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How to Use Emotionally Intelligent Marketing to Better Understand Your Customers

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After another thoughtful Digital Marketing for Financial Services event in New York (DMFSNY), we want to share some of the event’s key takeaways. We’ve been to this event many times over the years and it’s exciting to see the growth and maturity of the industry. It was two full days of breakouts, keynotes, lunches, coffees, and a lot of compelling discussions. 
As NewsCred’s VP of Sales, I delivered a talk aimed at empowering people to get more done — Less Meetings, More Doing – the Emotionally Intelligent Office. Emotional Intelligence is defined as the ability to recognize, understand, and act according to your emotions and the emotions of others. But how do you ensure you have an emotionally intelligent marketing organization? It comes down to three things: people, process, and technology.
To put this in context of the marketing organization, marketers have to recognize, understand, and act based on the needs of their customers; they to take an integrated approach by working cross-functionally to reach their goals; they need a centralized software solution that empowers and makes it easier for them to work with emotional intelligence.
Several other presentations at this year’s DMFSNY echoed the importance of truly understanding the customer. The takeaways below are based on the idea of the emotional intelligence of a brand: their ability to recognize customers, understand who they are, and act accordingly to deliver what they need.

Recognizing customers

The crowd of 100+ marketers was treated to a number of insightful takeaways, and recognizing your customers was one of the standout themes.
Tim Rickards, Marketing Director at Charles Schwab, gave some great perspective during his talk called, Humanizing Segmentation for Genuine Results: Going Beyond Data for Increased Profitability & Innovation. Rickard’s presentation focused on how marketers need to innovate and use design thinking, which he described as a way to ideate and go wide with ideas and empathy, and then focus on the most pressing problem.
“Innovation is a foundational human ability,” he said. “We all innovate all the time, but sometimes we spend more time mitigating janky experiences versus creating brilliant ones.” According to Rickards, marketers need to shift focus from just looking at data and software to being innovative and recognizing their customers in order to create great experiences for them.

Understanding who your customers are

Susan Mandarino, VP of Marketing at Mutual Credit Union, pointed out that simply because two people look the same on paper does not mean they are the same. In fact, they can (and likely do) have very different needs. Mandarino gave this example:
Client A

  • Female
  • 46 Years Old
  • $50,000 Annual Income
  • 2 Kids
  • Lives in the same city

Client B

  • Female
  • 46 Years Old
  • $50,000 Annual Income
  • 2 Kids
  • Lives in the same city

What the demographic information doesn’t tell us is that Client A has a child who is in college and calls every week asking for money, while Client B recently bought a house. So while these two people look the same on paper, they actually have very different financial needs and should be marketed to as such. This shows that banks (and brands of all industries) need to take the time to understand their customers and properly segment them in order to ensure the right messaging is hitting the right audiences.

Acting accordingly

Susan also talked about how banks are unique in the sense that they can use purchase data to better target their audiences.  
“Once we know who our customers are, and we understand what they want, then we can provide the right content, at the right place, at the right time,” she said. “This can take the form of short blurbs for social, key takeaways in an email, or personalized content recommendations based on user behavior.”
As always, DMFSNY continues to bring together key operators from financial services companies under one roof for a real discussion on how to make marketing magic happen. Some parting words of wisdom from Tim Rickards: “Remember to be empathetic to your executive stakeholders — innovation requires them to give up decision-making power, which is usually a huge change in behavior and requires significant trust on their part.” 
Photo by http://eventscapture.com/.
Chase Neinken is NewsCred’s VP of Sales.

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