By Jane Tague, SVP Marketing at Apiture

Financial institutions have a wealth of data at their disposal that can be used to gain insights and facilitate personalized engagement with account holders. Unsurprisingly, providing the right offer at the right time is the key to delivering marketing offers that will resonate with consumers.

I bank with several financial institutions, one of which recently introduced a product designed to help parents improve the financial literacy of their children. It’s an important topic, and one of particular interest across generations today given the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on consumers’ financial health.

In fact, a 2021 report by the Milken Institute calls today’s financial literary situation grim, noting that “many individuals in the U.S. — both young and old — lack the basic knowledge and skills required to engage in sound financial decision-making.” Only 57% of U.S. adults are considered financially literate, it says, and more than half of U.S. states scored a C, D, or F in a recent report card evaluating high school financial education programs.

Given this somewhat dire state of affairs, there is likely to be a strong market for a tool to help educate children — and this particular bank appears to have invested heavily in marketing its new product, displaying ads within the bank’s mobile app as well as sending direct mail pieces and numerous emails.

There’s just one problem. I have children, but they are well into their 20s, and my job supporting their financial literacy is done. It’s a targeting mismatch of a product that simply doesn’t apply to my current situation, and I’ve become annoyed at the continuing onslaught of emails and ads promoting this irrelevant product.

Contrast that with another financial institution’s offer telling me I am preapproved for a car loan. This is timely in that I’ve recently paid off a loan and have begun to consider a new purchase. Even though my previous loan was through a different bank, my financial institution’s data analytics capabilities are robust enough to identify a potential cross-sale opportunity. It’s the right offer at the right time, and one I will remember because it’s highly relevant to my current situation, not because it has grown annoying.

The amount of data available to financial institutions is staggering, but having the tools to effectively analyze and act upon that data is essential. Does your digital banking platform enable you to target account holders with timely, personalized offers? A solution that avoids a one-size-fits-all approach and enables highly relevant marketing messages is key to driving success in today’s competitive market.