Hosted by top 5 banking and fintech influencer, Jim Marous, Banking Transformed highlights the challenges facing the banking industry. Featuring some of the top minds in business, this podcast explores how financial institutions can prepare for the future of banking.
The Power of Data, Analytics and the Cloud in Bank Marketing
The banking industry is in the midst of an exciting revolution in which power has shifted from the financial institution to the consumer. Consumers are impacting the entire customer journey, from the buying process, through customer engagement, and on to loyalty.
At the core of this marketing revolution is the use of data, analytics and technology to drive results. One of the most important technologies needed to enable advanced marketing is the cloud.
We are very fortunate to have Garry Capers, Division President of Cloud Solutions at Deluxe with us on the Banking Transformed podcast. He will discuss some of the major changes in bank marketing today and what must be done to prepare for marketing transformation.
This episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by FIS.
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Jim Marous: Hello and welcome to Banking Transformed. I'm your host, Jim Marous, owner and CEO of the Digital Banking Report and co-publisher of the Financial Brand. The banking industry is in the midst of an exciting revolution, which is the power shifted from the financial institution to the consumer. Consumers are impacting the entire customer journey, from the buying process to customer engagement, and onto loyalty. At the core of this marketing revolution, is the use of data, analytics, technology and the cloud to drive results. One of the most important technologies needed to enable advanced marketing is the cloud.
Jim Marous: We are fortunate today to have Garry Capers, division president of Cloud Solutions at Deluxe on the Banking Transformed Podcast. He'll discuss some of the major changes in bank marketing today, and what must be done to prepare for marketing transformation.
Jim Marous: As we merge out of the pandemic, financial marketers have new technologies at their disposal. We have seen a quantum leap in data availability, a collapse of the purchase funnel and consumer expectations that you will use all the tools to connect in real time with solutions tailored to their life and financial moments.
Jim Marous: Unfortunately, the surge in data access to new tools has not provided most financial markers with a substantially better understanding of their customers because most organizations still have outdated skills and strategies.
Jim Marous: In August, we were used to white papers sponsored by Deluxe and the future digital marketing. We found that rather than using data and analytics to better target customers and tailor messages, many financial marketers continued to be challenged by data silos that make connecting with granularity and speed, virtually impossible. At the same time, many marketing budgets have been slashed, challenging marketers to try new strategies. So Garry, before we start, can you tell us a little bit about what you do at Deluxe and what your background is?
Garry Capers: Sure. Within Deluxe, I'm the division president for Cloud Solutions. So, that's actually a broad set of capabilities. I've got everything in my portfolio from a marketing and data solutions, where we help enterprises and financial institutions identify consumers and small businesses that they want to extend relationships with. I have a web hosting solutions that target small businesses and those technology providers that serve small businesses, just helping, if you will, small businesses to establish an online presence, to interact and transact with customers.
Garry Capers: And then I have a set of SaaS based solutions that serve the small business segment, that help with incorporation, designing logos, all the things you need to start up. As well as then a set of solutions, targeting small banks, credit unions and community banks. And what we're doing there is helping the operators really with a set of tools to manage interest rate risk, asset liability ratios. But the things are really critical to make sure that they stay in compliance, but also understand where and how they make money across their different product sets.
Jim Marous: You have a lot under the whole pyramid of things you have going on. So, we're coming out of the pandemic to some degree, at least. A lot of organizations have had to adjust and have adjusted pretty well to the crises that the pandemic presented. But now we're heading to 2022. What are some of the marketing trends that you're seeing as the industry, both of the consumer and the small business side as we move into the new year?
Garry Capers: Sure. I think prior to COVID, of course, there was an acceleration of the adoption of digital marketing solutions. I think that was only a celebrated further during COVID. And I'd say while we're not yet completely on the backside of COVID, that's still a major trend. And I'll speak to how it's showing up in a couple of ways. One is thinking about performance based marketing.
