The investment of time and money in digital marketing initiatives has been many companies’ first experience of the digitization trend that is now sweeping through so much of a firm’s operations. But even though marketers might have been early adopters of one of business’s biggest trends, they are still figuring out how to do digital marketing well, and in a cost effective way.
This series of posts (see the right hand side of the page for more) looks at what some of the most forward thinking marketers are doing to make the most of their digital marketing.
Dave Goodman joined Barclaycard US in 2008 and leads digital transformation and strategic innovation initiatives. In his current role, he has developed Barclaycard’s marketing technology roadmap and built new capabilities for customer acquisition, customer retention, and loyalty marketing.
He now works on Barclaycard’s digital transformation strategy and leads the team responsible for managing digital channels including website, mobile apps, e-mail, and SMS.
Q: How does Barclaycard stay at the cutting edge of digital experience innovations?
A: It is a three-pronged approach, really. First, we are a global enterprise and we try to make the most out of the experiments and learning taking place across all our geographies and business units. Whether that is understanding how mobile and digital impacts our customers in South Africa, or how blockchain technology affects the UK business. This scale gives us a network across the group to share learnings and ideas.
Second, we have a vast network of martech vendors and third parties we work with, who help us with our martech initiatives. Knowing what they’re working on — with us and more broadly — helps us ensure we remain current and informs our future thinking as well. Third, we have an insight team looking at consumer trends and technology trends. They feed that into our digital group to understand where consumer preferences are going and what the technology enables.
Q: How do you evaluate the competitive landscape for digital strategy?
A: We look at competition from a couple of angles. We obviously look at financial services players who constantly rank highly on Net Promoter Score (NPS) and who have a track record of highly satisfied customers. We look to them to figure out what they are getting right in digital experience. Outside the space but still within financial services, we also look at the big mobile banking players. We think there’s plenty to learn there. Generally, we keep our eyes on the rapidly evolving FinTech space to identify which of the three strategies—partnering, investing, and acquiring—we want to pursue.
I also challenge my team to look outside the space [financial services] as aggressively as inside. We think that Sephora and specifically the way they use data and omnichannel are interesting. Also, Disney is doing a great job on the omnichannel experience. And my favorite currently is Dominos — anytime, anywhere — they are out in front on social and mobile. Those are three category-leading brands that we try to learn from.
Q: How does Barclaycard build a culture of innovation in the organization?
A: Innovation is in our DNA. For example, we set the tone for contactless cards in the United Kingdom. We continually run tests on new concepts and ideas. We essentially run a portfolio of small bets to figure out where we want to go big, rather than just a few big bets. We focus on opportunities that are at the intersection of customer pain points, consumer trends, and enabling technology. We also expect our employees to innovate. We capture ideas from our frontline employees and try to get employees involved in the launch process before we roll out to customers.
For example, we recently organized a global innovation day for all our employees where they spent time interacting with concepts ranging from the internet of things to machine learning. We also partner with Barclays [Barclaycard’s parent compnay] as part of their Accelerator Program, an incubator for small companies focused on identifying early-stage opportunities.
Q: How do you partner with external players on digital initiatives?
A: We think about partnerships in two ways: we have a pretty big partnership business model here in the United States, and we’re big in the co-branded credit card space. We have 25 leading business partners including Apple, the NFL, American Airlines, and Carnival Cruise Lines.
When we first approach partnerships, we consider the best way to bring an integrated partner experience to our joint customers. This means looking at the end-to-end retail experience, the travel experience, or the payment experience. We also work with a wide-range of third-party providers to help us enhance the customer experience including data aggregation, omnichannel experiences, enhanced fraud and security, and biometrics.
Q: How do you keep on top of new trends and come up with big ideas?
A: Our innovation team gets 20 or 30 people from around the business in a room to help generate ideas. Our hack day focuses on a specific challenge. The mix of stakeholders reduces the risk of coming up with something unachievable. The innovation team also works with the teams who would actually implement ideas to get their buy-in.