Why Organisational Alignment Is Key to Achieving Personalisation Maturity in Financial Services

  • Harry Hanson-Smith, RVP at Dynamic Yield, a Mastercard company

  • 27.06.2023 11:45 am
  • #financialServices

Customer experience is everything – in fact, 61% of people are unlikely to return to a brand that does not provide, at minimum, a satisfactory one.  And when it comes to experience, personalisation is crucial; 72% of consumers rated it as “highly important” in today’s financial services landscape. 

Key to delivering the relevant, convenient, and seamless interactions consumers expect,  financial institutions (FIs) have already identified personalisation as a strategic priority. But despite the best intentions to invest more in the practice, there’s a simple reason many will fail: differing opinions on what personalisation maturity looks like within the organisation. 

Key findings 

To better understand the current challenges and opportunities of personalisation in the industry, Dynamic Yield surveyed FIs around the world, asking stakeholders in digital, customer experience, product, and marketing across levels how they measure their organisation’s personalisation maturity. 

According to the research, FIs globally understand the benefits of an individualised customer experience (86%) and plan to invest more in personalisation (92%). But there’s a clear discrepancy in responses from middle management compared to the c-level – 42% of executives felt that personalisation was already a part of the organisation’s DNA, but just 27% of senior managers and 19% of middle managers agreed. 

This discrepancy was also clear with regard to opinions on resource allocation to personalisation initiatives. The research showed that 25% of middle managers felt that resources for personalisation were limited, as opposed to just 15% of executives. 

Organisational alignment is key

Ultimately, closing the maturity gap within the organisation requires proper, through-level alignment. 

Strategic Direction and Vision: Personalisation initiatives should be driven by an established vision and a clearly defined strategic roadmap, with buy-in from key stakeholders, including those in the c-suite. With a common vision, executives can leverage a unified understanding of the desired outcomes and objectives for the organisation at large. C-suite emphasis on personalisation ensures that efforts are not fragmented, but rather centrally integrated in the overall business strategy.

Resource Allocation and Investment: Beyond clear objectives and goals, effective implementation requires a substantial investment in technology, data analytics capabilities, and skilled personnel. With c-suite alignment, leadership can properly distribute resources and make investment decisions that directly support personalisation initiatives – allocating the necessary budget and resources required for data collection, analytics platforms, AI technologies, and talent recruitment. Executive buy-in and support are crucial to successful implementation. 

Data Governance, Compliance, and Integration: Effective personalisation hinges on the ability to collect, analyse, and leverage consumer data across touchpoints. A robust data governance and implementation framework enables responsible data usage, and ensuring compliance with data protection regulations and maintaining ethical standards is of utmost importance. From there, aligned data collection methods, privacy regulations, data sharing protocols, and data integration practices minimises silos and unlocks a holistic view of the consumer, key to delivering better, more tailored experiences that retain the company’s reputation and consumer trust. 

Consumer-Centric Culture: Achieving personalisation maturity requires a consumer-centric culture that permeates throughout the organisation. The c-suite plays a crucial role in championing consumer-centricity through messaging, actions, and performance metrics, which influence employees at all levels to prioritise personalisation efforts. In a consumer-centric culture, personalisation becomes a core value that drives continuous improvement and innovation in experiences.

Technology Integration and Collaboration: FIs must prioritise their technical infrastructure – facilitating cross-functional collaboration between IT, marketing, operations, and other relevant departments will achieve personalisation maturity. With proper integration, executives can overcome organisational silos, break down barriers to information sharing, and foster collaboration. Proper technical integration of customer data, analytics platforms, CRM systems, and marketing automation tools, creates a cohesive technology ecosystem.

Becoming a personalisation pioneer

With consumers shifting primarily to digital banking solutions and believing that product offers are more valuable when tailored to their individual needs, the vast majority of global FIs have paid notice, identifying personalisation as a top priority, with plans to invest more in the practice.

However, gaps in the perception of programme maturity between career levels complicate maturity ratings – FIs broadly have a long way to go to advanced personalisation maturity that will positively impact the business.

Greater organisational alignment must be achieved around the overall approach to customer journey work and personalisation: from the team, company structure, and executive support put in place all the way to the data practices, roadmap building, and testing guidelines.

The end goal is to establish a programme that is unified in its vision, execution, and continued optimisation – only then can FIs call themselves personalisation pioneers. 

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