Garry Capers: So, we're of course, aware of a lot of our customers, who ultimately are being asked to substantiate, demonstrate the value being realized from their marketing efforts. The move to digital made this a bit complex because now with the combination of digital marketing and direct mail, and other direct analog or terrestrial ways to market, it's becoming more difficult to understand where you attribute the value. If you have someone that's converting through a digital channel though, can you say for sure that it's a hundred percent attributable to the digital spend versus other areas of spend and vice versa?
Garry Capers: So, the need to have much more data to substantiate the value of the marketing, but also a way to attribute the marketing to the right channels is something that has been increasing. In addition with COVID, of course, you saw a big number of individuals who were employees of an organization, actually moved to become entrepreneurs. And with that, an onslaught, if you will, in small business starts.
Garry Capers: So, we're seeing both through institutions that establish relationships with small businesses, through the PPP loan program, but as well, just with more individuals now who are small business owners and/or gig employees, or workers that are working both actual, if you will, private sector or public sector jobs, but also doing their own thing made an increase in marketing to small businesses. And with that increased to marketing in small businesses, there's also a desire to do more digital, even in that context.
Garry Capers: And so, one of the things that's becoming true, even more true maybe is marketers are realizing that when you target a small business at the end of the day, you still have to reach an individual. And so, with more and more data being sought to figure out who is that small business operator owner, and how can you reach her or him, and the same way you do as a consumer, but now with the small business marketing message. So, seeing a lot, if you will, in the way of COVID, that's influencing digital in the way of targeting both small businesses and realizing that there's still a need for performance based marketing and the ability to measure the impact of that marketing spend.
Jim Marous: It's interesting because COVID really sped up everything, but it really put marketing in the crosshairs as far as importance in an organization. Not only did we have to communicate to consumers about how to use digital channels, but the whole idea of acquisition in cross selling changed tremendously.
Jim Marous: In fact, we have found that many organizations have become quite dissatisfied with their new customer acquisition efforts and even their cross sell effectiveness when accounts are being generated digitally, because you don't have that face-to-face interaction. You don't have a lot of things that go with what you get to do in person, but that's not going away. So, how does Deluxe help clients acquire profitable customers today?
Garry Capers: So, we wholeheartedly believe that digital is very valuable, but we think digital becomes even more valuable when you combine it with other channels, other methods of reaching a consumer. I mean, our thought is when you imagine the idea of an individual receiving say a direct mail offer, and then can follow it up where they pull out their laptop or mobile phone, and an email, see an offer that's being repeated there, that they saw in the mail, or possibly going into maybe it's the bad thing to say now, but Facebook or other types of social media and seeing a message there, we think that's actually reinforcing, it's compounding. And it's also demonstrating the ability for that brand to say to that end-user, consumer and/or small business, that we have multiple ways of serving you and engaging with you. And therefore it makes sure that the ongoing offer or the ongoing experience can be aligned with that.
Garry Capers: So, we realize, again, that there are challenges in using one method only. And naturally believe that to make the marketing most effective and to make it impactful, and to deliver the return, which is ultimately measured in being able to reach that in target, that end-user, and then engage him or her in an ongoing, if you will, dialogue that allows them to better understand the brand, the product. And then to pursue that from an acquisition perspective. Those are the things that we ultimately are pursuing and trying to get our customers to realize the value in. And fortunately, we have the ability to do those things from an end-to-end perspective, everything from the strategy development, through the actual execution of those campaigns.
Jim Marous: Well, it's interesting because one of the major benefits to digital is the speed of digital. I mean, you have a lot of action triggers that you can develop with a brand new customer or a person who you're trying to get as a new customer in. And I know there's a lot of tools that you've provided at Deluxe that can allow a customer for instance, or a financial institution to reach out to people that are looking for a new car, that maybe are just opening a new account.
Jim Marous: And there's so many different data sources that can now be combined for effective digital marketing that not only do you have the speed, but digital really provides you the ability to combine so many different data sources, so that you can really pick and choose who to contact, when to contact and do it as scale in such a way. But one of the obstacles in effective marketing we found in the report, we did with Deluxe was that it continues to be challenged. The financial institution marketer continues to be challenged by the use of data analytics. Why do you think marketers struggle so much with implementing really good data strategies?
