Leaders in Lending
Leaders in Lending

Episode · 11 months ago

AI & Alternative Data: Having a Clear Idea of Your Ideal Customer w/ Jonathan Gagliano

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Connecting with new and existing customers for financial institutions has been a challenge to execute. But with so much opportunity, it’s something financial institutions can’t afford to miss out on.

We speak with Jonathan Gagliano, EVP, GM Financial Services at Merkle, Inc., about what he sees, what works, and what to look forward to in regards to customer service.

We discuss:

- The right tech investments to improve the FI customer experience

- Trends in messaging to the top-of-funnel-customer

- The strategic way to measure success

- Optimizing the customer experience journey

To hear more from Leaders in Lending, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Leaders in Lending on your favorite podcast player.

WHAT AI allows us to do is make meaningful decisions based upon not only the profile of the customer, all the things we talked about earlier, but the current interaction that the customer is making. You're listening to leaders and lending from upstart, a podcast dedicated to helping consumer lenders grow their programs and improve their product offerings. Each week here, decision makers in the finance industry offer insights into the future of the lending industry, Best Practices around digital transformation. In more let's get into the show. Welcome to leaders and lending. I'm your host, Jeff Keltner. This week we've preaching a conversation I had with Jonathan Galiana. Jonathan is an EVP and the financial services lead at Merkel and Mircles, a CXM agency that really helps brands bring marketing plans to life. I think it's a really interesting conversation. I really had a lot of discussions with financial institutions about how they market, both for new customer acquisition as well as for marketing other products to exist in customers, and I think Jonathan has a lot of perspective his work with financial institutions that can help you think through how things are shifting from a more branch oriented world into the digital world, the kinds of investments you need to make to enable a customer journey, how to think about segmentation and offers. It's a really interesting conversation, I think a very timely topic as we transition to a digital world, the question of how does our marketing shift into that world, both for new customers and the way we interact with and provide journeys for our current customers as we think about getting them into additional products. So really interesting set of insights. I hope you enjoy the conversation. Jonathan, thanks for joining the podcast today. I really appreciate your make of the time and that Thanksgiving Week. Thank you for having me. Yeah, I've been looking forward to this discussion because, you know, as if I've worked with a variety of financial institutions, I feel like the area of marketing connecting with customers, be they new customers or existing customers, is one of the areas that FIS seem to have some challenge executing and and a lot of opportunity ahead of them. So I thought getting your thoughts on what you see, what works, what's going on, would be really interesting. I think it's a really important topic for most of the lending executives I speak with. Absolutely. I mean, just think about what's happened over the last year, right as we've gone through the Covid, you know, pandemic. It changed the way that brands and customers engaged. Who are we targeting? How are we targeting? What are those experiences? Can they be in branch any longer? What's the digital experience? Look, there's a lot of pressure in the financial services space in terms of, you know, products and services are very commoditized now, their rate wars and rates are being, you know, pushed down, and so the experience has now come top of mine to the customer into the prospect where can I get an easy, seamless, valuble and relevant experience? So to support those things, what we typically see is a focus on the acceleration of addressable marketing principles. So what does that mean? This notion that people have very specific identities, interests, needs, behaviors and those things are really important to not only understand just who to target, but what should that experience look like? So as we look across the financial services ecosystem, we're seeing a strong focus on improving data and improving identity to really understand. You know, we typically say your identity solution and understanding who the individual is is only as good as the data that you have connection that identity and vice versa. Right, your data is only good as the identity that you can connect it to. So we see a trend in accelerating addressable marketing principles and focusing on known identity and connecting all of the data...

