Legendary one-to-one marketing has been the gold standard for years. Back in the old days of banking, relationships were formed in person when a customer connected with a banker face to face. Their relationship grew over time, and that banker knew about life-changing events in the customer’s life such as a birth of a child, job change, child’s wedding, retirement or the arrival of a grandchild. Most bank branches excelled at this one to one relationship and believe their excellent service is what sets them apart from other financial institutions. While it may be true in a branch setting, does that same one-to-one connection come out in your marketing communications with those same customers?

Most likely, your marketing communication approach is a one size fits all. And why is that? If you know at the branch level, the one-to-one connection is essential, why wouldn’t your marketing communications to your customers follow the same approach. Nearly half of all consumers say they become frustrated when companies fail to provide a relevant, personalized experienced. For example, recently, I ordered a gift off a baby registry from a major retailer, and now I am receiving emails on baby products weekly. Obviously, they should have known I was not the one expecting a baby since I shopped from a registry. Plus, if they had looked at my demographic profile they would have known otherwise too! That experience was a turn-off and it makes me consider making my next baby shower purchase elsewhere.

Banks can avoid similar mistakes by using data to customize messages that are relevant to the customer. Customer intelligence data should drive all marketing efforts and communications. There is a plethora of data available, and some of that information will tell you when a significant life-changing event has recently happened in a customer’s household. In most instances, those events can trigger the need for a different financial relationship. By using this data to your advantage, you can replicate the personalized experience your customers enjoy in the branch and expand that experience in all communications and interactions you have with your customers, regardless of channel.

They say “one is a lonely number,” but we all want to be treated like an individual and not just another number or account. Customers expect banks to deliver individualized messages and product offerings to them based on their individual need. Banks who create one-to-one engagement and communicate with their customers across all channels in this manner will differentiate themselves and enjoy a competitive advantage.