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The Promise of Personalization Part II

Last week we talked about what people wanted from their financial institution. As a refresher, this is the response that consumers gave. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, the typical banking customer answers the following question in this manner:

“I want my bank (or credit union) to be more like:
I know what I need by I’m open to some relevant automated feedback.

A Personal Shopper……..29%
I know I need something, I just don’t know where to start.

A Supermarket……..16%
I know what I need, and I know it will have it.

My Doctor/Dentist……..11%
I don’t enjoy going, but I know I need to go regularly for important help.

My Gym……..6%
I want it to be an important part of my regular routine.

Delivering on the Consumer’s Demands

You can’t be all things to all people so you must decide in advance the areas that you can actually deliver. As with any product or service, you need to know YOUR market and their specific demands. McDonalds does not try to sell Rib Eye steaks. It’s just not a fit.

Just because somebody may want the above, serving each segment is going to result in some compromises for some and benefits for others. Your goal is to be certain to “optimize” the choices in line with your capabilities.

The Survey Decoded>

I interpret the results above translated to the consumer behavior as follows:

The Amazon Shopper – They know what they want. To win their business, you will need to have a robust commitment to technology, a category-leading investment in Fin-tech. An organization like this is a “digital first” company with heavy investment in tools, talents and technology.

The Personal Shopper – This might be classified as a “high touch” or “personal banker” strategy. Contrary to the Amazon experience, more emphasis needs to be placed on the “people” side of the equation. That translates into more staff, consistent and in depth training on all facets of the finance equation. Employees must recognize how to read the consumer’s needs.

The Supermarket – These consumers are likely less concerned about their choices. They may be less brand loyal and are comfortable buying a CD from anyone. This is likely a price-oriented shopper and would require aggressive pricing strategies to maintain their business.

Doctor/Dentist – This is the loyal consumer that respects the relationships and wants to be serviced effectively when they do come in. More financial planning and investment counseling support may be in line with the expectations of this consumer.

My Gym – This could be a combination of many different approaches since this implies a regular focus on financial wellness. What could benefit this consumer? Financial training classes, events and other educational efforts to keep these consumers operating at their peak. The move toward in-branch coffee bars plays into this strategy.

Remember, you can’t be all things to all people. It’s best to understand your user base and/or the consumers you want to attract and build the right solution for them. Always keep in mind what the competitive landscape is going to be offering as well. The financial industry operates in a sea of sameness, so do your best to stand out in your own unique and relevant way.