...signals to a particular individual to create the right experiences for them. Interesting. I want to ask you about kind of the fundamental activities. You guys see what I might call the blocking and tackling at there's kind of core things, but I'm going to start with like are there investments you see that are paying real dividends in terms of being able to have access to that identity and that data and connecting it? It feels like the infrastructure technolo alogy is one of these areas that is really critical to get right to be able to execute on that kind of vision. Also easy to ignore if you think about the pressing pains of the moment, like I've got to get a new loas or a new core or whatever, new CR whatever it's like that front facing thing can be the top of mind and yet maybe the infrastructure is equally import that's really what you're talking about. How do I have all the data aggregated, inaccessible and tied an identity? What are the kinds of investments you see people making and technology or people or process that enables them to excel? And what you're talking about? I think the reality is it's all of the above. Right from an identity perspective, to be very consistent with what we were saying a moment ago, the idea of having a core and central identity solution is key. Think historically, financial services companies have thought of identity really is primarily customers. They establish a customer relationship, right, they assign a customer ID and then they start building a profile on the individual, more of the terrestrial side of things, the crm side of things. And then, from a prospecting perspective, what did Financial Services Companies Do? They bought lists, right, they identified individuals that fit a certain profile. Then they targeted those again, but very terrestrial. Name and address, expanding into email address with the digital ecosystem accelerating. And again back to this. Last year took financial services companies from focusing on digital servicing. Come and get your statement, come and see what products we have to digital experience, come and engage. We're going to relevantly have an experience with you. The idea of digital identity now becomes increasingly important. Can we identify you when you come to our digital property arecom? Can we identify you as you're sharing different pieces of your of your interest in your behaviors with us, and can we connect that to your terrestrial or known identity? So imagine you know an individual, you know where they live, you know their email address and now you have a digital identifier that shows the signals and the things that they're interested in, that they're searching for, particularly on your site. That's a huge investment and not all identity solutions are the same. There are many that are constructed their structure around third party cookies, third party kind of, you know, digital identifiers and things that ultimately share a and unclear persona, but not an individual. And when you think about a particularly in the lending space, if we're going to issue an offer of credit, if we're going to engage you in any way from a marketing perspective, we better know who you are right. So identity is a core investment. With that comes data. What data do we have? What data can we capture and are we sure it's connected to the right individual so we can profile in a compliant way? I think from a technology perspective, Martech, there's probably never been more confusion in the space than today, only because there are so many pieces and parts. We hear right, we hear things like CDP marketing database. We hear decisioning platforms. Right, we hear activation platforms and execution technologies and things. The reality is is all of those things have a very distinct role, even though some of those things can overlap in some...

...of their capability. But I think the investments financial services companies need to make is to first understand what do I have, what is usable and integradable across the ecosystem, and I would think of technology into kind of clear buckets, those platforms that House and curate my identity and data and those platforms that allow me to activate that data across all channels and in as near time way as possible. Interesting, as you talking about two systems, I want to dive in on the first one a little bit. What houses and curates your data. That was the first one and the second one was really in how you use that to activate. I would ask on the first one, you said something was really interesting to me, which was this building of a profile tied to an identity, maybe the before their customer for sure, and maybe even before you have a specific personal identity to connect to them, which I think is very different than how I think many F I said, I think of I start a, you know, a file on ch other than when a he opens an account and now I've and everything else is kind of prospecting or different. You're talking about really having a personal profile and individuals not only necessarily just before they have an account with you, but sometimes before you even know who that individual is, and being able to later connect their activity to that identity as a as a come on to your site. That's right. So, you know, think of think of identity as let's just start with roughly two hundred and fifty million adults in the United States, right. Yeah, so we have a basic profile of every individual, name and address. We think of, you know, phone number, email address. We're developing like that real identity and around that are the data attributes that are publicly available and or curated and appropriate to connect to the identity right. So that's kind of the the the core foundation from a digital identity perspective. What we're trying to lay out is really understanding who that individual is, not a persona. So think of how digital identity historically has worked. You've come to a site, you are tagged as a visitor, but we don't know that it's Jeff. We just know that Jeff has a this particular persona is coming in with this particular session ID. It's cookie based and we build out a profile over time, but we didn't know that it was Jeff. So we could never connect data together. As we think about it right, being part of Mercle and such an investment in the mercury solution at its core identity is terrestrial, its name and address, email address, phone number based, but then being able to through algorithmic means, be able to connect some of the digital identifiers, session ID's first party cookies and relationships across our broader database where we're able to build out the profile of Jeff digitally as well. So when you come to a brand site, the idea is you're not a customer. You're starting to look at the credit card page. You're curious what those offers are, with those products are. We can identify that it's Jeff through those various digital signals and connect you back to the terrestrial ID. So now we have a full three hundred sixty degree view of who you are foundationally. But what is your behavior on the brand site? Now? Interestingly, I think what's what's important to underscore is what we're staying away from, because we know the trend of where third party cookies and third party digital data is going. It's going away. We're not reliant upon that data. We have a foundational three Inter seeks you degree view of you as you come and visit that brand site. That's what gets interesting. Yeah, I imagine there's that real investment. And how do I that? They just coming to me from different places. A conversation to have in a branch, my interaction on the website, my clickthrough is...

