It’s no secret that location has become increasingly critical to the banking sector, as the old model of an identical branch in every town has become obsolete. Between January 2015 and August 2019, 3,312 UK branches were closed down by banks and building societies – an average of 55 branch closures every month.
The rise of online and mobile banking is unquestionably a contributing factor to the decline of in-person banking, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. The modern customer is increasingly coming to expect personalised offers as well as convenient access to services. It’s therefore essential that banks focus on personalising banking if they’re to generate more profit from fewer locations.
Understanding local demographics
Location intelligence is the key to understanding why customers act as they do.
Personalising banking starts with analysing the factors that should influence the layout, format and marketing messages of each branch. For example, does the local area comprise a high number of retirees who are used to a traditional layout with counter service, comfortable seating, and refreshments? Or, is the branch surrounded by office blocks whose workers are time-pressed and prefer to use smart ATMs rather than wait in a queue?
A location intelligence tool such as Periscope® enables you to visualise each branch on your own secure, corporate version of Google Maps. You can then import your sales, marketing and competitor data to put it in the context of local information such as:
- Transport links
- House prices
- Socio-economic data
- Census data
Combining this information can help you shed light on why certain products perform well (or not so well) in particular locations. You can then use this information to personalise the banking experience for your customers.
Many banks are using the insights from location intelligence to re-organise their portfolios. Several are choosing to create multi-service hubs in central locations, or to partner with other companies to provide physical banking services in new venues such as post offices and supermarkets.
Let’s take a look at some of the possible outcomes of using a sophisticated location intelligence tool:
You’ve discovered that branches located close to major train stations receive a high number of business banking enquiries from start-ups. You instruct your marketing department to create aspirational campaigns advertising small business account services to entrepreneurs in these locations.
One of your branches is receiving far less footfall than you would expect for the number of people in the location. Your location intelligence has revealed that there’s a large supermarket in the area that receives high footfall, so you initiate discussions about relocating the branch within the supermarket.
You have two branches in university towns with a similar number of students, but one is outperforming the other. Your analysis reveals that the under-performing branch has a competitor across the road who is offering a student overdraft on better terms than yours. You decide to revamp the student offer for the under-performing branch, and create a targeted marketing campaign to promote it.
Personalising banking for your customers begins with a deeper understanding of who they are and how they make decisions about you and your competitors.
Book a free 10–minute demo of Periscope® to explore the potential of this innovative location intelligence software from Newgrove.