When it comes to digital, the struggle is real. According to IDC’s latest Worldwide Semiannual Digital Transformation Spending Guide, investment in the digital transformation of business practices, products, and organisations continues to roll on at a solid pace, pandemic or not. In fact, global DX technology spending is expected to grow by 10.4% to hit $1.3 trillion this year. The problem is, another report says, chances are that many of them will not get what they pay for.

In fact, 81% of the 450 CIOs, CDOs and CTOs surveyed by Couchbase “have had digital projects fail, suffer significant delays or be scaled back in the past year”. At the time of the poll, 4 out of 10 respondents were either behind schedule or at risk of falling behind with their most significant digital transformation project, the study says. Even though 87% knows that failure to innovate puts their organisations at risk in more ways than one.

When asked about the whys, 27% cited the lack of skilled staff and 26% the lack of resources. So at one point or another they might be tempted to think, “Why don’t I just sign a vendor who takes care of everything from design to delivery?” – or at least, this is the mindset we often find when taking on a platform integration project for a new client. It’s not that the idea is bad, of course. But most of them are missing a key detail.

That is, the knowledge and skills needed on their side to make the project a success. So here’s a breakdown of what banks need to deliver at every stage of a personalisation platform project – and a piece of advice you’ll probably thank me for later.

1. Collecting and prepping data

Calling all data warehousing specialists and data engineers! For all intents and purposes, data is the fuel of a personalisation engine – and ideally, a premium one at that. What we need from our clients is all the customer data they can get their hands on, from their account management system, CRM, card management system and more. Collecting, organising and cleansing all this information will create an all-important base for understanding banking customers’ needs behind their financial transactions and finding out how to best respond to them.

2. Building the right use cases

Deciding which uses cases to focus on requires strategic thinking and concerted effort across the organisation, both vertically and horizontally. Sales, marketing and channel teams, from specialists to C-level players, should all have a say in the who, what and how of designing campaigns to make sure that your new platform is used for its intended purpose. That is, to help you stay on track with business objectives and priorities – whether it’s boosting product sales, creating best-in-class digital experiences or supporting customers in building healthier spending habits.

3. Setting up and running campaigns

This is where creativity takes centre stage – with channel specialists in supporting roles. After all, it’s your internal or external graphic designers, communication experts and other creative folks who turn use cases into messages that attract, engage and convert. Digital channel specialists should be involved to figure out the right blend of push- and pull-type messaging, including notifications, emails, texts or in-app and service channel messages. And once campaigns are up and running, they should also be the ones who keep an eye on the results. Getting feedback from clients, whether it’s in the form of ratings or click-through rates, is key but might require integration with other platforms, too.  

And a word to the wise

If you view a digital transformation project as anything less than an organisation-wide priority, it’s already failed. The first thing I tell clients is to take an inventory of all the stakeholders who should be involved in the implementation project, whether for their expertise or rank, and sell it to them. Make sure that everyone understands how the project can create value for the whole organisation and what’s needed from them to make it a success. Then create a dedicated team that’s driven and agile enough to get things done. This is key for two reasons. One, digital transformation is not an IT exercise, nor should it be someone’s pet project. Second, a well-rounded implementation plan can mean leaner workflows – and significant cost and time savings in the long run. 



Download our ebook to learn how personalisation platforms can help banks find never-never land between PFM and CRM tools – and the digital pathways to smarter, smoother experiences and always-there-but-invisible banking.

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