How a Direct Data Connection Can Transform Financial Marketing

Banks can use email marketing to better serve their customers
Feb 12, 2020
Jeff Haws

Every marketer has faced challenges when creating what they hope to be successful, personalized cross-channel messaging campaigns. For those working in highly regulated industries like banks and other financial institutions, those challenges can often seem impossible to overcome, especially when data access is a primary factor.

The many and changing regulations that govern banks apply fully to their marketing departments. And while marketers have been able to work around those regulations to create amazing cross-channel campaigns, many still struggle with getting access to the data they need and using it to send highly personalized marketing and transactional messages.

But banks have a lot going for them when it comes to marketing. Not only do they have a lot of first-party data on their customers, but the right addition to their martech stack could give banks the data connection they seek, while maintaining the highest level of security.

Shying away from email

One element slowing banks’ marketing innovation and personalization efforts is their dependence on legacy marketing cloud platforms for sending messages, if they send marketing messages at all. Many Super Senders rely on SaaS platforms that can have a significant delay — hours or even days in some cases — when it comes to updating customer data. Moreover, restrictions on what types of data financial institutions can — or are willing to — send to their cloud provider may prevent marketers from having the data they need to send the sorts of personalized campaigns that customers expect.

In a recent study from The Relevancy Group titled “The Hidden Costs of Data Friction,” financial marketers were asked if they use email in their marketing strategy. Despite being the highest-ROI channel by most measures, email was shunned by a significant portion of marketers in the financial sector. In most industries, the numbers were near or above 90% on utilizing email. And The Relevancy Group had an idea of why financial marketers went the other way:

“Over 20% of marketers in the Financial Services and Travel & Hospitality sectors report not utilizing an ESP to send their email marketing. The Relevancy Group believes that these marketers, who often drive data-intensive programs and face constraints about data security, governance, and privacy, have made the difficult choice of not partnering with an ESP due to the costs of replicating and synchronizing customer data between internal systems and their ESP, and are likely relying on sub-optimal technology solutions as a result.”

And they can’t afford to rely on sub-optimal technology. The market is too competitive, and too much is at stake for marketers at large financial institutions to cede the ground of personalized cross-channel messaging to their competitors who have better technology to work with. A customer engagement platform that connects directly to their data — whether it lives in a modern data warehouse, a private cloud, or an in-house solution — solves this problem by keeping PII behind the firewall where it belongs, but allowing marketers to customize their campaigns with live, real-time data that isn’t exposed to security risk.

Data security is essential

Data security is a requirement for a financial institution’s long-term success. Customers won’t turn their money over to an organization they don’t trust.

Marketers from every industry are concerned about the security of their customer data, but financial marketers have particular reason to be wary of customer engagement platforms that promise the data will be safe in their cloud. Marketers should be worried about sending data to the vendor and exposing it to the Internet. At financial institutions, there’s certain data they’ll never be able to allow outside their firewall because of privacy policies. And with legacy cloud providers, they have to involve their IT department or vendor for support, prolonging and complicating the process.

However, with a customer engagement platform that connects directly to your database, the very design of its infrastructure increases the security of your data. The marketer can access all their data safely behind the corporate firewall. Then, they can decide what is exposed to the cloud when sending messages. Since you’re not replicating the data, there’s no need to worry if it’s safe sitting in a partner’s cloud infrastructure. And KMS encryption can add yet another layer to that security, making it to where even the organization’s marketers and data analysts themselves can’t see the data that’s being used for personalization.

Marketing departments in heavily regulated industries face many challenges when rolling out new initiatives or campaigns. Accessing and leveraging rich customer data doesn’t have to add an additional burden. A customer engagement platform with a direct data connection can finally give these marketers the tools they need to fully realize their ideas with live, real-time data.

About the Author

Jeff Haws

As MessageGears’ Senior Marketing Manager, Jeff is focused on producing engaging and thoughtful content that resonates with enterprise marketers, helping them to better understand how MessageGears makes their jobs easier. He’s passionate about understanding the way data impacts messaging, and he’s also hopelessly obsessed with baseball.