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How the Bank of Georgia Uses Data-Driven Marketing To Boost Engagement

How do you win the loyalty of two million customers in the country of Georgia? Well-honed personalized messaging that adds value. The bank’s Chief Marketing Office explains.

Woman paying bills on her laptop
Customers have high expectations for personalized, helpful banking experiences. [@ANA LUZ CRESPI/Stocksy United]

Banking customers expect an experience tailored to their preferences, and they no longer have to settle for channels they don’t want to use. Data-driven marketing and personalization gives financial institutions the information to bring these experiences to their customers, and yet a staggering 94% of banks say that they can’t yet deliver this hyper-personalization. Only 30% agree that their bank offers at least some personalization in their products and services. 

The pressure for financial institutions to meet customer expectations guides marketing leaders to rethink their strategies. In fact, 84% are looking to provide personalized advice and proactively engage customers as part of their future marketing efforts.

At the Bank of Georgia, we spend a lot of time diving deep into customer data to create personalized customer journeys. Our goal is to target the right person with the right information at the right time – all on the channel they’re most likely to engage with. By knowing what data to collect and how to interpret it, we can deliver innovative customer experiences that keep our customers happy.

Using data to create personalized experiences is not an easy feat in any industry, much less in the highly regulated financial industry. In this post, I’ll share how the Bank of Georgia has tackled data-driven marketing and personalization and digital transformation to build relationships and provide value to customers.

Get a complete picture of the customer

At the Bank of Georgia, we approach customer engagement and data-driven marketing with a permission marketing strategy. This means we go straight to the customer to understand their wants and needs in order to tailor recommendations and resources. 

One of the most important aspects of our data collection process is our focus on understanding our customers’ financial and non-financial needs. We then merge this data to establish a 360-degree view of the customer, which allows us to provide a truly personalized experience.

For example, let’s say a customer has expressed an interest in trading. One of our brokers will engage that customer by providing a resource on the topic, such as an ebook. We then follow up with additional information like educational videos to help support the customer’s interest. In doing so, we can nurture the lead as they move through each step of their journey, and build their trust. When it comes time to recommend one of our products, they know it’s tailored to their needs.

A unified view of our customer is a two-way street. We know we have to offer them something of value at each step of the journey. In return, the customer provides us with information about themselves that we can use to personalize their experience.

A unified view of our customer is a two-way street. We know we have to offer them something of value at each step of the journey. In return, the customer provides us with information about themselves that we can use to personalize their experience.

By knowing what the customer wants, we can inform our marketing campaigns and messaging. To ensure the right message is reaching the right customer, we A/B test different options to determine what information resonates most. This ensures our work provides the most value and delivers data-based personalization.

Use data to engage customers in new ways

We engage with our two million customers through many channels, some paid and some owned. This includes outbound and inbound call centers, social media, our website, and a mobile app that is the most used banking app in the country of Georgia.

We use an attribution model to learn where we interact with customers and to understand which channel works best to connect with specific buyer types. As more and more customers shift to digital channels, we can now follow a customer through their journey to understand what happens at each step and keep them moving through the funnel. 

By capturing data like this, we can determine the relevance of our messaging to our customers, and determine which types of customers had the same experience. We then tailor our marketing to better engage with the right message on the right channel.

Rethink customer experience through digital transformation

Sixty-nine percent of global marketing leaders expect companies to provide new ways to purchase and interact post-pandemic. Innovation is key to evolving the customer experience.

At Bank of Georgia, we were already on a path of digital transformation – the pandemic simply accelerated our efforts. For us, digital transformation boils down to understanding how to take our products and services and translate the end-to-end user experience to a digital platform. 

For example, at the start of the pandemic, we knew we needed to double down on our digital transformation to ensure customers did not experience service disruptions. We used customer data to understand behavior patterns. To alleviate the health risk of in-person bank visits, we increased the percentage of money transfers through our mobile app by 12%. We provided a better customer experience and kept up with changing customer needs. 

Ultimately, data-driven digital transformation uses customer insight to improve the customer experience. At the Bank of Georgia, this means engaging our customers in a give-and-take exchange of information which gives us the data we need to optimize our marketing efforts. In turn, customers get a personalized experience that meets their needs and provides them the resources they need to make sound banking decisions.

Levan Gomshiashvili was appointed Chief Marketing Officer of JSC Bank of Georgia in May 2019. He has extensive experience in marketing and communications. Before joining the Bank, Gomshiashvili was the founder of HOLMES&WATSON creative agency, where he was Key Account Manager for clients operating in banking and other sectors. Gomshiashivili received his MSc in Management from University of Edinburgh.

More by Levan

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