...on an email marketing camp. There's lots of places a collect data about my experience, my interaction, but you got to bring them together. All you got to like combine those things to go to three hundred and sixty it. That feels like where a lot of the investment needs to be happening is not just those technologies but how you actually orchestrate those things into a you know, where the what was. I say the whole is greater than some of the parts. That fels like a lot of the magic is in how I take all the things that maybe you're not that hard to do an isolation, but but marry them together to execute like a better version of what I can do to understand a customers needs. You know, think about it almost from a couple of connective points, right. So, without getting into specific technologies, but you can have a CDP that sort of sits in the middle where you have a core identity solution, similar to what I was discussing with Mercury earlier, where the digital identity signal comes in, that identifier comes in. You have a core identifier for all two hundred and fifty million adults in United States. So, again, from a prospecting perspective, great opportunity in real time those two identifiers come together to identify that it's Jeff. You have the foundational data, you have the site behavior data, and that's CDP. The and can connect with your activation platforms, maybe a decisioning engine, to say. My next best action, my next best offer across these channels at my financial services company. So it could be my call center, it could be my site for personalization and it could be outbound remarketing will now be tailored. Not only do I know that it's you, so I've got your name and address, but I can tailor the message, the offer, the content, the imagery even to you and your segment and your interests. That's where the Holy Grail, I think, of marketing comes together. Yeah, that sounds I imagine a lot of the listeners are saying that sounds great. I could figure out how to how to execute that. I want to ask you about something a little different, which was, you know, I feel like a lot of well, I'll put it. There's a lot of effort I hear, both on new customer acquisition, but also so much of the foundations of the business model for most financial institutions is getting a single customer to transact multiple times with your like very few of our products work well if you come and one and done and you're out and you're gone, like that's usually not how we the business works. We need multiple transactions. How do you see the kind of focus between application of technology in, you know, net new customer acquisition versus what people are doing for the kind of cross cell and life cycle marketing for a current customer. I really curious how they like where the priority is, if there's a shift and if there's a difference in approach, because those feel like fundamentally different problems. That are it's always about marketing right there kind of the same thing, but they're very different challenges that you faces a business trying to execute them. No doubt about it. They're very different experiences with some similarities to them, sure, but make no mistake, I think the reality is is financial services companies are primarily focused on new account acquisition. It's a lifeblood. It offsets attrition, but it's certainly just the growth mindset of you know, aligning with their goals what they've told the street, where they're trying to get over the next you know, year to five years. Right, the experiences are different. The acquisition experience is certainly much more top top a file, right. It's it's exposing the prospect of the brand, depending upon what the WHO the brand is. There's certainly more brand recognition for some financial services companies than others. It's thinking about the channel orchestration of underscoring top to middle funnel experience and then how do you ultimately convert? Is it a single product acquisition experience? Is it multiproduct? Is it kind of a product package? Those things have to be contemplated. You see shifts, and I mean like what if it is a single products are I feel like the the historical is my is my old bias, but like DDA, we like we...

