Standard Bank

Over 50,000 employees
Salesforce customers since 2018


performance increase of personal loan leads by using Audience Studio


Standard Bank personalises the customer experience with data-driven marketing

Amahle is interested in taking out a personal loan with Standard Bank and visits the website to find out more. The next day while browsing the web, she sees an advert promoting preferential rates for a loan with the bank. Amahle clicks through to a personalised loan offer from Standard Bank and starts the online application but is interrupted by a phone call. Later that day Amahle gets an email reminding her about the pending application and she goes back to the website to complete the process. 

This is the type of personalised customer experience that will differentiate banks in the digital age. And Standard Bank is on a mission to make it a reality. “We want to have the right conversations with our customers at the right time on the right channel,” said Sagren Pather, Executive Head of Digital, Direct Marketing, and Marketing Analytics at Standard Bank. “Customers who have a high-quality experience are more likely to keep doing business with a brand and buy additional products.” 

A customer-centric experience encourages continuous engagement.

To deliver on its customer experience goals, Standard Bank is implementing a vision and strategy for data-driven marketing that combines analytics, personalisation, media automation, content, and journey mapping. “We want to provide a seamless customer-centric and digital experience that encourages continuous engagement and maximises lifetime value,” said Pather. 

Digitalisation and the customer experience are not only a priority for Pather and his marketing colleagues; Standard Bank’s overall business strategy is also founded on these principles. “As part of our vision for 2020, we want to deliver customer-centric universal financial services in a digital way,” explained Pather. “We want to ensure that the services our customers and employees need are consistently available anywhere, anytime irrespective of the channel.” 


We want to provide a seamless customer-centric and digital experience that encourages continuous engagement and maximises lifetime value”

Sagren Pather | Executive Head of Digital, Direct Marketing, and Marketing Analytics at Standard Bank

New marketing capabilities boost effectiveness.

To provide an always-on service, Standard Bank needs to build an always-on business with smarter technologies, easier interfaces, and richer insights. For the marketing team, this has meant transforming its toolsets, operations, and skills. “We’ve created a centre of expertise with new capabilities that will boost marketing effectiveness and enable the business to realise its strategic goals,” explained Pather.    

Headquartered in South Africa, Standard Bank is an African-focused, client-centric, digitally-enabled integrated financial services organisation. Standard Bank operates across three core business lines, namely Personal and Business Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth. It serves more than 13 million customers in 27 markets. 

Gaining better visibility of a global customer base.

Engaging with customers and capturing insights on such a global scale is a massive challenge – especially as people increasingly interact across multiple channels. “We need solutions that enable our teams to capture and analyse data from different sources to better understand our customers and prospects,” said Pather. 

Marketing Cloud is one of the solutions that is helping to provide this visibility. “It’s a best of breed solution and offers great efficiencies,” said Pather. Deployed over four months, Marketing Cloud went live in June 2018. Standard Bank worked with and Salesforce to create a data framework and enable integration with its media partners’ systems. 

Every member of the 20-strong implementation team attended a Salesforce Academy on Audience Studio, which forms part of the Marketing Cloud solution. “The training provided us with both a strategic and tactical overview of the solution and how to best leverage its capabilities to benefit the bank,” said Pather.

Tracking customer behaviour across multiple digital touchpoints.

Standard Bank uses Audience Studio to track how customers engage with digital content, monitoring click-throughs, following journeys, and collating data points at a website page and individual level. In 2019, it plans to add app activity as well. 

“With Audience Studio, we can track customer behaviour across different digital touchpoints,” explained Pather. “We can see how customers interact with content and capture key metrics, such as bounce and drop-off rates,” explained Pather. 

Standard Bank has already started to see great results from the pilot test in delivering more personalised messages around personal loans. “We wanted to close the loop with regards to form abandonment and improve overall conversion rates,” explained Pather. And that’s just what the bank has achieved. By using Audience Studio for retargeting in the current pilot test, we are seeing a 104% performance increase of personal loan leads, when compared to the normal way of targeting, combined with early indications of overall sales conversion uplift.

Audience Studio enables smarter digital media investments.

Digital media has become a major engagement channel for the bank attracting a significant annual spend. Business units worked with different agencies to buy digital media across sites such as Facebook and Google. This fragmented approach often resulted in customers and prospects being targeted by different campaigns at the same time. 

“There is a lot of duplication and cannibalisation,” explained Pather. “We don’t always  know who we were targeting and what the extent of the duplication is.” With Salesforce, all that is changing. The bank can now segment customers and prospects more intelligently and aggregate its media buy. 

With more than nine different product lines in retail banking alone, this centralised approach will help increase efficiency and maximise investment in digital marketing. “With Audience Studio, we can take a more customer-centric and data-driven approach to marketing, and create more relevant campaigns and content,” said Pather. 

Richer customer insights drive greater personalisation.

Standard Bank’s ultimate goal is to achieve a single view of the customer and a single view of the marketing touch points across all its business units. This level of visibility will enable it to deliver a personalised experience to millions of customers like Amahle around the world. 

“We want to enable an always-on presence with our customers, so we can address their needs and help them make informed decisions,” said Pather. “By unlocking richer insights, we can offer more relevant products, services, and marketing content in real time. This not only enriches the customer experience but boosts our share of wallet and brand value.” 


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