The Next Generation Of Marketing And Online Selling In Financial Services

Yesterday I attended the Finovate Conference in San Francisco. Out of the 36, 7-minute demos I sat through (whew!) only a handful stood out as innovative and interesting. During the networking session, I had a chance to meet with one of those companies -- a company called Segmint. While the Segmint Web site does a less-than-stellar job communicating the benefits of their software, I had a chance to speak with David Hadley, CTO of Segmint. When I did, the opportunity was clear to me. But before I get there, let me explain the void a company like Segmint fills.

Most of the on-site, online marketing efforts of financial service firms are still rudimentary in nature. Few have moved beyond basic, non-targeted banner advertisements. But unlike other industries, financial services offers the unique opportunity of going WAY beyond anything retail, travel, or any other industry can provide because in financial services we get a daily, on-going snapshot into customers' financial lives - what they buy, where they buy it, the channels they use, and the fees they pay.  Problem is for the most part nobody uses this incredible information. Exceptions that I am aware of include cross-sell efforts by firms like Mint.com, Wells Fargo, and Royal Bank of Canada. What I saw from Segmint yesterday takes this a step further.

Segmint sits between the front-end and the back-end and listens to all customer online transactions. Clients set up profiles of users they want to identify, and Segmint listens to transactions and builds a list of customers that fit those profiles. For example, a client may want target customers that own a home, have a home equity loan, are Gen X, and consistently make payments to their credit cards. Segmint would be able to determine on-the-fly that a customer fits that profile by listening for certain transaction types. These profiles can then be used (on the fly again) to specifically target customized promotions (e.g. banners, text links, etc) to specific segments within the secured site, the public site, or even externally.

This type of targeting is the future of financial services for those innovative enough to harness the power and execute on the opportunity.

I encourage you to provide your thoughts or ideas on how best to use technologies like Segmint.

Brad

Comments

Brad, I couldnt agree more

Brad, I couldnt agree more with you. There is a lot more that needs to be done by the Financial Services firms leveraging the social media. I was personally researching and conceptualizing a solution for banks and quite surprisingly didnt find any of the banks using social media to garner user base through their solutions. Good blog.

Regards,
Faaiz

Thanks for the comment. The

Thanks for the comment. The best example I have seen to date of social media related to eBusiness and in financial services is USAA's use of Web site ratings and reviews on which I wrote a case study. They were able to show incremental lift in both started applications and booked sales (insurance and deposit) by offering Bazaarvoice's ratings and reviews service.

Segmint interesting...

Good heads up.
But this has been going on for a long time, people using Omniture and any of a flavor of marketing CRM systems to define and then target to buckets of individuals, for example my firm Loyalty Lab has been doing this for clients for a while. That said, I do like Segmint's lightweight fast-deploy approach and will follow them closely to see if they get market traction..

Great point Mark. I do think

Great point Mark. I do think the difference here is the "on-the fly" nature of the targeting. Segmint is going to be briefing me in a few weeks and I look foward to hearing more on this solution.

Any thoughts on the Segmint's

Any thoughts on the Segmint's capabilities versus products such as Epiphany, Unica and similar offerings? Does Segmint cover the same space or do they provide services unique to their group?

Online versus offline

Thanks for the question Chris. The primary difference with Segmint versus Unica and Epiphany is not what they do, but how the do it. As I understand it, Segmint targets more 'on the fly" versus others. The software is transactions as they are happening and building profiles based on those transactions. Then when the right transactions have been observed to trigger a specific segment (e.g. home equity potential buyers) and add is served based on that new segmentation.