...saw you the check can account and then we worry about the rest of it later. Do you see a shift away from that to either different products being at the full or of the value proposition to new customers, or is it a multiproduct? Like I'm curious what that top of funnel message, what trends you're seeing in that space, because it feels like I don't know, it feels like the DDA is a very old school way to approach in a very commodity product in many ways, and I'm curious what trends you're seeing and kind of shifts for how people are messaging to that top of funnel customer. It is really interesting. I think that there is a bit of a trend in thinking about enterprise segmentation so across the Financial Services Company you have sort of an agreed upon enterprise segmentation strategy that says, are we thinking about it as a product or we thinking about it from a group's perspective? What are the interests and how do we stack up? Now that all being said, the acquisition strategy is still going to be formed around a primary product, but it could be a product journey. Right. Think about if you're a small business owner. There's going to be a lending component, there's certainly going to be a checking account component and accounts payable component, merchant services, etc. You think about it from the consumer side of things, you're going to package your products up in a way that make more sense to, for example, of retiree. Then it might make two families with young children, right. But I think historically the bundling has been a set of services more so than they've been discrete products. Right, if you open up this type of checking account, we want to make sure that we're featuring online statements with you, right, mobile APP banking in those types of things. So it's been a little bit more service oriented and you may recall a comment that I made a little earlier that I think the pandemic caused financial services companies to move from resting a little bit on digital servicing. How can I get you some of your service needs digitally so that we kind of remove that from the branch? We were moving in a call center. Now the enterprise segmentation notion is saying it's more than servicing. I want to show you the suite of products that aligned with somebody that sits in the segment that you sit in. Yeah, that's fascinating because it really does shift how you think about building a message going to market. One of my favorite questions for anybody particular marketing is like what's you'll saying? What gets measured matters? What are the kind of key metrics you see? And I may ask you the same set of questions with respect acrosstalks. I think it's because at different but important. But what do you see is like the key metrics people are tracking and how you connect those to ultimate business value, because it's I feel like that's one of the things that marketing technology can bring is the ability to understand the value at a more granular level top of funnel that will be delivered later in the life as is a customer. That's going to get multiple products or not, and it's that make it more or less valuable to spend right how you know, how do I think about that versus a simple like cost to acquire that's uniform across channels, let's say, our across marketing types. So I'm curious how you think about the right way to measure success and what level of granularity you can you can effectively do that, because it can't change the way you invest. It is a great question and I think I would start my response by sort of saying what I see generally. That doesn't work so well. So, and you hit on a few of these right, which is there is one blended acquisition number. It could be a CPA, it could be some sort of, you know, digital metric, a click metric of sorts, things that are either, to your point, specific to the channel or specific to the product. Yep, you know, the question that I like to ask often in meetings, you know, with clients, is what is your CPA? And I actually I ask it on purpose, because what does that question even really mean? Like there is no CPA that you would put as a target across your entire business.

I wouldn't even put a CPA target within one product, even if I was looking at checking acquisition. Because what is your customer worth? What are you willing to pay? Is there really a question? So with the tendency now towards enterprise segmentation, someone may be willing to pay five hundred dollar CPA because they recognize the lifetime value of this customers x. Then somebody who would be coming in and another segment through another product or another channel. So one of the things that I think is is historically, you know, missing is many financial services companies really can't define what is the value of my customer and by segment. Kind of starting there, what am I willing to pay for these journeys, for these segments to to be on boarded? Then I would say there's also so even if that Jeff is all completely determined and they come to agreement, the mechanisms to do the measurement or not there. So you know, oftentimes you know the data kind of this notion of going back to addressable principles. Often the data gets broken up. You have some aspects of the journey, of the acquisition journey that are people based and can be measured to a known identity. Then it gets lost somewhere in the in the in the journey, the customer or the prospect visited the site or they went through a digital journey and that customer or that prospect was lost. So you're actually not able to connect the full part of the journey in the funnel. So how are you ultimately measuring that? So the key there is making sure that more and more of the marketing planning, more and more of the of the principles are addressable in nature so you truly can measure it. Yeah, it's really fast. I know if you asked our team what their CPAS, they could give you the average right ges. What you're willingness to spend that go on? What channel, for what kind of borrower? Like it depends and we want to track it pretty grannularly. So I think that's a it's a gray message. I'm curious if you're seeing a shift, not only two. You talk about enterprise segmentation, but which will man just to ask you specially like what exactly how you see people doing segmentation of the customer? What will like? What are the axis upon which we're we're slicing and segmenting in general? Are you seeing trends there and then then I'll follow my second question only distracts with the one. It's typically life stage driven, typically enterprise segmentation, and so if you think about that on the lie axis right, then on the x axis you probably have your tailored product sets right. So you would start with consumer, you would go to small business right, private wealth, and you would build out within that what I would call more micro segmentation as you're working across the grid, if you will. We see a little bit of that. So moving away from being singularly product focused and moving away from, I mean candidly, being campaign focused, where you sit down and say I've got a checking campaign and so I'm going to go after people that look like this. Well, that's not really segmentation, that that's putting a campaign together. Yeah, well, it's so often I feel like the marketing strategy is which product owner fights the best for the allocation of the marketing budget, as you know, like versus saying Hey, the marketing team's shop should be to figure out which product is the best fit for Jonathan and this moment in position, that is opposed to starting with, like I got a gold to drive x products, so let's you know, we got to put that at the top of the banner, AD or whatever. More right. Which is which is I think, how how I can wind up the other thing I was going to ask. So you've got these kind of segments in different maybe focuses on what you're positioning or the value problem, but is you look at one of the biggest challenges I see and we face this it upstart and it's one of the hardest things to solve. As like most of my customers interact with me on multiple marketing channels and I've got to them to think about if I cinema direct mail and I showed them to ads on facebook and they did a google search and then they gained through a remarketing ad. How do I...

