Citizens Bank to push personalized ‘journeys’ based on data

Citizens Bank

On the heels of the fifth anniversary of Citizens Bank‘s IPO next week, the bank has launched a product and brand approach based on customer journeys called Made Ready.

The strategy won’t result in any immediate changes in customer experience. Rather, it’s an indication of how the bank sees the evolution of its product roadmap, particularly how different offerings come together as curated journeys based on customer insights garnered through data.

“I think about where our customers are growing and the need to meet them on their individual journeys, with personal experiences built on the data and what we know about them,” Beth Johnson, chief marketing officer of Citizens, told Bank Innovation. “Everybody’s journey is unique, and those journeys are no longer linear.”

Made Ready is about organizing products around a particular customer experience and the personalized advice the bank can offer based on individual insights, including such life stages as education, home buying, retirement, small business and community. “I think the student [experience] was an example of how, through data and analytics, I know you’re starting to think about the time in your life around being a student,” Johnson said. “Or how something else that I’ve learned about you through how you interact with us helped me be a better coach to you.”

The bank’s tech investments have been the foundation for the implementation of the new approach, Johnson noted. As previously reported by Bank Innovation, Citizens has been in the midst of a digital transformation program, incorporating efforts to use data analytics and artificial intelligence to enhance customer experiences.

Made Ready is designed to appeal to younger customers with products that are likely to interest them, including point-of-sale loans and student loan refinancing. Framing a financial product as a “journey” is an approach other large banks have taken, including JPMorgan Chase, which recently helped customers conceive of home renovation projects on Pinterest boards.

See also: Citizens boosts tech spend, attacking back office and point-of-sale lending

Citizens’ approach also incorporates a brand marketing campaign, which includes earned outreach and paid advertising, including television, online, social media, radio, podcasts and streaming providers like Spotify, as well as outdoor advertising and sponsored local events at transit hubs in Boston and Philadelphia. The campaign also features a song from singer Questlove, which premieres later this month at an event in Philadelphia.

Looking ahead, the Made Ready approach helps position Citizens for the next steps in its evolution as a company, explained Johnson. “We turned the bank around and we’re on a positive trajectory, so it felt appropriate to tie Made Ready with the five-year IPO anniversary,” she said. “It’s less about individual products, as it is about support across [the suite of products].”

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