How Barclays Declutters Data to Get the Right Offers to the Right Audience

by Justin Merickel

posted on 03-27-2019

Anyone who’s tried to tidy up a messy space knows the challenge of sifting through a lot of clutter to find what’s important. Dealing with tremendous amounts of customer data is no different. Handling data — as many companies know — can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to sorting through the huge volume of information captured about customer interactions with specific brands.

Uncovering insights from customer data is a critical first step as companies look to create engaging experiences. For tech-savvy companies, this means integrating multiple sources of data internally and with partners and third parties — all with the goal of extracting useful insights that result in more targeted, personal interactions with customers.

Identifying future customers today

Barclays US Consumer Bank is one company that’s gone to great lengths to better manage data to reach audiences as effectively as possible while protecting their consumers’ privacy. As the bank expands its US presence, Barclays partnered with leading consumer brands across industries to create co-branded credit card programs with perks and rewards specific to customers’ varied interests.

Barclays wants to attract the people most likely to get value from its credit cards. Each card has its own audience — for example, frequent travelers are a natural match for an airline-branded card. And within those audiences, the bank needs to focus even more narrowly.

“We want to connect with people who not only have an affinity to Barclays and our partner brands, but are likely to apply for a specific financial product, so we aren’t inundating people with irrelevant offers,” says Adam Allamar, marketing director of digital acquisition at Barclays.

To reach the right audiences, Barclays turned its attention to audience data, looking for correlations between consumer characteristics — think, lifestyle habits, entertainment and travel preferences, and — and the desired outcome, namely, getting people approved for the financial product best suited for their interests. In other words, the data paints a picture of what a future customer looks like, allowing the bank to deliver much more targeted ads.

The approach is working. Last year, Barclays paid media performance improved significantly, driven by improvements made in the digital targeting space. Not only is the bank saving money by not advertising to people who aren’t interested or won’t qualify, but it’s also getting more sophisticated with retargeting to make sure that the right audiences receive only relevant messages.

Barclays’ elements of success

There’s no magic to finding order in data, and no quick fix for achieving more targeted advertising. It requires the right tools, the right mindset, and a willingness to commit time and resources.

In terms of tools, Barclays uses Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Advertising Cloud, and Adobe Analytics to organize data, segment audiences, and coordinate campaigns across search, social, and display. The bank uses first-party data provided by partners to reach customers who are most likely to apply for credit cards and relies on Audience Manager — the industry’s leading data management platform — to perform look-alike modeling, helping the bank identify promising consumer segments. There are more initiatives on the horizon, including automated ad personalization and retargeting — all exciting developments that promise to increase the impact of Barclays advertising.

Hear Adam share more of his key learnings and best practices at Adobe Summit.

Topics: Digital Transformation, Advertising, Analytics, Personalization, Customer Stories

Products: Advertising Cloud, Analytics, Audience Manager