Real-time triggers & events – "Never try, never learn"

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Robert Schumacher
Director Customer Intelligence bei gateB
#insurance#banking#triggermarketing

In Part 1 of my new guest article, I explained why it is worthwhile for banks and insurance companies to engage in real-time marketing. If you agree, read here, in Part 2, which situations along the user journey are suitable real-time triggers.

Key facts

  • Real-time activities increase the relevance of communication
  • There are many scenarios in banking and insurance that can serve as potential triggers for automated activities
  • One has to rely on data and technology to ensure measurability
  • Two examples are presented – one for new customer acquisition and one for existing customers


There is a great number of situations that are worth considering as trigger points for real-time activities. Basically, every activity along the user journey can be a real-time trigger. The following scenarios are potential triggers for automated activities in banking and insurance:

  • An existing customer visits the mortgage page on her bank's website for the first time.
  • A consumer uses an insurance company's premium calculator.
  • A user visits an insurer's website for the second time in a week.
  • A user visits the website of a provider of health, life or general insurance and searches for a specific insurance product in the search field.
  • A user makes a transaction at a bank's ATM.
  • After displaying a particular behavior on her bank's or insurance company's website, a user visits the bank’s branch or calls the insurance company's call center.
  • A user logs in to his insurance company's website to renew his policy.
  • A user makes a net banking transaction to open a fixed-term deposit account.
  • A user makes a transaction for a specific insurance product.
  • A customer enters his first standing order in online banking.
  • A user aborts a transaction in her investment portfolio (in retail, we call this “shopping cart abandonment”).
  • A customer sends an online complaint to an insurance company's customer service department.

Real-time activities increase the relevance of your communication

The real-time activities triggered by this action differ depending on the trigger, application and business area. However, they all have the same goal: to increase the effectiveness and relevance of communication, i. e., to have a more transactional effect, or to improve the customer experience and thus enhance the customer relationship. As part of the activities and based on earlier buying behavior, for example, the next best products are offered, personalized content is displayed, or a loan application is approved – all with the help of AI-based campaigns. You can even engage those who abandon transactions effectively by following up with them on the products they did not purchase (i.e., left in their shopping cart) a day or two later.

So, to make sure cases are measurable, we depend on data and technology. With two specific examples, René Konrad and I explain in our webinar how companies should implement such triggers in the financial environment – one example refers to new customer acquisition and the other one to existing customers.

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Triggers in finance: New customer acquisition and existing customers

In the new customer acquisition example, we show what a possible user journey might look like, how to track it and which real-time triggers result from it. We accompany the customer on her journey – from her surfing the website, to her registering for a newsletter with individualized content, to the personalized offer on the website and subsequent re-targeting.

Application cases for existing customers are just as profitable. Here, the journey starts with an ordinary mailing about mortgages, for example, and continues to additional information on the website, where the customer clicking on the website sets a cookie and activates tracking. If the customer visits a mortgage subpage several times now, her profile will be enriched with this information, and it is used to compute a campaign with a personalized offer with the help of AI.

Conclusion: Timing is everything

Engaging customers by being relevant, which also means doing it at the right time, is critical if your company wants to ensure communication effectiveness, thereby strengthening the customer relationship. Companies must decide on a case-by-case basis whether a real-time case is an option after weighing the benefits and costs. The adage "Never try, never learn" applies here.

About the author

Robert Schumacher is one of Switzerland's pioneers in the areas of data-driven marketing and CRM. Since November 2015, he has been director of business development for customer intelligence and marketing automation at gateB.

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