Meeting your customers with personalized, targeted offers

September 12, 2022

One of the consensus trends that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic was the shift in customer expectations of personalized, targeted marketing. Gone are the days of blanket, wide-net marketing in the financial services industry and beyond.

Let’s discuss the new customer expectations and how your institution can rise to meet and exceed those expectations.

The new normal

First and foremost, customers expect their financial institution to know which products and services they already have and remove them from all unnecessary marketing. Your customers view this as a matter of credibility and trust – if they have an existing mortgage with your institution, and you send them marketing for a refinance loan at a higher rate, they assume you took the easiest path of mass communication versus doing any due diligence to check if the offer made any sense to them. They now feel like they are just a number on a mass distribution list, so any “valued customer” chimes ring hollow. When a targeted offer tailored to their specific needs comes from a competitor, they may consider taking their business elsewhere.

Another trend solidified during the pandemic is that most younger customers and an increasing number of older customers no longer wish to visit brick and mortar banks and credit unions. This makes your digital media campaigns much more important, as your employees’ direct engagement with customers may be limited.

Your customers not only expect to receive relevant offers when they need them, they expect their institution to anticipate their future needs. To a more traditional institution, this may seem like a tall order. But with modern technology like big data analytics tools and consumer data platforms (CDPs), you can confidently make this a reality and clearly differentiate yourself from their competitors.

Analytics tools

Your institution already has a wealth of customer payment data just waiting to be unlocked. Outcome-driven analytics tools like the FIS® Ethos™ Pinpoint and Ethos Clarity solutions take the transaction data you already have, organize it and append it with customer attributes to clearly illuminate insights that help your marketers know your customers better and anticipate their needs.

Such tools segment your audience into hundreds of actionable, descriptive segments that help you drive the intelligent, personalized offers that produce return on investment for your marketing dollar. For example:

  • Show me which of my customers utilize a HELOC with a competitor so I can offer them a more competitive rate to refinance with my institution.
  • Show me where my customers are transacting most so I can most effectively place a new ATM based on their shopping footprint.
  • Show me the types of rewards or loyalty programs most utilized by my customers – even if they are through a competitor – so I can introduce a program with similar characteristics at my institution.

Insights such as these are derived from transactional data and key lifestyle indicators (KLIs) that describe each customer’s unique financial trends and spend behaviors, unlocking their financial story at each stage of their journey. With your customers and potential customers organized into these key categories, you can predict their future behavior and likely product needs, then tailor and deliver marketing efforts appropriately for improved effectiveness.

Consumer data platforms

Consumer data platforms (CDPs) represent another key piece. CDPs are databases that aggregate consumer data from multiple disparate sources and organize that data to create a detailed, holistic customer profile. Your institution can then effectively utilize the new structured data in other systems, most notably marketing platforms. According to, the foundation of a great CDP includes:

  • A detailed client identity
  • Data cleansing, transformation and enrichment
  • Data centralization
  • Audience and segmentation
  • Data integration and analytics

More comprehensive solutions like the FIS Engagement Platform offer the full functionality of a CDP but add in real-time interaction management and a flexible data platform, allowing ingestion of data from multiple sources and incorporating the decision engine. Solutions like this empower your marketing team to become their own data scientists with the application doing the heavy lifting. Your marketing team can then leverage robust customer insights and intelligent audience building to target highly personalized offers natively within the application. Differentiators of such a full-featured platform include:

  • A CDP combined with an integrated decisioning engine for marketers to manage multiple channels like email and social media in real-time, all within the single application.
  • Ongoing machine learning that not only identifies what opportunities a customer may qualify for, but also determines the next best experience for that individual.
  • The flexibility to ingest consumer data from practically any source with a unique identifier and time stamp.
  • The ability to effectively utilize the platform for success in any industry, not just financial services.


The future of customer engagement is highly personalized interactions, and the shift has already begun. Forward-thinking institutions must adapt to customer expectations to thrive in this new environment. Those that take advantage of the types of tools discussed here will differentiate themselves from the competition and win new customers as well as retain existing customers. Review your institution’s marketing strategy, and ensure your roadmap takes advantage of this rapidly trending opportunity.

For more information on how FIS can help through our suite of data solutions, please contact us at Our data experts are happy to discuss your unique needs and set up a demonstration of the best value that meets your requirements.

About the Author
Chris McAlexander, FIS Data Solutions Group
Chris McAlexanderFIS Data Solutions Group

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