Business challenge

To nurture customer loyalty in a competitive retail banking marketplace, OCBC Bank wanted to meet demanding customer expectations for always-on, personalized services.


OCBC created an integrated, event-based marketing process—enabling it to harness deeper insight into individual customer preferences to share timely, compelling marketing messages on the best channel.


increase in number of active campaigns

percentage boost in cross-sell conversion

percentage uplift in return on marketing investment

Business challenge story

Boosting loyalty in a competitive market

Today’s retail banking consumers have increasingly high expectations. Accessing products and services anytime, anywhere—online or on mobile—is now the norm, and customers expect to receive the same high-quality service on every channel. Satisfying these requirements is vital, as customers will switch providers more readily than ever to obtain the level of service they expect.<br><br>To maintain its leading position in a saturated market, OCBC Bank aimed to drive retention and increase share of wallet. By reaching out with a relevant message at the right time, the bank knew that it could nurture customer loyalty and inspire them to purchase additional products that they might not otherwise have considered. Achieving these goals meant that OCBC Bank needed to gain deeper insight into individual customer preferences, and use that knowledge to deliver personalized services.<br><br>In the past, OCBC Bank’s communications channels and touchpoints—including email, call centers, branches, ATMs, direct mail, text messages and mobile banking—were managed using separate systems and processes. As a result, the bank had limited insight into the way that individual customers interacted with its brand—forcing it to rely on generic, catch-all marketing messages. To achieve true one-to-one marketing at speed and scale, the bank realized it needed to shape a fully integrated marketing process.<br><br>

“We can now go from conceptualizing a new granular, targeted marketing campaign to launching it in a single day.”<br><br>—Donald MacDonald, SVP, Head of Group Customer Analytics & Decisioning, CRM, OCBC Bank<br><br>

Transformation story

Gaining a deeper understanding of customer preferences

To transform its approach to customer communications, OCBC Bank created an omni-channel, data-driven marketing platform. Today, the bank is building an ever-more detailed view of individual customer preferences—even when they move between touchpoints.<br><br>Every day, OCBC Bank mines data on customer activity at its branches, call centers and digital channels to detect opportunities to reach out with personalized services. For example, if a customer has recently purchased a plane ticket, the bank can automatically share an offer for travel insurance. Similarly, if a customer makes a particularly large deposit, the company can automatically schedule a member of its outbound contact center team to call them to discuss ways to maximize the value of their assets.<br><br>Gaining deeper insight into real-world customer behavior also helps OCBC Bank to reduce the risk of customers moving to a competitor—a growing threat in a fast-moving marketplace. By detecting unusual patterns of activity such as decreasing spend frequency or rewards redemption, the bank can proactively share tailored offers to strengthen loyalty.<br><br>Automated, daily lead generation enables marketers to pursue value-added initiatives that drive revenue and strengthen relationships, rather than slow and costly processes of piecing together customer data to implement campaigns. As a result, the bank has dramatically cut its campaign development lifecycle by 40 percent.<br><br>

Results story

Tailored offers drive revenues

Thanks to its customer-centric marketing transformation, OCBC Bank has gained a thorough understanding of individual preferences, ensuring that it sends the right message to each customer on their preferred channel at the best time.<br><br>Today, OCBC Bank has increased its number of active campaigns by a factor of 12, and the commercial benefits of one-on-one marketing have quickly become clear. OCBC is averaging double-digit percentage increases in cross-sell conversion, achieving conversation rates as high as 40 percent for some campaigns. By inspiring its customers to purchase, OCBC Bank boosted its percentage return on marketing investment by triple digits, and achieved a full return on investment within just 18 months.<br><br>In the past, the bank relied on an external email service provider (ESP) to reach out to customers with digital messages—limiting its responsiveness and driving up operational costs. By transitioning to a centralized, integrated approach, OCBC Bank gains the speed, flexibility and cost-efficiency to deliver more targeted outreach.<br><br>For example, the bank has created a new customer onboarding process, which enables it to share regular updates with customers about when their services will be ready, and any action they need to take. And when the bank experienced an unexpected service outage, it was able to quickly and clearly communicate the problem and offer an apology to customers in just two hours—far faster than previously possible.<br><br>MacDonald comments: “We were able to get SMSs and emails out to customers within a couple of hours, and that brought a lot of positive feedback.”<br><br>OCBC Bank’s personalized approach to marketing is not limited to the digital channel. Today, the bank suggests real-time next-best actions on touchscreen devices in its branches. When customers are opening a new account, one of the bank’s sales representatives can show customers the best available offers, and help them to choose the right products to meet their needs. At the end of the face-to-face interaction, the monitor displays a cross-sell offer based on inputs captured during the session and historical data—helping to drive incremental sales.<br><br>“If you look at the research, 70 percent of the cross-sell potential in the lifetime of a customer happens in the first 90 days after they open an account,” concludes MacDonald. “We’re really focusing on making it a great interaction and introducing a relevant, subtle cross-sell, as it’s the best time to engage the customer.”<br><br>



Operating in a competitive retail banking space, OCBC Bank targeted personalized marketing as a key differentiator. The bank uses customer-behavior analytics to identify their preferences and deliver timely, compelling offers—boosting cross-sell conversion percentage by double digits and lifting return on marketing investment by triple digits.

Solution components

  • Banking: Next Generation Experiences
  • Banking: Operationalize Advanced Analytics & AI
  • Marketing Platforms: Campaign Management
  • Marketing Software Managed Hosted Legacy
  • WCE Watson Marketing and Commerce

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