...think about the effectiveness of spend when it's not? It's been really nice if everybody only interacted with one campaign and then I could just go all right, did the work or not? Right, what was the cost? But like, typically they're touching your touching them several times in different ways, a different cost points, and it's hard to attribute one touch point like this is the one that you know, this is where we got them right here. You could use the last one for that, but I think that's probably wrong. If you seen any interesting approaches to solve them? What we call it the multi touch attribution problem, right when I when I touch somebody multiple times and I got to figure out, you know, is my spend effective here? Well, how much of the business could kind of tribute to that, that that touch for that channel? I'm curious if you've seen anything interesting or what your thoughts are on that problem, because it feels like one of the one of the hardest underlying problems to figure out it, particularly if you're going to get into a multi channel strategy. You're going to, though, you're going to face it right because you're going to touch that customer multiple times and have to figure out how to evaluate the effectiveness of different kinds of touches. Well, the first thing I would say, had it back to the theme of identity and addressable principles, is being being sure that you can capture all of those touch points. And I know that sounds like an obvious point, but it is. It's so important. I mean, half the time thirty or forty percent of your touch points are probably falling on the floor in that you're not really able to wrap it back to the individual, to the campaign. I'll go ahead and use the word to the campaign to sort of, you know, track it. I think in terms of MTA, to your point, there's a lot of different ways to approach it. We could probably spend hours debating different methodologies and there's certainly super smart people that could do it. We do that. They're definitely people here that spend their time, yes, argue out the right MTA and you know, and they're all right. You know, I often folks will will come to me and say, you know, well, there's this approach and there's that approach and do you think this one is better than that one? And I'll say they're all great. I mean there's there's a time and place for all of them, again, depending upon what you want the outcome to be. But I think the the probably the simplest answer to the question is it comes down to testing. So the idea is if you're going to have a multi touch campaign or strategy to sort of your your prospect segmentation, then there have to be either their holdouts, their various tests that are one to two to three channel, three touch point. We're here checking along the way what the response looks like by subsegment or micro segment, and ultimately you can use those learnings to then put a measurement methodology in place that has basically a proportionate algorithm to it. Yep, so we think the value of this channel is probably twenty five percent of the conversion. The value of that channels probably ten percent. And as you come across it, if everybody is crossing over all of those channels, you can put a proportionate value to it and determine. You know what, it's not that any one channel created the conversion. It was all of the channels that contributed to it. But I do think that a pivot point was the direct mail piece coming as the second interaction driving them into the call center, just as an example. But I think you're your first point is maybe the most critical, which is you can't doesn't matter how good your MTA model is if you're not capturing all the all the interaction points right. And that's kind of the the back that blocking and tackling like. You got to be capturing it all right, it's a really good point. That's right, and then you got to be able to connect them together. Go Hey, this is jeff and I know that we actually interacted with them in these five times, in these five places, with these five messages, and like now I'm in a position to actually ask the question, which of the matter. But the first thing to do is throw that that the journey that the jeff took with us and and I think that's where a lot of that investment sets and I would generally say, like any MTA model is good, is going to be pretty good for you. If you can actually put all the all the different channels and campaigns into it, then that's the that's a key starting point for any of...

