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How RBS is democratizing data with Adobe Marketing Cloud

LAS VEGAS -- When a nearly 300-year-old bank wanted to step up personalization efforts with data analytics, it realized it needed to make a cultural shift. It wanted to target content to customers, but it needed to know more about those customers.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was established in 1727, and has 25 million global customers. Bank executives wanted to digitize and begin democratizing data to step into the future with their marketing efforts. They realized they were flying blind without data to support their decisions, however.

Without data, RBS might send a marketing message or target a user navigating the website without really knowing if the visitor fit into the bank's preconceived customer persona. Marketing was targeting messaging and products based on assumptions about its customers and their preferences, rather than what the data could truly tell RBS about its customer base and their needs.

"With our online [customer] experience, we were changing stuff, and we didn't know whether it was having a positive impact," said Giles Richardson, head of analytics at RBS, during a discussion at Adobe Summit 2016.

So, the marketing and analytics teams at RBS were enlisted to work collaboratively in its "Superstar DJs" program. It likens the role of marketers to DJs, because they are testing content options on audiences, much like a DJ offers up new beats to his or her audiences. The analysts create digestible dashboards and work as "producers" of sorts with their DJ counterparts, ultimately democratizing data and creating actionable results.

With the DJ Superstars program, and technology from Adobe Marketing Cloud and Adobe Analytics, the team at RBS was able to tweak and test its messaging to customers. Then, team members turned to the hard data to see the impact.

Once DJs were able to rely on data, and identify customer segments and the right content to send to those customers, RBS saw results. As a result of democratizing data, RBS customers were up to 80% more likely to purchase a certain banking offering with targeted content on the website or in email. Customers receive tailored messaging and content based on the data that RBS derives.

Richardson said executives at RBS want to expand the bank's marketing expertise and understanding of customers. The goal is to accomplish that in whatever communication channel a customer uses, whether that's on the website, in email or physically coming into a branch location.

"The next step is there are many other touch points that our customers will meet us at, and we want to be just as good there," he said.

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