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Inside Chase’s marketing strategy

  • As startups make contributions to improve banking, data and technology in other industries are helping change consumer behavior.
  • The need to respond appropriately to both phenomenons has changed Chase's marketing approach in a number of ways.
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Inside Chase’s marketing strategy

In the three years that Karna Crawford has been working at Chase, it’s been going through some major changes.

Crawford, the bank’s head of marketing strategy and digital, said that transformation is being moved by largely by the work of financial technology startups and the contributions they’re making to financial services through digital investment products, digital consumer banking products as well as solving small banking challenges with new technology.

“It has forced us as a leading large-scale bank to think differently about how we’re connecting with consumers, how we’re thinking about the consumer experience and how to increase the mindset of how we think about innovation and a holistic integrated customer experience,” she said at an event Tuesday hosted by the The Advertising Club of New York

Here are five ways the bank’s marketing team is adapting to changing customer behavior in a digital landscape.

Chase is thinking about innovation differently by merging teams internally
Different teams and departments within the organization are breaking down barriers, committing more to integrating with each other so customers have a more integrated experience.

“Instead of thinking about acquiring, onboarding and managing the service and that those things are connected but separate – [we’re] really leaning into the collapsing of those things. Sales and marketing are one thing because technology and data and make them even more closely connected. Service and customer service and marketing and customer experience are one thing. We have to think about the total customer experience in such a different way than we’ve ever had to before. The connection that I have with my sales organization or with our ops organization etc is even more coupled and tighter than it ever has been.”

The bank is changing how it thinks of effectiveness of advertising
Like most brands, Chase is struggling with aligning objectives and sales with brand advertising. For Crawford, that means a shift from thinking about media measures to coupling of media metrics to business and outcomes.

“How do you marry brand outcomes to revenue end outcomes, how do you start to do that at a level of scale, at a level of consistency, that you can do it and replicate it with the minimum number of resources as possible? We’re a bank so we’re highly analytical no matter what.”

Brand safety is a cause for concern
Chase recently conducted a whittling down of websites where its advertising appeared, to prevent it from popping up in fake news sites or offensive YouTube videos. After cutting the 400,000 websites to just 5,000 pre-approved, it found the cost of impressions and visibility of its ads actually changed very little.

Crawford said that experiment is top of mind: “How the world would have reacted to a brand being in certain content three years ago is fundamentally different from how it would react to the same thing now. PR consequences are a little more sensitive and a lot more heightened than they were in the past.”

To fix it, Chase wants to regain control
At the end of the day, the advertisers are the ones accountable for brand safety and transparency, Crawford said.

“The real thing that’s happening beneath the surface is this push to say ‘Hey, advertisers, you have a role in this value chain too and you need to step up and control a little bit more what’s happening where your business is and set clearer expectations and demands for your partners that are supporting businesses forward.”

Talent remains a problem in marketing
Employees’ skills, capabilities and mindsets need to be up to the challenge of an organization breaking down department silos and blending once distinct areas of business.

“We’re shifting from a world where some of your marketing talent was good at making TV ads and understanding frequency and [gross rating point] to a world where they can have that conversation at levels far into an organization beyond ourselves. As we are making all of these dynamic challenges in the marketing landscape for our various organizations, we’re also trying to really elevate the talent base and be able to scale people who think and operate in this new dynamic as well.”

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