Last week, I fired up an app on my phone and while using it, a message popped up. Men’s Warehouse was having a sale on Calvin Klein suits, I was intrigued … and they knew I would be because they know what I like. This is the new norm for businesses today, data is changing the world and helping businesses target consumers and businesses in new and unique ways. There was a time when companies, would have had to spend insane amounts of money to find me and get this message in front of me, but today, teamed with advanced analytics and enhanced modeling, companies use data (in the form of marketing signals) to anticipate and predict consumers’ needs.
You may be wondering, what are marketing signals? They’re an indication of intent or behavior that are based on a person’s actions. If someone searches for mortgage rates online, he may be in the market for a mortgage. If she clicks on an ad, that means she’s interested in that product.
But there are other things, too, like life events that indicate shifting financial sands (a child going off to college or having a baby). Knowing about it gives you a chance to meet those changing financial needs. Even passive things like the balance in a person’s savings account or debt that needs consolidating are powerful indicators. A consumer might not know that a CD would make their savings work harder for them, or that they can qualify for a debt-consolidation loan and pay down their debt quicker and with less interest.
The insights gained through monitoring these marketing signals are the key to anticipating a consumer’s needs, even educating them about those needs, allowing you to swoop in with an offer before a purchase is made.
But it’s not just about being in the right place at the right time. Tapping into the active and passive signals allows you to build responsive, intuitive, consumer-centric marketing programs. It gives you insights into consumer expectations, allows you to offer personalized service, and helps you to retain your current customer base while gaining new ones.
Types of signals and how they are used
Let’s dive deeper into marketing signals. Here are the three main types of lending signals potential finance customers give out.
These are concrete actions consumers take that indicate they’re ready to purchase a new financial product. Online searches are one of the most powerful signals. Searching for a Realtor? Chances are you’re in the market for a mortgage. Hard credit inquiries? A credit hit means a consumer is considering a purchase, like a new car or a home. Pick up on that signal and boom, you’ve identified a potential customer for a mortgage or a car loan. Another example: A change of address can indicate needs for lines of credit or refinancing.
A child heading off to college, the birth of a baby, an adjustable mortgage rate resetting or an auto lease expiring are signals that the consumer is about to experience a financial shift that will produce new financial needs like a college loan or a car loan.
This is the profile your data alone builds for you. Predictive signals are more passive than behavior- or event-based signals, but if a person has a high amount of savings sitting in their account, debt that could be consolidated or a mortgage with a much higher interest rate than the going rate, they might be a good candidate for a consolidation loan, the purchase of a CD or a mortgage re-fi.
Oftentimes, you can use a combination of all three of these types of signals to get at an opportunity. Here’s how it might look:
Developing a strategy
It all sounds good, but how, exactly, do you capture all of this data floating around in cyberspace? It may sound overwhelmingly high tech, but the good news is, you don’t have to go big or go home — or even go it alone.
The first order of business? Start small. That’s the best way to implement new strategies. Float a marketing signals trial balloon and see what kind of ROI you get from it a great starting point is In-the-Market Alerts (ITMA) from Deluxe Marketing Solutions.
Pick a product you’d like to focus on — mortgages, say. Do a trial using inquiries from credit bureaus and other predictive data to identify mortgage shoppers who match your qualifying criteria. Just pay per consumer record with no commitment or contract. See the kinds of results you get. The ROI from these data-driven marketing tactics will blow the doors off traditional marketing programs.
For more information about harnessing the power of marketing signals, download our whitepaper, Lending Signals: The Secret Weapon to Increase Loan Originations.