Personalizing Financial Customer Journeys with Salesforce Marketing Cloud & Data Cloud

Personalization Salesforce Marketing Cloud Data Cloud Zennify

Personalization in financial services has become a crucial factor when attracting and retaining customers.

However, according to a study, financial services firms are lagging behind other industries in delivering effective personalization, with only 14% of banking customers viewing their banks as “extremely effective” at providing relevant experiences and offers.

This comparison with other sectors is reshaping consumer expectations, making it essential for banks to adopt more sophisticated personalization strategies to remain competitive.​

One area of marketing where banks and credit unions of all sizes can do a lot better is in their use of data

The Financial Brand

But First.. Data

Unless you’re sending marketing emails one at a time (please don’t do this!), this level of hyper-personalization is only possible with a strong data strategy.

By collecting and analyzing your customer data—such as account usage, transaction history, and personal preferences—banks can offer customized product recommendations, create personalized dashboards for customers, and predict future financial needs, significantly enhancing the customer experience.

For instance, banks might use spending patterns to suggest higher-yield savings accounts to frequent savers or offer customized loan terms based on a customer’s financial goals​.

Why Personalization? And Why Now?

The move towards hyper-personalization is not just about staying competitive; it’s also about responding to the changing behaviors and expectations of customers.

The demand for personalized banking experiences is on the rise, with customers preferring institutions that can offer convenience, relevance, and value tailored to their individual needs. Banks that have implemented mature personalization strategies are seeing tangible benefits, including improved customer acquisition and retention, better understanding of customer needs, and enhanced ability to cross-sell products without significantly increasing costs​.

To meet customers’ personalization needs and address changing customer preferences, financial institutions need to start optimizing how to integrate the data and insights from their core systems, with other technology platforms like a CRM platform (read “How to Future Proof Your Banking Institution with Salesforce Financial Services Cloud”) and marketing platforms like Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Image of trends that reflect changes in technology, customer behavior, and the broader economic environment. In order to achieve personalization at scale, banks and other financial institutions need to be better at their digital and mobile expansion, leverage AI and Machine Learning, use big data and analytics, be better at omnichannel marketing, comply with regulations, and increase focus on customer experience.
These six trends reflect the changes in technology, customer behavior, and the broader economic environment within the financial services industry

Assessing Salesforce Marketing Cloud for Personalization in Financial Services

Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s ability to build personalized customer journeys through advanced data integration sets the stage for a new era of targeted marketing in the banking, wealth management, and insurance sectors.

Let’s break it down further:

  • Targeted, personalized engagement: By connecting data sources, including CRM and transactional insights, Salesforce Marketing Cloud can deliver custom-tailored messages and services.
  • Robust security posture: The platform’s security features and regulatory compliance capabilities ensure that financial entities can navigate the complex landscape of industry regulations while safeguarding sensitive customer data.
  • AI-driven Insights: Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s analytics and AI-driven insights open doors to next-gen marketing strategies.
  • Integration landscape: Salesforce’s ecosystem of apps, integrations, and industry-specific tools, such as those provided by integration partners like Zennify, offer an expansive suite of capabilities designed to tackle the unique challenges faced by financial services.

Salesforce Data Cloud vs. Salesforce Marketing Cloud for Financial Services

Salesforce Data Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud are related yet distinct components within the Salesforce ecosystem, designed to enhance customer engagement and experience by leveraging data in different but complementary ways.

What is Salesforce Data Cloud?

Salesforce Data Cloud, formerly known as Salesforce CDP (Customer Data Platform), is a platform that ingests and stores real-time data streams at a massive scale, combining it with Salesforce data to enable highly personalized customer experiences.

It extends the capabilities of the traditional Customer Data Platform across Salesforce’s entire product portfolio, known as “Customer 360”. Data Cloud is optimized for unifying data, identity resolution, and activating data across the entire Salesforce suite, including sales, service, marketing, and more. It’s designed to work with a broad range of data sources and types, harmonizing data streams into a single customer profile, which is then used across various Salesforce applications to drive personalized interactions and insights.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud, on the other hand, is a digital marketing platform that focuses specifically on marketing automation and analytics for email, mobile, social, and online marketing.

While it also utilizes data for personalized marketing campaigns, its primary function is within the realm of marketing segmentation, campaign management, and engagement across multiple channels​.