Garry Capers: So, the key with data, of course, is how can you ultimately acquire as much information as possible about the target without necessarily introducing friction? There's also then the balance of this, when you're a marketer thinking about what are the most effective tools to use, but also the reality that you have to think about a budget and therefore do it efficiently.
Garry Capers: What we see as a challenge with that, with marketers is typically then they are relying upon a source or a very narrow set of sources of data. What that means is then they are relying upon the accuracy, the freshness, the cadence, if you will, of how those data are being updated, to identify those prospects out in the marketplace.
Garry Capers: What we really pride ourselves on, and I really do say this in a tongue in cheek fashion, I describe Deluxe as the biggest data company that no one's aware of. And where we are really excelling is going out and not just finding a source of data that provides insights, but finding multiple sources of data. What that allows us to do is to understand our relative strengths of various providers and sources, or we can take attributes or certain data from one file and actually then compliment or supplement another with it. We're able to then look at multiple sources and through those sources, validate records by seeing them occur across multiple sources, giving us a higher level of confidence.
Garry Capers: And then by using those multiple sources, having an update frequency or a cadence, that then is not really dependent upon one vendor and how often they update their data, but actually being able to take multiple vendors and update our data based on what we're seeing across each of those various data sources, almost if you will, putting together at real-time file where we can see signals or changes in one file, one vendor, one source, and then use that to provide value to our customers, where they're able to take advantage of that as quickly as possible.
Garry Capers: So, I think marketers have historically relied on a limited set of data. To be honest, to replicate what we've done would take a significant amount of time and resources to, A, go out and actually understand what are the various sources, but B, then to really harmonize or tune that final product by leveraging the strengths of those different sources. And honestly, being able to sometimes even swap one source out for another. So, I think that's been a challenge for marketers, but where we, I think shine and bringing some of our capabilities to bear that allow our customers to get the best of multiple sources, something often that they're not actually able to do, or at least willing to do themselves and to do it in an efficient manner, both from a time and a cost perspective, where we're doing a lot of that work for them, rather than them requiring their own organizations to do it themselves.
Jim Marous: Boy, that's a key element. And I talk about a lot in the podcast and some of my writings, that third party solution providers have the ability to use data, no matter what ugly form it may be in at your financial institution and to make it work for you in, and get some early wins, and get some substantial wins without the data being perfect internally.
Jim Marous: And as you mentioned, Deluxe supplements files and compliments files with other data that you have. But I think a lot of organizations hesitate, they go, "Gosh, our data is so messed up right now. We can't rely on it. It's not going to be good." But you can work even from a narrow data set or an imperfect data set to really drive results. Can't you? So, a client could get very quick marketing results from what you can add to their data, without them making sure that data is perfect. Correct? So, they don't have to wait.
Garry Capers: They don't have to wait. And the privilege, or let's say advantage that a customer has when he thinks about his own data is of course, they're getting it directly from the source. So, they know who is this prospect, if you will, on the other end and/or customer that I'm looking to cross sell to. And they at least know a channel through which that customer and/or prospect has responded or would like to engage. Well, what we're able to do then is bring a lot of contextual data.
Garry Capers: I mean, you mentioned the idea of triggers. And what these are essentially, signals, if you will, indications of behavior and/or need. An example, being that someone has recently moved or is going to move, or a small business that is actually seeking credit, likely to expand or look for financing for a certain type of purchase. Whether it's an individual or a household, or a small business, these are information that might indicate that someone is in the market or will be in the market. Or if it's actually an existing customer, a signal to the current provider or the current financial services institution that, "Look, you've got a customer that's actually indicating a need."
Garry Capers: This allows you to really interject and say, "Hey, are you aware that we can extend upon the current relationship we have and allow my bank, my institution, us to provide you with further solutions." And/or just, and this is always valuable. It's a catalyst for an engagement with your customer, where you, again, get to just deepen your knowledge of what they're doing, what they need, or at least what's on the horizon.
