Today’s consumers lead a mobile-centric lifestyle. But for retail banks and the personal finance industry mobile still remains a largely untapped resource. This must change if financial companies want to connect properly with their customers, and not appear out of touch.

In a four-part series, Adrian Sarosi of mobile engagement platform provider OpenMarket highlights how consumer financial service providers can learn from other industries on how to use mobile for effective customer engagement.

Part Three: An adult approach

In part three, Adrian looks at customer engagement in the mobile adult entertainment industry. He identifies the value of personalised messages, products and service offers for customer acquisition and retention via the mobile phone, and explains how the financial services sector can adopt similar tactics to boost engagement with customers.

For your eyes only

It’s not just charities and gambling that provide important lessons for going mobile. Financial service providers can look to the mobile adult service industry as well for key pointers in how to play to mobile’s strengths as a CRM channel.

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Adult services are one of the largest ARPU generators for mobile operators. Like gambling, they need to be carefully packaged so as to be both discreet and easy for the end-user to access and consume on the mobile.

Marketers of these services are adept in both engaging prospective customers, and maintaining and extending this engagement with offers that are specially tailored to the user’s individual tastes. They offer the prospective user every opportunity to communicate with them using a broad range of methods – a voice shortcode (cheaper than calling a 0800 number), an SMS shortcode, or a landline number.

Keep them coming back for more

With the customer engaged and using the service, the provider prudently tracks their usage and creates new offers linked to what they’ve consumed previously, and which are also optimised for the mobile phone. Alongside this content they include flexible pricing bundles, together with convenient payment mechanisms (such as Premium SMS or direct mobile billing). When combined, these elements keep the end-user engaged and coming back for more on a regular basis.

Banks and personal finance companies can follow this successful approach by, on the one hand, closely analysing and understanding their customers’ individual preferences and usage habits to provide intelligent and personalised services. They can also include a broad and flexible range of methods for customers to contact and communicate with them, at whatever time and in whichever way works for them.

SMS in particular is a straightforward, tried-and-tested, universal system that’s an easy and accessible way to boost acquisition and retention – across all device types. Consumers don’t have to download an app, log in to a website, or share any personal information or bank details to have control over their financial affairs.

A personal service

The added value enabled by mobile gives you an important advantage over competitors in both retaining customers and attracting new ones as well. Relevant and helpful messages and reminders delivered to customers via their mobile phone improve service quality.

But they also improve the bottom line – through a combination of reduced costs, increased revenues, and improved customer retention rates. When viewed in these terms, these benefits more than justify your initial investment.



Adrian Sarosi of mobile engagement platform provider OpenMarket