Channeling the Customer
Frawley states that these results are typical of multichannel marketing efforts. When companies play e-mail and direct mail off one another, for example, the response rates to those combo campaigns double that of the usual return, he offers.
Investing in the Future
Encouraged by the results obtained via the personas and other customer-focused data initiatives, Doran-Collins plans to make more improvements to the customer experience on the Web.
Her team is working on a natural language search tool that not only will help customers find the financial information they are seeking in their own words, but also provide more customer intelligence to Sovereign Bank on how searchers view financial topics.
In addition, the bank plans to conduct an account aggregation project to better understand all the financial products a customer might have with institutions besides Sovereign Bank. And Doran-Collins will be developing a segmentation tool that is based on regional preferences or other criteria for more precise presentation of content and offers to Web visitors.
On the direct mail side, says Hand, the company wants to move toward true one-to-one marketing in its efforts. The goal is personalized communications, "where we speak to the customer uniquely about their situation. For example, 'based on how much you've told us you've saved for retirement, you'll have $X to live on every year. Let me help you with strategies to increase your savings so you'll have $Y to live on.' That sort of thing," Hand explains.
For now, the other channel managers will be closely watching how the online team fares with its test cases. If its previous successes are any indication of the road ahead, Sovereign Bank's online channel is poised to lead the firm into the multichannel future.