Ready for the challenges of 2018? Five priorities for bank CMOs


As we reach year end, questions such as: “Are we fully compliant with upcoming regulation?”, “Are we doing enough with digital?” and “Can artificial intelligence really improve our business?” are certain to have echoed around the boardrooms of banks across the world.

The banking industry is undergoing a digital revolution, and customers are demanding more than ever from their banking experience. If you’ve read some of my previous blogs, you’ll be aware of my thoughts on the impact AI and cognitive technologies are already having, and the potential for innovating the customer experience through chatbots and digital assistants.

But digital transformation isn’t the only thing that’s top of mind. The looming compliance deadlines of PSD2 and GDPR mean banks must seize the opportunity to deliver new data-driven experiences to customers or risk being left behind.

2018 is set to be a challenging year for banks. How will the landscape develop over coming months? Five areas key to success include:

1.    Customer lifecycle marketing

Generating business from existing customers has to be a priority and is far more cost effective than acquiring new ones. By implementing customer lifecycle marketing strategies that drive customer loyalty at multiple touchpoints, and through utilization of persona-based marketing techniques, bank CMOs can maximize successful outcomes and propel customers along the path-to-consume and long-term engagement.

2.    Artificial intelligence

Forward-thinking bank CMOs are already exploring how AI and machine learning technology can support their marketing and customer strategies. With digital assistants and chatbots helping to automate front-end banking processes, banks are gaining increased insight into customer behavior. Through analysis of the data collected from these sources, savvy marketing teams can create and deliver personalized services, offering the most appropriate products to customers exactly when they need them.

3.    PSD2 and GDPR

PSD2 and open banking herald a new app-driven era of openness in banking and bank CMOs must be ready to exploit the resulting opportunities. As the regulation comes into effect, banks will need to respond to customer requests to share their data with third parties. Banks must be ready to jump on the opportunity presented if customers also grant them access to data held by other banks. This will give them the chance to craft even more alluring offers based on a fuller picture of the customer’s needs.

With GDPR coming into effect in May 2018, banks will need to ensure every effort is made to have their data strategy correct whilst also remaining compliant with legislation. Whilst some customers will be open to sharing information with trusted third parties, others may have a much more guarded approach, and banks will need to respect this.

4.    Marketing tech

For bank CMOs, being a creative thinker is no longer enough. Moving forward, CMOs need to be conversant with big data and innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence to truly exploit the vast amount of information collected across a variety of sources. In this sense, we can expect to see increasingly blurred lines between the roles of the CMO, CIO and CXO (Customer Experience Officer).

5.    Social reach

Banks must embrace digital across every aspect of their business. With digital natives set to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, banks will need to transform the way they operate internally, replacing traditional communication channels with collaborative technologies which foster better communications between teams that may be working across multiple locations and time-zones. This will prove invaluable not only for standard processes, but will also be vital during regulatory compliance projects and when communicating customer needs across departments.

Over the coming months, spurred on by legislation, banks will be making some exciting steps into customer and technology innovations. The bank CMO’s responsibility in all of this will be to drive excellent customer experience across the bank, and to ensure that transformation puts the customers’ needs at the center of the overall strategy. In an open banking world, if your customers aren’t happy, you can’t expect to hold on to them for very long.