Garry Capers: So, these types of data, when supplementing what an organization has about its own customers and/or prospects just rounds out contextually with information that can further identify where you can penetrate, what wallet further in game or sheer, if you're an existing provider with that end user, again, consumer, household, and/or small business. Or it gives you a leg up on understanding what that prospect is in need of, and beyond just providing information, where you might again, understand that a certain behavior, or we provide you with insight on financial capacity. We can also provide you with other information around preference, the way that this person and/or entity wants to be a contact or interactive, or how they want to transact.
Garry Capers: So, there's only, I think, goodness, in additional data, the accuracy, the freshness, the ability to have confidence that you can act is what ultimately, I think tips it over the point of just being additional data to actually being very valuable information that can be acted upon.
Jim Marous: So, in the context of data analytics and the growth of the data sources, we've talked about the importance of cloud technologies on previous Banking Transformed Podcast's episodes. In the past, many organizations shied away from the cloud, mainly based on security concerns, maybe the cost of implementation or the amount of time of effort it would take to move to the cloud. That has really changed quite a bit in the last few years. Hasn't it?
Garry Capers: I mean, it's changed significantly. I worked for a data company from roughly 2007 to 2017. And I can only describe to you the drastic change, the modern nice way they began thinking of data and the cloud. I mean, there was all the concern years ago about the safety and who would have access to the data. And ultimately, a number of these companies have, meaning the data providers, the cloud providers have really invested in the security element. And so much so that I think now it becomes one of those fallacies to think that somehow, putting customer data in a cloud can't be done when you're actually putting employee data in the cloud when it comes to payroll benefits and other things.
Garry Capers: So, I think the cloud solution and the, let's say the quality or confidence you can have from a security perspective, that's increased. I'd say secondarily, the cloud democratizes data. It allows data to be made available to users when and how they want to consume it. So, when you're an organization and you're thinking about how you leverage data and provide it to users of your organization, the cloud actually creates a more efficient way to enable use of the data.
Garry Capers: And then finally, I would say, and this is true for us, data providers have invested as much as, if you will, the data users and cloud technology. And therefore what it does is it reduces the amount of effort required to, if you will, push data files for one organization, one sort of technology to the other. Meaning use of the cloud allows for integration into end user or technology environments that the customer wants, whether it's thinking about their CRM system and updating their customer records with additional information that might prioritize who's the target or the best target now versus later, whether it's actually providing additional intelligence to your sales organization, that indicates that there's an event that has happened or will, or is predicted to happen, and therefore providing them with the right, if you will catalysts, or event to engage a prospect and/or customer. I mean, the cloud just makes all of that happen.
Garry Capers: I think about it as again, increased security has leveled the playing field. It made it now not a barrier to consider. And then when you think about the efficiency and the improved productivity from use of the cloud, as well as then the ability now to enable consumption where and how you want to use it. And all of this, then also meaning if you're a small customer, as an example, a small FI, you have the ability to use these cloud-based technologies and not have to invest in resources to maintain those. Meaning, you're able to actually benefit from the updates and all the investments that are really being in some ways subsidized by large customers, but now you get the benefit of it.
Garry Capers: I mean, it just creates an environment where I don't think there's a customer too large, or a company too large or too small that should be thinking about cloud. And then moreover, allowing if you will, your organization, your resources, your people to remain on the latest technology without having to invest in it yourself. I think there's goodness to your business model, to your employees and your customers by doing so.
Jim Marous: You mentioned about the fact that it really makes it so that smaller organizations really can keep up with the big organizations now, because not only is it efficient and effective, but the cost has gone down significantly. And I think just as importantly, since so many institutions have now gone to the cloud, a lot of these case studies make it so that there's a lot faster runway to get to a good cloud environment than there ever used to be, because you're not having to redo all the stuff from the start. You're really getting you to start maybe halfway down the runway, because a lot of the stuff has been done for you ahead of time, and you can replicate what successes other firms have had.
