Reframing customer communications along Next-Best-Action principles

Customer-centric marketing – A Different Approach to Customer Acquisition

Consumers today are more sensitive than ever to business outbound marketing efforts, which is part of the reason why banks have to be more discerning in their approach. Worn out by the advertising blitz driven by traditional direct marketing efforts, some consumers are quick to react negatively to promotional offers for financial products or services they simply don’t want.

In turn, many banks have made it a priority to keep these sensitivities in mind when building marketing campaigns, making use of data available through customer management software to match clients with ideal products. However, some experts suggest strategies that are even more drastic and involve structural changes to the way businesses market, and even operate.

Customer-centric marketing effectively runs opposite to direct marketing, in which a single product is developed and then advertised to customers broadly. One company has trademarked the term “Next-Best-Action Marketing” to describe the inverse of this approach, in which customers’ needs are first surveyed, and a number of products or services are offered as “options”. The “next best action”, in effect, involves the customer and company selecting whichever option best suits that individual.

The approach may seem intuitive, but its implementation can challenge traditional corporate structure, and may therefore be met with resistance by reluctant executives. Budgeting, staff compensation and workflow are organized assuming the existence of a direct marketing structure, and a next-best-action strategy may require organizational retooling.

Though the concept may be radical to some, savvy financial executives can implement strategies in the spirit of next-best-action if they have access to quality client behavioral data – the type offered by comprehensive customer management software. Such software may even be the backbone of a new outbound marketing strategy if financial executives choose to move in that direct, but at the very least it can revamp banks’ ability to communicate with their audience.

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