For financial services companies, the customer rules!


We just completed our largest annual event for Financial Services, the SAS Financial Services Executive Summit, where the theme was using analytics to drive innovation and create change. Even in the earliest stages of planning, it was clear that the customer would loom large in our content because that’s what’s happening across the entire financial services sector. The specific themes that kept emerging were how financial services companies are using analytics to manage customer information, deliver the right message in real-time, and create brand loyalty.

So it was no accident that we had several sessions on using customer intelligence and managing large amounts of customer data. The morning executive panel, moderated by SAS Customer Intelligence Executive, Lori Bieda, focused on understanding today’s customer through a customer analytics strategy. We also had an interactive “Power Session” where participants worked together in teams to discuss how they can better anticipate shifting market segments to meet customer needs. Our late afternoon panel entitled Big Data for the Next Big Idea was moderated by Jim Davis, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer of SAS, and it was a huge hit. As previously referenced by my colleague, John Balla in his post, the “big data” that companies like Bank of America, USAA and the UN are dealing with come from customer data, whether it is social media, call center data or financial transaction information. And last but not least, our ‘chief conversation catalyst,’ Billy Beane, had a strong message about change and innovation to stay ahead of the competition. This is a very good message for organizations looking to find new revenue streams and operational efficiencies to stay competitive.

With so much great customer analytics content from the event, here are my top take-aways:

  1. Social Media is changing the customer relationship. These days, it is the customer who is in charge.
  2. The good news about the effect of all of the data being created daily is that good technology can mine it to find the actionable insights within.
  3. It is not always about finding new customers; it’s also about deepening relationships with existing customers. This can be accomplished through a better understanding of these customers.
  4. The current generation has gotten used to getting everything they want when they want it. To survive, we have to adjust to that.
  5. Leveraging analytics extensively helps define the 360-degree customer view, but to stay ahead of the competition, we must be able to update profiles in real-time as we have conversations with customers.

Based on our attendees, it’s clear the focus in financial services is on the customer. There is plenty of cause for optimism in the future because of the huge potential that can be unlocked when combining  innovation, insight and analytics. What do you think?


About Author

Felicia Ramsey

I’m a field marketer for SAS covering the banking and insurance industries. I handle the marketing strategy and campaigns for the U.S with a focus on analytics and customer intelligence. My passion is digital marketing, advertising and finding creative ways to help sales drive revenue. I have almost 20 years of B2B marketing and communications experience working in the high tech industry. Follow me on Twitter @fecramsey or connect via LinkedIn at

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