Integrating Salesforce Data Cloud and Marketing Cloud for Financial Services

The integration between Data Cloud and Marketing Cloud allows for a seamless flow of data between the two platforms, enabling marketers to leverage the unified data and insights generated by Data Cloud for more targeted and personalized marketing efforts within the Marketing Cloud.

This integration empowers organizations to create and deliver personalized customer journeys based on a comprehensive understanding of each customer, derived from the vast data capabilities of Data Cloud​.

How to: Improving Marketing Personalization with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Our team has worked with hundreds of financial institutions who’ve needed support with optimizing their Marketing Cloud to drive greater usage, adoption, and return on investment.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to improving personalization in Marketing Cloud for Financial Services:

  1. Understand Business Objectives: Clearly define what your financial organization wants to achieve with SFMC, be it customer acquisition, retention, increased engagement, or enhanced customer experience.
  2. Conduct a Gap Analysis and Provide Recommendations: Evaluate the current state of Marketing Cloud and identify gaps or areas with key stakeholders where it is not fully meeting business needs. This involves assessing how well current features are utilized and identifying any processes that are not adequately supported.
  3. Data Management and Integration: Ensure that customer data is accurately integrated into SFMC. This involves data cleansing, deduplication, and establishing a single customer view for targeted marketing.
  4. Segmentation and Personalization: Utilize SFMC’s data analytics tools to segment customers effectively and personalize marketing messages and offers based on customer behavior, preferences, and history.
  5. Journey Mapping: Use SFMC’s Journey Builder to create and optimize customer journeys. This includes automating communications based on customer actions and lifecycle stages.
  6. Test and Iterate: Implement A/B testing for emails and other marketing communications to determine the most effective strategies and content.
  7. Leverage AI and Predictive Analytics: Utilize Einstein AI for predictive analytics and to gain deeper insights into customer behavior and campaign performance.
  8. Training and Adoption: Ensure that the marketing team and relevant staff are adequately trained to use SFMC effectively. Continuous learning and adaptation are key.
  9. Compliance and Security: Especially important for financial institutions, ensure that marketing strategies and data handling comply with regulatory requirements.
  10. Regular Audits and Performance Monitoring: Regularly audit the use of SFMC to identify areas of improvement and monitor performance against KPIs.

Need Help? Find a Financial Services Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Data Cloud Expert

Optimizing Salesforce Marketing Cloud is essential for banks to maximize their investment, maintain compliance, and enhance customer experiences. Partnering with a Salesforce implementation expert can be invaluable in this process, providing specialized knowledge, support, and customized solutions.

When selecting a partner, consider the following key aspects:

  • Industry-Specific Expertise and Experience: Choose a partner with specialized knowledge in financial services. This ensures that your Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform is effectively customized to your business objectives and integrates seamlessly with your existing banking systems.
  • Customization: The partner should tailor Salesforce Marketing Cloud to meet your bank’s specific needs, accounting for unique business processes and goals.
  • Best Practices: An experienced partner will guide you on industry standards and best practices, helping to avoid common pitfalls and ensuring a successful implementation.
  • Training and Support: Ensure the partner offers comprehensive training and support to facilitate smooth adoption and ongoing efficient use of the system.
  • Integration Assistance: The partner should assist in integrating Salesforce Marketing Cloud with other systems, ensuring data integrity and security.
  • Continuous Improvement: Look for a partner who helps set up processes for continuous monitoring and improvement of Salesforce Marketing Cloud utilization.

Zennify Depends on Your Success. Guaranteed.

At Zennify, we’ve hyper-focused on improving the way we deliver projects to be the most efficient and effective partner in the Salesforce ecosystem; this means investing in AI technologies and process rigor to improve delivery operations, while also committing ourselves financially to your business outcomes and ROI. Our Success Guarantee program ensures we’re truly invested in the success of your transformation.

Check out the first three installments of Zennify’s Optimization Strategies for Financial Institutions here:

  1. Salesforce Optimization Strategies for Financial Institutions in 2024
  2. How Optimizing Salesforce Financial Services Cloud Can Future-Proof Your Financial Institution
  3. Preparing for Unified Digital Transformation and Open Banking with MuleSoft

Need help optimizing your Salesforce experience? Reach out here

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