Data and Customer Experiences

by Sarah Pennells

Posted on 05-11-2018

We con­tin­ue to bring you a series of con­ver­sa­tions between respect­ed blog­gers from a range of fields and experts from Adobe. These unique encoun­ters offer insight into how end con­sumers feel about dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, includ­ing how and when tar­get­ing is effec­tive, what makes for an appeal­ing cam­paign, and how mar­ket­ing affects whether these all-impor­tant influ­encers spread the word about spe­cif­ic prod­ucts and platforms.

Our fea­tured blog­ger for this quar­ter is Sarah Pen­nells (SP). Sarah set up in 2009, after becom­ing frus­trat­ed that none of the finan­cial infor­ma­tion online seemed to be writ­ten with women like her in mind. Savvy­Woman aims to help women become a lit­tle rich­er by help­ing them invest, save for their retire­ment and deal with bumps in the road, such as divorce and debt. As well as online con­tent, Savvy­Woman runs sem­i­nars and events aimed at demys­ti­fy­ing mon­ey and invest­ing. The site has been short­list­ed as num­ber five in The Times’ “Top 50 web­sites to save you money.”

Sarah is also an award-win­ning broad­cast­er and jour­nal­ist who reg­u­lar­ly appears on the BBC as a finan­cial expert. She’s writ­ten for a num­ber of mag­a­zines and news­pa­pers, includ­ing Styl­ist, Yours and Good Housekeeping.

She spoke to David Bur­nand (DB), Direc­tor of Enter­prise Mar­ket­ing EMEA for Adobe. He is respon­si­ble for the devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of Adobe’s mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy in North­ern and Cen­tral Europe, as well as lead­ing our Expe­ri­ence Cloud cam­paigns across Europe, Mid­dle East and Africa. His work has won sev­er­al awards includ­ing Best Inter­na­tion­al Cam­paign at the B2B Mar­ket­ing Awards, as well as mul­ti­ple hon­ours at the BMA’s B2 Awards in the Unit­ed States.

SP I’m Sarah Pen­nells, I’m a jour­nal­ist and I’m also the Founder of, which is a lead­ing mon­ey web­site for women. I’m here at Adobe’s Lon­don offices tak­ing part in a series of inter­views where I talk to a num­ber of lead­ing names in the world of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. Today I’m joined by David Bur­nand and we’re talk­ing about cus­tomer experience.

DBI think banks, and insur­ers actu­al­ly, sit on a wealth of oppor­tu­ni­ty to cre­ate real­ly, real­ly good cus­tomer expe­ri­ences, because they sit on this kind of gold­en field full of data that they can poten­tial­ly utilise on the one hand, but on the oth­er hand, in con­trast to a lot of oth­er brands, the data that they do have is much more heav­i­ly regulated.

So, I think that’s an inhibitor to cre­at­ing real­ly good cus­tomer expe­ri­ences. I think that if you think about the lega­cy sys­tems that a lot of banks have had as well, often­times it can be quite tricky for them to get those sys­tems to play ball and inter­act with each oth­er and also with a front-end inter­face that pro­vides a bet­ter dig­i­tal experience.

And then the final aspect of course, which is linked to that lega­cy sys­tem issue, is then the abil­i­ty to link offline and online chan­nels as well, that can also be a chal­lenge for them. But I think actu­al­ly, on the whole, and I think we’re see­ing it now with a lot of the brands that we work with, you’re real­ly start­ing to see the trans­for­ma­tion accelerate.

And I think a lot of banks and insur­ers are now get­ting their head around what they need to do in order to cre­ate real­ly com­pelling cus­tomer expe­ri­ences that actu­al­ly gen­er­ate real val­ue to a cus­tomer, rather than per­haps just to the bank or just to the direct mar­keter, as it would have been a few years ago.

So on the whole I would say things have improved dras­ti­cal­ly, but there are def­i­nite­ly still hur­dles there.

SP I think it prob­a­bly doesn’t always feel to the con­sumers like it’s improved so much in terms of what they see. There are some exam­ples where con­sumers real­ly like their banks and they real­ly like their insur­ers and they tell me about that.

But I cer­tain­ly see on the oth­er side as well, where they’re, kind of, like, they’re ask­ing me for this infor­ma­tion and I only ever hear from them when it’s bad news—they don’t tell me when the rate’s going down, some­thing that could mean that it costs me, I only hear from them when they want more money.

DB I think there are still def­i­nite­ly gaps, there’s no doubt about it. But I think on the whole, since the finan­cial crash, I real­ly feel there’s been a reset in the mind­set of the banks and how they have to ori­en­tate them­selves more towards con­sumers and think in a much more cus­tomer first way.

And actu­al­ly if you look at some of the brands’ track­ers, actu­al­ly some of the most pos­i­tive shifts amongst the brands that are gen­er­al­ly tracked out of all the con­sumer brands, actu­al­ly banks and insur­ers have seen some of the biggest improve­ments over the past few years.

SP That’s inter­est­ing because to me it doesn’t always feel like there has been such a big shift. I’ll have con­ver­sa­tions with them or they’ll tell you that they are chang­ing, and they get it, but from my point of view—and maybe I’m too much of a cyn­i­cal journalist—but it feels like there is a dis­con­nect between what they’re say­ing and maybe the mes­sage that they want their con­sumers to hear, or poten­tial con­sumers, and actu­al­ly all the pad­dling in the background.

DB We def­i­nite­ly see that they are chang­ing, I mean, if think about the inter­ac­tions that you have with your bank though, it kind of works two ways, so you’re right, on the one hand a con­sumer might sit there and go, well the bank only con­tacts me when they want some­thing, they want this, they want that, they want more mon­ey, they don’t con­tact me for oth­er things.

But actu­al­ly there’s also an onus on the con­sumer to look for infor­ma­tion as well. So, I think it is kind of a bal­ance between the two things. If you think about how often do you active­ly inter­act with your bank from your side as well, I think some­times, if you don’t inter­act that reg­u­lar­ly, then you may have the per­cep­tion that things haven’t changed that much.

But actu­al­ly, if you actu­al­ly take a look under the sur­face there have been huge shifts over the past few years. If you think about the abil­i­ty to do bank­ing through apps, through web­sites, the amount of infor­ma­tion that is now avail­able to consumers.

What you’re very much involved in as well, which is mak­ing a huge amount of infor­ma­tion avail­able to con­sumers about their finan­cial choic­es. And also dri­vers like things like aggre­ga­tor web­sites as well that give cus­tomers far greater trans­paren­cy that they ever had.

SP David thanks very much. Well, for more insights and inter­views you can go to\digitaleurope.

Topics: Digital Transformation, banking, FSI, insurance, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA