City National Bank goes digital to support its clients

Your bank your way

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by John Bates

posted on 07-24-2020

Los Angeles in the 1950s was a period of immense growth. A population boom happened alongside infrastructure development such as the famed four-level freeway interchange. Familiar landmarks were built, including Watts Towers, the Capitol Records building, and Disneyland in nearby Anaheim. In all, it was an ideal environment for a new generation of entrepreneurs ready to make their mark.

City National Bank was founded to serve this community. The founders were entrepreneurs themselves, who saw an existing financial system that was more accustomed to serving large industrial clients. Their hope was to serve those with the entrepreneurial spirit, supporting both professional ambitions and personal banking needs.

They aspired to create a relationship-driven and individually-tailored banking experience — which meant building high-touch, close relationships with their clients. City National prides itself on the trust and deep relationships that have been built over the years. Famously, in 1963, the bank put up the ransom money for Frank Sinatra when his son was kidnapped.

In recent years however, clients’ expectations have changed. While people continue to value a personal and physical banking experience, they also hold digital banking to the same standards set by Internet and technology companies. This presented a unique opportunity for City National to modernize its capabilities with a new digital strategy and technology investment. They embraced Adobe Experience Cloud to drive this effort, with a focus on personalization and delivering great online experiences. As one of the first to use the Adobe Analytics mobile app, they are also using data as a key decision-making tool.

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Getting personal

One of the inherent challenges for City National to provide a personalized experience online, was its wide variety of services and the different audiences it served. In a traditional face-to-face setting, it was easier for a banker to tailor the experience and get to the heart of what clients might need—including a baseline understanding of who they are and services they already use. While this is trickier to do online, there are signals that can help; Teams just need a way to capture and harness it.

City National leverages Adobe Analytics to capture signals across both digital and physical touchpoints, using it to paint a picture of where clients need guidance. While the data itself is aggregated and anonymized, it helps create different segments that can be personalized against through Adobe Target. Take a recent campaign, which delivered different homepages on the website for different segments. By customizing the experience based on data, City National saw a 157% lift in form completions (a core metric for any bank).

The bank has also began experimenting with AI capabilities through Adobe Sensei, which help automate cumbersome processes and allows for deeper analysis of data (a difficult task with limited human talent). It enables teams to create more relevant customer segments, while also automating personalization for millions of clients.

According to Joaquim Vilella Gallart, SVP and Head of Marketing Technology, City National Bank: “City National has always been a relationship bank. We’ve earned the trust of our clients, colleagues and communities through our unwavering commitment to putting our clients at the forefront of everything we do, and we are proud of this accomplishment. Now, we are using data analytics to take this one step further. Data analytics give us a clear view of our clients and their overall journey with the company, so that we can better serve their needs. Adobe Analytics has been the central insights engine to enable this. When we found out about the Adobe Analytics mobile app, we jumped at the opportunity to start using it because we knew it would help us gain even more insights from our data.”

City National has been one of the very first companies to use the Adobe Analytics mobile app. When we built it, the target audience was senior leadership. Those who make the most critical decisions for a company are often not able to get the data they need in time. This was the case for City National, where emailed reports quickly became stale. With the app, analysts can now create custom “scorecards” for executives, catered to specific roles. It is significant time saver, eliminating the hours spent answering ad-hoc executive requests.

Linda Duncombe (an Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing, Product and Digital Officer of City National) for instance, can now see how leads are moving through the marketing funnel, or which promotions in branches drove the most engagement online. She can also get a constant pulse on mobile performance, desktop traffic, and more. Each metric is interactive, allowing executives to see trends over time. It was an ideal form factor for this audience, even as COVID-19 kept folks at home. Executives found it easy to pull up the app for quick insights during meetings, or even when they went for a walk.

According to Patrick McCarthy, SVP and Head of NA Marketing and MarTech, City National Bank: “We were already preparing for digital, and then the landscape shifted in our direction. When COVID-19 happened, we were fully prepared to serve our clients digitally in the comforts of their homes. It minimized disruption and gave our clients and colleagues different ways to engage, whether it was through the website or via our mobile app. Our internal teams had all the right tools to be resilient and drive business continuity. It sets us up nicely for the next decade, where we can continue to deliver a high-touch client experience powered by digital technology.”

Topics: Financial Services, COVID-19, Customer Stories, Enterprise Customers

Products: Adobe Analytics