Jim Marous: So, a little bit of a pivot again, there's obviously no argument about the impact of digital, as far as how it's changing our personal business lives. There's also no doubt that digital marketing, digital access to communication has never been more important. How does Deluxe help their clients find success with what is in effect a pretty challenging channel?
Garry Capers: Again, I go back to the idea that we look at digital as a channel, but not if you will, a channel that supersedes any other, and a channel that actually benefits when it is actually used in concert with other channels. We do recognize that being able to track data is a challenge, and hence why some marketers have struggled with the move to digital. But if we can help you by understanding who the offline persona is, we always call it the carbon-based life form or the terrestrial life form, the connect, if you will, Garry Capers at 123 Main Street, someone can confirm a date of birth and other aspects, or attributes to then a certain email address and/or social handle, or mobile ID. It gives a greater confidence that you're actually reaching the right person, that can actually then expand the scope of the types of offers that can be extended, where some might be a bit more sensitive and regulated than others. But having this confidence now that you know who is the person, if you will, on the other end of that device where remote transaction or interaction is so critical.
Garry Capers: It's as well, again, important to also think about how you can really use the digital channel as as an experience and help consumers and users, small businesses recognize that there is the ability to engage through any channel that is desired, but to do so where the brain is being reinforced, it's consistent in the way that that experience is being authored or delivered digitally, versus again, offline, if you will. Those are the things that I think ultimately bring down some of the barriers or maybe resistance to using digital. But I think the key is, and this is what we do so well at, it's got to be done in a way where you look at digital as part of an overall strategy from the initial strategy setting, through the actual execution and measurement, but not think of it as something that's done on the periphery or done standalone. It really needs to be part of an integrated strategy. And I think that's what makes it successful.
Jim Marous: That's great. So, let's take a short break here and recognize the sponsors of this podcast.
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Jim Marous: Welcome back. I'm joined today by Garry Capers, division president of Cloud Solutions at Deluxe. We've been discussing how banks and credit unions must rethink how to leverage data and analytics in the marketing process and the importance of cloud integration for marketing. So Garry, we've been discussing the back office components of marketing from data and analytics, to AI and cloud integration. Why is first party data becoming increasingly important for marketers?
Garry Capers: First party data are an advantage, right? I mean, they are data that are coming directly from your users, end users, and can essentially be as real time as any other data that you might be able to access. It is as well, an indication of how that end user, whether it be a prospect or a customer is really behaving and interacting. You're seeing that firsthand and have the ability to therefore consume it, where others can't or don't have the ability. And then to also know that it's very true and reflective if you will, of your brand, your interaction with that end-user.
Garry Capers: What I think is true though is, first party data is great, but it still provides you with only limited view of that end user. Being able to supplement that first party data with third party data that had been verified through other sources that give you a fuller picture of how that entity, persons, household and/or small business interact beyond your product, can give you an idea, not only to specific opportunities that you might have today around products or services that you might want to offer, but also be indicative or give you some insight into things that you may want to develop, to also, if you will, take advantage of other things that that user needs and/or wants or does.
Garry Capers: So, first party data, I think provides you with a great advantage and that they are unique. They are truly reflective of the user's interaction with your product, service, brand, et cetera, but they are only going to be limited where you want to get as best you can a comprehensive view of that end-user for the sake of identifying what additional needs, potential offerings might be applicable today, but also using it to gain the insight from a marketing and really a development perspective of what might be some of those future opportunities that you as an organization with an existing relationship with that end-user possibly have a leg up on to develop and take advantage of, if you will, a broader and deeper relationship that is not only valuable for you from a monetary perspective, but again, continues to create that first party data that creates more of those insights that you can continue to use to just broaden and deepen that relationship on an ongoing basis.
Jim Marous: So, you work with organizations of all sides, from the smallest financial institution to the largest financial institution. Can you share a couple of success stories that your clients are experiencing with your solutions and for the application of both first and third-party data, multiple channels? Do you have a couple of stories that you could share possibly?
