stories front and centre, including 22 customers in its initial advertising photo shoot.

“What creates opportunity is customers,” Griffin said. “We have to be crystal clear on who our customers are. Some have a mindset really aligned to our brand, and they’re the core of who we build solutions for. It’s a broad group of people, as we have learnt. It’s customer who disrupt and customers who create opportunity.

“We are using tech to build that relationship, data to understand them and deeply human experiences enabled by that technology to keep them.”

As an example, Griffin said Macquarie Bank invested heavily in the CX journey for people getting a home loan. This approach spread to business banking, wealth management then all personal banking products.

“It took months and discipline to map the journey for customers, employees, processes and everything build behind that,” Griffin said.

Macquarie Bank also built an engine around acquisition that’s data driven. Rather than outsource to a digital agency, the decision was to start with an inhouse, first-party data premise.

“With this, we could leverage journeys, A/B testing, data and create an acquisition engine that measures every point of interaction through our sales funnel,” Griffin said. “This ensures if we see drop-off, we get on phones and to sales teams, get on our site and drill into that.

“The next thing is to make sure we are personalising and building scale into our ability to do that.”

Three principles underpin this approach. The first is a clear strategy, Griffin said. In order to build great experiences and create confidence, Macquarie Bank has had to believe it’s a tech company in financial services.

“We build first, deliver great experiences then amplify them. That’s an important principle for us,” he said. “First had to build exceptional products.”

The second principle is the way teams work and a real focus on execution. The third is creating ecosystems of people who come together to serve the customer, rather than operate in silos.

“Everyone falls short when it comes to the silos and hand-offs. We created agile ways of working and we’re geared up to work off planner boards and see everyone’s work,” Griffin said. “The day we went to remote working [due to Covid lockdowns], we were able to use our technology and agile ways of working on Kanban boards as well as ecosystems around our customer segments and the products.”

As well as embrace growth teams, Macquarie Bank has a head of martech and head of growth marketing directly reporting to both marketing and the its chief data officer.

“We have to be able to leverage marketing, data and tech to create these experiences,” Griffin said. “Lots of marketing leaders want to own the data. I’m not that person. I want to leverage it with the people around me with that expertise.”

While he would not disclose specific results, Griffin said he was proud of what the team has achieved. He noted awareness was very low when Macquarie Bank started and has continued to grow quarter on quarter.

“What I’m most proud of are the customers who are prepared to say, ‘I bank with Macquarie’,” Griffin said.

“Relationships are deeply personal. To tell the story of our customers, we need to know them. So next for us is doubling down with intelligence, personalisation, journey building and all the other ecosystems we plug into – including all our platform providers – to create more personalised experiences. We want to meet the customer with relevant and contextual communications. We’re a long way away from that in financial services, but we aspire to provide the experiences for customer that relate to their world.”  

To do this, Macquarie Bank is looking to align more to customer’s values and leveraging the group’s global basis. One example Griffin pointed to is the group’s position as a leader in sustainability and renewable energy globally.

“We have experts that understand hydrogen, electric vehicles, trends in solar. We can leverage that to provide real content to customers if it’s what they are interested in,” he said. “Many customers are interested in investing, and we have an obligation to provide great content and personalise that to give them more reasons to say, ‘I bank with Macquarie’.”

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