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Developing a Path to Martech Maturity

Digital innovators like Amazon, Netflix, Instagram, Peloton, and Stitch Fix have completely transformed consumers’ expectations. From highly-targeted ads delivered in social feeds to tailored landing pages, personalized recommendations and relevant content, these companies demonstrate just how well they know their customers at an individual level.

So why do bank communications pale in comparison? To remain relevant, and to stave off the fintechs that are nipping away at profitable businesses, bank marketers must harness the technology tools — known as martech — that are now available to organizations of all sizes. With these tools at the ready, banks can incorporate preferences and past behaviors to get the most relevant offer in front of the customer.


There’s no doubt that data fuels an organization’s ability to learn from interactive stimuli and make more informed decisions about what information, offers and/or experiences will best serve customers in the moment. Unfortunately, according to the 2018 Digital Banking Report, two-thirds of bank marketers don’t believe they have the tools they need to use data to create compelling, personalized real-time content.

Those views are confirmed in conversations that Novantas is having with marketing and business-unit executives across the industry who repeatedly describe three roadblocks they are facing.

The first, and most common, is the siloed nature of data. Measurement and optimization too often still happen in different siloes, slowing down the bank’s ability to act on insights and keeping communications stuck on the back foot.

The second is the exploding technical complexity of marketing tools that can help marketers use data to create more relevant communications. Over the past five years, the martech landscape has grown from a few hundred solutions to well over 5,000. But bank adoption of new technologies is evolving at a much slower pace. This isn’t likely to change going forward.

The third is the integration of martech investments to ensure the right measurement and calibration. In many cases, banks are making the right martech investments, but then spend little time on calibrating the appropriate metrics. This should be a focus for both marketing and business unit executives.


The trick, then, is for bank marketers to strategically choose martech components that will deliver the greatest value to the organization based on a “martech maturity” scale. (See Figure 1). Organizations vary widely in their ability to harness existing customer data and leverage marketing technology to deliver more sophisticated campaigns fueled by customer data. As a bank moves up the maturity spectrum, the more integrated their data and martech stacks become and the more responsive, personalized and relevant their communications will be.

Banks can determine their maturity level by examining how their organization handles data, assessing the integration of their data and technology stacks and determining how quickly they can respond to customer signals.

Banks at the immature end of the spectrum should focus on standardization and automation. This means moving away from one-off campaigns that must be executed manually and shifting to campaigns that are trigger-based — such as welcome campaigns — and ideally tailored to specific customer segments. Making this shift frees expensive team resources from low-value executional work to higher-value activities, such as creative development and strategy. It also drives a more consistent customer experience, even if the organization is scaling considerably. Making this leap requires the adoption of a robust marketing automation platform, fueled by customer-level data and scores.

Banks in the adolescent phase must start to make the leap to personalization by building a martech stack that enables the crafting and delivery of personalized communications and offers to existing customers while simultaneously reaching new customers through digital advertising. This requires three key components:

  • Identity Management: the map between “on-us” and “off-us” data across all touch points.
  • Audience Management Platforms: a DMP platform that connects the customer and campaign data residing in the CRM system with digital advertising, inventory management and audience data to enable smarter targeting and creative messaging.
  • Measurement and Attribution: two platforms — one for prospects and a second for existing customers — that fuel continuous optimization (media/channel, and message/experience) based on the right business objectives.

Bank marketers who integrate their customer data, third party data, and interaction data from advertising and customer campaigns are the ones who have achieved martech maturity. The ones that have a martech stack built to maximize the value of acquisition costs, deposits, persistence and lifetime value will have the advantage in both customer acquisition and loyalty.

Sarah Welch
Director, New York

Brandon Larson
Managing Director, new York

For more information, contact Novantas Marketing

+1 (212) 953-4444

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