Garry Capers: Sure. I'd use a pretty interesting example. At least, I find it interesting. A lot of the solutions we have within Deluxe were developed primarily with the financial services market in mind, retail banks, mono-line lenders, those types of organizations. But we've been able to appreciate that a lot of the insights actually have a secondary use or at least can provide additional context or ideas as to other solutions or products that might be applicable.
Garry Capers: We have an example with a fairly large mortgage lender. And for this lender, we've been providing historically housing data, which is not all that unique in itself, but we're able to help them understand who are homeowners, the types of loans they have, et cetera. But one of the fairly interesting insights that we have from that is we can also identify homeowners that have multiple properties.
Garry Capers: So, for this particular lender, they're not a mono-line lender, they're actually a full service bank and they have other product lines, including wealth management. So, we're able to take a solution that they have historically used in the mortgage space, homeowners data, and actually reframe the homeowners' data to identify persons who have multiple properties, understand individuals that have low loan to value ratios. And with that, identify persons that they may want to pursue from their wealth management or investment banking side.
Garry Capers: So again, it's taking existing data, taking really an insight that has been used in a very narrow sense, and now widening it to actually enable this use of another area of their business, where they can actually target customers that they have a relationship with today, but don't have this additional insight, and sell additional products to.
Garry Capers: We are as well using digital again as a way to compliment our business. And where we have as an example, a product that is a predictor of persons who are going to move. We're now able, not only to use that and again, identify them for direct mail campaigns, but now we're able to actually indicate to our customers that this is someone who is going to likely transact in the next 30 to 60 days. And wouldn't it be great to start planning, to see digitally that there are offers that you have that can help this person, as they're thinking about this next move, if you will, both literally and figuratively in our lives, but do so in a way where we can follow up with a direct mail, which naturally is going to take a little bit longer, but again, provide that reinforcing message that, "Hey, as you're thinking about this, we have an offer."
Garry Capers: I've just seen that in my email. I go out to the mail on a couple of weeks and I've got it from offer there to help me with this move. And ultimately, going down a path of really solidifying my provider, the existing relationship and/or new relationship as something that this person should be considering as they are likely to make this decision.
Garry Capers: So, we're trying to do everything from again, using our data in different ways to provide new insights, to help identify prospects and our customers for new product offerings, cross sell, et cetera, but also use digital as a way where you can get your message out to someone that may soon be in the market, but in a way where you can reinforce that through multiple channels and hopefully, be top of mind when it's time to select a provider for the actual decision that's going to be made.
Jim Marous: It's interesting, we've been working with Deluxe for a number of years now on the marketing report. So, we've done for the Digital Banking Report. It's very interesting because I know from my experience, for instance, a lot of organizations that really understand the depth of marketing capabilities that Deluxe has in the way you work on behalf of your clients. And this is something that I keep on bringing up with my podcast listeners, that now more than ever, you want to partner with organizations that can help you get that early win and take the ball down the field on your behalf to make successes happen.
Jim Marous: And you just brought up a couple of examples. And I know there's a lot more examples of life event marketing that you can talk about, and where you can engage with a consumer. And I think what we really forget is that organization, this is why you want to use third-party providers. These third party providers have over time built all kinds of [inaudible 00:30:27], that they know these are home runs. And if any of the companies, people went from, let's say a solution provider to a financial institution, they'd say, "These are the five things I'd go immediately and do to make myself a hero."
Jim Marous: And so, as listeners, think about this, be at Deluxe on the marketing side or any of the other solution providers we talk about, remember that they can hit the road running and can make great use of data and analytics to provide you solutions that can make an impact immediately. And speed right now is more important than ever.
Jim Marous: I know one area that Deluxe really focuses a lot on, our life events. Why are life events so important to the whole engagement process, more than transactions and growth of business, growth of accounts, or balances? Why are life events so important when it comes to actually engaging with the consumer?
Garry Capers: Yeah. You know what? I think when I think about life events, right? I think about it as, how many of us are at the dinner table on a given night and get a call from a telemarketer or see a text pop through, and it's completely out of the blue, not relevant and/or is even the wrong information. Meaning, in my case, I have two older daughters, maybe someone is talking to me about something that's pertinent to a toddler. And it shows me that they know nothing about me. And therefore they've really destroyed the opportunity to establish a relationship.
