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How Nationwide more than doubled its sales with a new CRM strategy

How Nationwide more than doubled its sales with a new CRM strategy

Just six months after reporting an 18 per cent slip in half year pre-tax profits, Nationwide Building Society has doubled the product sales from its one to one campaigns across online and offline channels.

By using Unica as part of its in-house CRM system, Nationwide has implemented one to one marketing to make tailored and personalised customer offers through direct mail, internet banking, and in-branch and call centre customer interactions.

By using better targeting, Nationwide more than doubled its sales figures for these one to one campaigns over three years and achieved response rates for direct marketing campaigns using event-based triggers that are four times those using standard segmentation.

The building society has also now reported cost savings of £300,000 a year using its comprehensive in-house events-driven customer contact management system.

Last November, after reporting losses of 18 per cent to £322 million (down from £394m), the UK’s largest building society was confident it was “strong and well placed” compared to its rivals saying its customers were making a "flight to safety as they recognise the strength of Nationwide".

As bad debts have rise to £74 million, up from £62 million in 2007, as borrowers struggle with their repayments due to the recession, mortgage lending has also fallen by £1 billion, leaving Nationwide to rethink its CRM strategy.

Nationwide is the world’s largest building society offering a full range of personal finance services.  The company has around 15 million customers and around 1,000 retail outlets throughout the UK.  More than three million of its customers are registered to use internet banking.

As part of its initiative to manage costs and deliver more customer-focused marketing campaigns, Nationwide integrated its Portrait CRM system with Unica’s marketing automation technology to drive its direct marketing activities. 

Focussed initially on event-based marketing, the integrated system provides a comprehensive view of each customer relationship.  It presents Nationwide’s customer advisors with relevant offers based on campaigns built using Unica’s campaign management software. 

The marketing analytics system allows Nationwide to deliver more personalised marketing offers based on customer behaviours and engagement with the building society.  For example, if a customer rings the call centre, the agent is alerted to relevant products that he or she can speak to the customer about. 

Unica automatically generates these relevant offers based on the customer’s account and transaction data, helping Nationwide’s marketing team determine the best follow-up offers to provide via the web, direct mail or during the customer’s next interaction with the branch or call centre.

Nationwide implemented its new CRM system across all of its branches and call centres and applied its inbound marketing campaigns through ‘prompted’ conversations with the customer. This allowed them to deliver relevant marketing offers and campaigns across all channels – improving customer communications and service to members.

Nationwide integrated Unica with the Portrait CRM system to develop an intelligent centralised one to one marketing capability across all channels.  Nationwide also developed event based campaigns to detect changes in customer behavioural patterns to immediately trigger the appropriate cross and up-sell service. 

For example, if a customer makes an unusually large deposit into their current account, Nationwide identifies this change in behaviour and can respond accordingly – with an offer to the customer to invest in an account offering a better rate.  This action can help ensure customer retention.

Having the data at the fingertips of the organisation means Nationwide can now focus its marketing efforts more effectively on products and services that are right for each individual – cultivating trust from its customers and ensuring its marketing budgets are well spent.

Peter Molloy, database marketing controller at Nationwide, said, “With the centralised view of all our customers’ interactions provided by our in-house database, we can gain a better picture of their needs and provide them with more personalised offers. This shows our customers that we are listening to them and are focussed on meeting their personal needs.”

Now though, Nationwide is looking to further develop its online and event-based marketing capability by deploying systems like Unica Detect—that can help with analysis and automated event detection. 

The building society is analysing how to implement more complex business rules to drive customer level contact optimisation and develop individual customer contact plans for the next 12 months.

Nationwide also recognises a need to automate its budget and campaign management systems to enable speed of campaign implementation, demanded by the increasingly dynamic marketing environment. 

Now that the new Unica campaign management system up and running, Nationwide is already seeing cost savings of £300k per year; the company’s small database marketing team of nine is able to send approximately 600 targeted campaigns per month, an increase of 100 per cent.

With Unica driving its ’one to one’ approach to marketing outreach, response rates to Nationwide’s event-based direct marketing campaigns are now consistently four times those of traditional segmentation based campaigns.

Further, the one to one marketing prompts driven from Unica and deployed through the Portrait CDM customer facing systems now account for around half of the total direct marketing sales.

Molloy added, “With the credit crunch in full swing, it’s essential to the survival of our business that we retain and expand relationships with existing customers by providing relevant products and additional services.

“Thanks to Unica’s campaign management system, we are now sending out more targeted marketing campaigns and seeing a lift in sales as a result. Our sales have improved significantly year on year and we are now better able to meet the needs of our customers, generating greater loyalty.”

Learn how to use successful CRM as part of your marketing strategy at the UTalkMarketing Digital CRM Skills Accelerator training course.

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