A data-centric future


A data-centric future
Banali Malhotra, marketing director

Rakbank integrates a blend of creativity and numbers to activate data-driven marketing campaigns for seamless customer experience. Marketing director Banali Malhotra highlights the potential of such methods

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Published: Tue 19 Nov 2019, 10:01 AM

Last updated: Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:58 PM

As a challenger brand in a cluttered banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) marketplace and true to its 'Simply Better' proposition, Rakbank continues to strive to innovate and defy conventions.
Over the years, this stance has constantly been visible across all its advertising and media channels. With the advent of digital and data-driven marketing, Rakbank has taken its innovation story forward in new and emerging spaces.
Marketing director Banali Malhotra points out: "We understand that new age innovation lies at the intersection of data, creativity and technology. In a competitive landscape where brands are jostling for consumer's attention, these three components are critical for marketers to cut through the noise through relevant and impactful messages." 
Data-driven marketing lies at the very heart of the overall digital strategy at Rakbank. 
Banks possess rich and granular transactional data sets to connect with customers in new ways. Though data-driven marketing has been cited as an engine of growth by many, yet research shows that only a handful of banks are currently using its true potential to their advantage. The biggest barrier to data-driven marketing lies in inaccessible and 'siloed' data sources.     
Despite challenges, there are clear opportunities to unlock the potential of data-driven marketing. Here are some ways in which Rakbank are embracing this space:
In-house data management platform (DMP)
The first step towards building a data foundation is to commit to data unification that gives us a holistic view of the customer. 
Malhotra explained that DMP is designed to unify all disparate sources of data, centralise it for a single customer view and make it actionable across activation channels, adding that the technology is by no means new.
"What used to be an adtech has now evolved as a hybrid of adtech/martech in recent years with widespread adoption on the marketer side. As per a 2018 survey, 44 per cent financial services marketers are currently using a DMP, and this is set to grow in the years to come."
Activating our own first party data
As Rakbank embarks on a cookie-less future in a post general data protection regulation (GDPR) world, first party data is increasingly becoming a precious asset.
"With this data, you can target existing customers by harnessing insights from past behaviour and interests. Techniques like custom-audiences and look-alike modelling can help build loyalty as well as cross-sell new products."
"Similarly, another way of using first party data is via building personas and audiences based on historical customer data, purchase behaviour and interests using advanced modelling. This data can then be ingested into the DMP as anonymised data and activated for campaigns," she added.
Personalisation at scale
We live in an era where Netflix, Amazon and Facebook have become an integral part of our lives. Personalised experiences have become an expectation. The challenge has been to deliver personalisation via Rakbank's banking channels.
Partnering with Lemnisk, the institution used AI-modelled first party data to build next best action predictive models and craft a unique personalised journey for both new and existing customers. This experience is seamlessly delivered via its website and push channels.
By learning the intent of audiences and signals, brands can develop dynamic creative and serve highly personalised messages to the right users. For its RAKfoodie digital campaign, the bank identified four different foodie personas via programmatic and offered them 20 different personalised messages across various channels.
Data partnerships
The key to cutting through the clutter and going beyond the obvious targeting approaches is to strike strategic data partnerships with key players. These partnerships have helped gain deeper insight into audiences and unlocked precision targeting.
A few years ago, Google had coined 'micro-moments', which are critical touchpoints within today's consumer journey. Micro-moments matter because they provide consumers with the right information exactly when they need it. 
According to Google, users experience micro-moments on average 150 times a day. And to leverage these micro-moments, Rakbank has partnered with location data experts like Inmobi and Memob to identify specific audiences and were able to precision target them using techniques like Polygon mapping and geo-fencing. 
"Similarly, in order to target people on the move for its RAKfoodie platform, the firm joined forces with the navigation Waze to map over 300 restaurants with exclusive dining deals in the form of smiley pins. We are the first bank in the Middle East to explore Waze," Malhotra revealed.
Malhotra concludes that the future lies in data-driven storytelling that captivate audiences, differentiate brands and drive growth. "Contrary to what people think, data-driven marketing is not just a science. Creativity and storytelling go hand-in-hand with data and technology. As an agile and forward-thinking bank, we at Rakbank continue to be test and learn and adapt our strategy to the evolving digital landscape."

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