Garry Capers: I think the life of it provides really the entree to engage someone and engage someone when their mind frame or mindset is most appropriate for the offer that you're looking to provide. And also then again, demonstrates that you've got some information, some level of intimacy, at least as far as knowledge is concerned, which says to me any way that you are relevant and that you're demonstrating someone who will at least meet me halfway. Meaning, I've got the need, and then you're coming forward with the right solution. I think being able to demonstrate that you have that information is so powerful.
Garry Capers: But I think the other thing is when we think about engagement, I think at the same time, we have to think about the experience. The engagement is essentially, almost like the opportunity, if you will, that's afforded to the provider to reach out and to again, establish an interaction, a transaction with that end user. But experience is probably equally, if not more important, because then as that target, who's being, if you will, engaged, I actually can reflect upon how that aligned or what's misaligned with my expectations and/or desired approach. So, that the life events, I think give you a great opportunity as a provider for engagement, one which is contextually, if you will appropriate.
Garry Capers: But at the same time, I think you have to be well aware and really attuned to the idea of what's the experience, and having the necessary information beyond just the event, to know who that in target is, in the mixture then the approach that's being used is one that is positive and allows you, if you will, for the continued engagement, given the need of that end user, that target.
Garry Capers: So, I'd say, it's a bit of both. It's the idea that the life events enable an engagement opportunity, but we need more data to make sure that that experience is the appropriate experience to take advantage of that door that has been opened with, if you will, the ability to demonstrate to that end user, that we are knowledgeable enough to make sure that the way we're interacting and what we're offering is most appropriate.
Jim Marous: It's interesting, the pandemic really made consumers aware of how data can be used to make their lives easier. They also became very aware of how much data every organization has to be able to understand them, to reward them, and to really help them down that journey, wherever it may be. And in this case, financial wellness. And it also dramatically impacted the awareness and expectations of consumers around things such as social awareness, sustainability in the sense of community. How important have you seen this? And this is a little bit off brand, a little bit from the standpoint of direct marketing. But when you talk about communications, how important is purpose, ethics, diversity and branding the equation around not only communication, but engagement and loyalty?
Garry Capers: No, that's a great question. I can tell you, it would have been maybe not quite a year ago, we were having the same discussion here at Deluxe, and really thinking about, without necessarily naming a certain brand, how there were certain big brands out there who were being, let's say accused of really preying on small businesses, and also then consumers by having somewhat of a monopoly or at least a big presence in the way that we interact and/or transact, but pointed at being like these brands were being perceived or even portrayed, if you will, as being uncaring, not only to, if you will, the environment through some of the business practices they might have, but specifically also then to communities realizing that communities are really an aggregation of small businesses.
Garry Capers: I think, the idea of brand and social responsibility, I mean the entire sort of ESG, but if we want to even extend it beyond that, if we start thinking about DE&I, diversity, equity and inclusion, like all of these now are very relevant.
Garry Capers: I consider myself as someone who's been around for a while and a veteran of the corporate environment, but what I also have to start appreciating is, I've got two daughters who I would never really think as persons who are very shortly behind me when it comes to playing, if you will, in a commercial world, but the reality is, and I can confirm it by my bank account, they're big time consumers, but they have a certain expectation regarding the experience they have with companies with whom they do business, but also what those companies stand for.
Garry Capers: So, I do think again, maybe tying it back to marketing, I think marketing has to play a role in reinforcing that message of communicating what a company stands for, of demonstrating that there are more, if you will, values than just shareholder return, but also through that, how do you communicate the different initiatives you have that impact your employees, your customers, the environment. And all of those being very relevant now, and increasingly so with the younger consumers that are entering the market with how they expect to interact with brands. And I don't think it's just going to be true for their personal lives. I think it's also going to have an imprint on how they think about partnerships and relationships and their commercial lives, including the small business owners, but I'd even say equally as employees.
