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The more information you have, the more you can test and fine-tune your vision, and the more customised and unique the solution is.” – says Marcello CALABRÒ, Global Head of Marketing at UniCredit.

Which are the key enablers to become more customer-centric?

I believe it is a combination of two soft factors: the corporate culture and the individual attitude. The first one is instrumental to align all the value chains, the functions and the processes to deliver the best customer experience. Very often there is the right tension in the front line but it is not easy to spread the same tension across the whole organisation, especially in big corporates. About the individual attitude, I have always worked in people businesses, and there, without the full and deep buyout of everybody, you cannot excel. I also think that these two factors are strictly correlated: a customer-centric corporate culture can foster the individual contribution.

Why is it important to focus on customer insights and data analytics?

Well, they are the tools. It is like sailing: you need the passion and the spirit for adventure. But then you also need the technical equipment to navigate safe and fast. Customer insights and data analytics are the tools that tell us what clients are looking for. The ultimate goal is to tailor-make the offer and possibly also to anticipate the needs. Being able to surprise a client is a major achievement which can be a game changer when it comes to loyalty.

How to manage customer data in the most efficient way?

Let me say that before the data, you first need a vision for your business. Even the most accurate marketing analytics cannot help of “ex-ante” strong product and entrepreneurial ideas. In my view you cannot start form data, and define the offer as a consequence. You would get lost in the volume, variety and velocity of data. Of course, the more information you have, the more you can test and fine-tune your vision, and the more customised and unique the solution is. But there is also a growing concern of data protection which is a very legitimate request to avoid that personal data travel where is not necessary and that can be used for pushed advertising. I think a regulatory framework was necessary. Now we need to avoid overshooting in the opposite direction. We marketers can support this process in order to strike the right balance.

What do you see as the biggest challenge in banking customer experience nowadays?

Banks have faced a revolution in many respects: from iper regulation to negative interest rates, from technology disruption to new entrant in the competitive arena. I think as an industry, banks have done quite a job and have been able to adapt to survive. In other industry radical transitions, we have observed many more casualties, if not the extinction. Now the challenge for our industry is to combine the two bank souls: the advisory based on experience and personal relation on one side, the convenient and fully digital access for many repetitive services on the other. It is like to mix a high profile consultant approach with a FinTech spirit. I wish marketing could play a central role in this evolution.

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