Data and the New Marketing

Marketers realize how much their roles have evolved in the past few years. They have gone from direct mail, newspaper, billboard, TV, and radio to the new marketing–Google, social media, email, content, inbound, geo, and mobile marketing. Today, digital channels are driving your marketing budgets and plans, and they were emerging just ten years ago.

These changes for marketing have also demanded new data to track and report marketing success. During the days of traditional marketing, tracking would be on a schedule that required a 90-day look-back to determine how many accounts were opened. With digital marketing, the lifespan of a promotion can be as short as 96 hours. Tracking changed to end-of-month from the end-of-day.

Getting this timely data is difficult, but also creates opportunities:

1. It allows for quicker trending, and if a promotion isn’t pulling, you can diagnose the reason more quickly.
2. After this diagnosis, you can improve the audience focus, the offer, or the creative elements.
3. Quicker promotion tracking also allows more A/B testing (a sample audience is presented with two offers to learn which pulls the best and the best is given to the broader audience).

The member journey with data
In addition to tracking responses, data can be used to improve the member journey. Members do not spontaneously decide to buy a car or get a mortgage. These decisions are a process. Data can be used to identify if a member is in the buying cycle based upon their demographic, content interest, and transaction indicators.

Using data, a marketer can see the content the member is viewing on the website, in blogs, and e-books. Interest in content such as “How to Buy a Car” tells the marketer that the member may be in the buying process. Adding this member to a drip campaign, the marketer can stay relevant to the member as he or she continues through the process. A drip campaign is reaching out on a disciplined basis to the member with information related to the buying process. This new content might be content on “How to Sell Your Old Car.” The mix should be three content offers for every product offer.

Transactional data
Another way data can help marketers is to know when your members have balances elsewhere. Mining the ACH files will allow the credit union to understand where money is flowing into and out of the credit union and for what purpose. For example, if you know a member has a set monthly transfer to a mortgage company, the member has a mortgage elsewhere. If you have a member that has a set amount going to an auto finance company, you know it is a car payment.

The same tactics can help to identify where the member has a deposit or checking account elsewhere when he or she sends or gets money from another financial institution. If your member has a monthly deposit of a set amount coming in from another financial institution and the member has no checking or a low activity checking account, you can determine his or her primary checking is that other financial institution.

Data today is the fuel for marketing efficiency but also marketing success. Having the data will help to drive a marketer’s success.

Written for Synergent by Rich Jones, President and Principal at Leading2Leadership LLC, a strategic planning consultancy that specializes in helping credit unions prepare and transform to better compete in a digital and data-driven competitive business environment. Rich has been a frequent speaker at Synergent events, including our Technology Workshop.