Garry Capers: So, the marketing is important, I think for really creating, if you will, or I shouldn't say creating, but really codifying and reinforcing, and reiterating, promoting the voice of the organization, all the things that it stands for that considers it to be very, very relevant and powerful, not only in their commercial efforts, but how they again are perceived and interact with the world around them. And I can only imagine that if my two teenagers are indicative of where the public generally is going to go, it's going to be something that we have to address sooner rather than later.
Jim Marous: Well, it's interesting, because you really have a consumer base now more than ever that can really see through the facade and seeing if an organization is walking the walk, as well as talking the talk. Financial institutions can say a lot of things for their shareholders, but the reality is people are going to be held accountable. And this can be an interesting time to see in the future, certainly in the next year or so, to see what organizations have stepped up and what the impact has been, gives us good business too. It's purpose and profits that are going to be impacted positively.
Jim Marous: So finally, to wrap up our conversation, can you share any new innovations Deluxe is working on? I know that you guys, if nothing else never stand still. So, what are you working on right now for marketers?
Garry Capers: Yeah. I mentioned earlier, I consider us the largest data organization that no one's aware of, but we're always looking at new data. We're always looking at new data to supplement the data sources we have today and say, is there a better source out there? One that's more accurate, that gives more frequent updates. All the things that ultimately generate value for the users of our solutions today. But we're also then always asking, are there additional data out there for us, with heavy emphasis on those things that demonstrate or provide a greater picture, deeper picture of financial capacity, for again, persons, households and small businesses. But in the same way, looking for more of those life events, more of those triggers, more of those behavioral data sources that might indicate that someone is in the market or will be in the market for a certain offering based on a need that may have been identified, may have been demonstrated, or simply as something that we have a high probability of predicting. So, those things are always true for us.
Garry Capers: We're always then looking to say, how do we become more intimate in our customer's marketing efforts? So, we do everything and I described it earlier, from literally a strategy, where we understand, who are you targeting? What have you done in the past? What are the things that you've used? To actually working with our customers that create the creative, whether it be digital or offline, to actually executing the campaigns and then measuring the results.
Garry Capers: So, we're doing much more of that now where it's truly omni-channel. And again, that's our hallmark, where we don't really think about it as direct mail versus say digital, but instead think about it as what are the best ways to optimize the channels available, and to really target the end-users in the way that they've indicated a preference for, again, currently residing within the information that we have, individuals and/or small businesses.
Garry Capers: So, those are a lot of the things, how do we gain more intelligence and how do we continue to just enrich the ability to help our customers reach persons? And persons again, could be the small business as well. But in a way that's going to be most effective. That is the most reinforcing, that capitalizes on the preferences of those in targets. And hopefully, continuing to demonstrate that again, direct mail is something that is decreasing in usage, but not effectiveness. And digital is something that's increasing in usage. And there are questions around the effectiveness. We think we can help our customers optimize both.
Jim Marous: Garry, thank you for your time today. We're getting out of the planning phase, but into the implementation phase for 2022, marketers really have to look at the opportunities they have and how do you do more than simply putting last year's plan to this coming year, and actually do things new, and search out those partners that can help you be a hero. Because we're in the spotlight more than ever as marketers. I'm a marketer by trade in bank marketing. And we always look for those quick wins, those wins that can really make a difference for our organization, and honestly for ourselves as well, because we're not against self-promotion and it comes down to. But I think find a partner that can actually help you down that path, that has already found programs that don't work, but more importantly, those that do really can help a lot. So Garry, thank you so much for your time.
Garry Capers: Thank you.
Jim Marous: Thanks for listening to Banking Transformed, rated as a top five banking podcast. I generally appreciate the support you provide since we started this endeavor. If you enjoy what we're doing, please be sure to follow Banking Transformed on your favorite podcast app.
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Jim Marous: This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to our producer, Leah Longbrake, audio engineer, Sean Rule-Hoffman, and video producer, Will Pritts. I'm your host, Jim Marous. Until next time, remember, change is inevitable. And those who look only to the past or the present, will certainly miss the future.