...it. How of you? So I used to work cross cell and I think you don't like it's used to work cross cells outdated's height. Maybe I'm just showing my age in the industry now that they used to turn across cell, but if I think about, you know, how an fi says, Hey, I'm jeff's here. He's got a deposit account or he got a he got a mortgage with me. Maybe I want them on lending tree and he's got you know, we gave him the best rate we we want them over. Obviously the goal is to get me or that consumer to transact again in different ways. What are the Trans you're seeing and how we actually effectively drive those kind of conversions for additional products? How does that work and how is it changing as a kind of the digital marketing, you know, takes takes the four versus. I think a lot of these to be like come in to the branch. The branch for up will like talk to you, understand your needs and tell you what we can do for you, and that's like probably not the the answer in the future. So what are you seeing the shifts and how we got to optimize that journey and experience to to deepen the relationship with customers we already have in the institution. First of all, I mean to your earlier question about, you know, acquisition versus Cross cell. We certainly don't want to diminish cross cell in any way, even though the focus is on acquisition. That's where the growth engine is going to come from. The work from the Organization Cross cell is key. We all know that a sticky relationship with a customer insures, you know, retention, or at least drives up retention. It's certainly good for the organ is ation getting deeper in with the customer and we learned so much about their behaviors and habits that we can use for, you know, future product bundling and interactions. I think what I see in the space changing a little bit is cross cell, and I think you nailed it perfectly. Historically, Cross cell was the branch person, the Call Center representative, basically looking at a list and understanding okay, the customer has this with us today and I've got this connected on my list. I'm going to ask them about this. This is an easy sale. I can talk about savings, I can talk about whatever the other service is, and I think what we're seeing now is that there's a rise in cross cell engines and there's many different ways to sort of put these together where there are constant interactions that are prompted with the individual. Right. So if you think about outbound email, when you think about strategic DM that go out that say if this, then that, right, customers that fit this back to enterprise segmentation. Typically they build out a relationship with us in these ways and across these channels. But I'm going to add one additional twist to that, which is we are seeing the rise of AI in cross cell right. So you know, in our space we talked about it as decisioning. decisioning platforms you're familiar with, with many of them whether they be paid. Many different companies have components of decisioning, like adobe and sales force and others, and Merkel has put a big premium on AI. And what does that allow? Ai Is a big term. You can go to any you know, event and they're all talking about it. It's a cool fare. But let's boil it down and make it, you know, pretty simple. WHAT AI allows us to do is make meaningful decisions based upon not only the profile of the customer, all the things we talked about earlier, but the current interaction that the customer is making. For example, if the customer just had their credit card declined and they are upset and they run into the branch or they call the call center or maybe even they're texting in, you know, through the mobile APP whatever, the last thing they need is a cross cell offer that comes out. We have to understand the context of the interaction and serve the relevant need of the customer in the moment. Ai allows us to do that. It ingests information about your interaction and it prioritizes an offer that,...

...by the way, notice when I say next best action, I don't say next best offer. Next best action means it may not be a product, it could be a service, it could be a thank you, it could be a reinforcement of our relationship so that cross cell in engine becomes meaningful. So the next time and offer a product makes sense. It's it's sequenced correctly to the individual and you have a much higher propensity to get a positive response and convert into account. Interesting are you seeing? I mean we're big proponents of AI and I think this is a fascinating space to use it. The other kinds of data sources that have information that I think are really interesting for lenders in particular are kind of the transactional data within let's say a checking account in particular. If I'm seeing payments for you know, the look like payments for a loan or deposits into a wealth management that's not mine, those are interesting indications right of maybe opportunities to take an off us alone and put it back on us in similarly, if I have the ability to have ongoing access to a credit file, I can look at alternative products at my customer may have. Are you seeing any trend to kind of looking at products, at a customerer has or is actively evaluating. In the context. I mean it feels like having that relationship gives you a front row seat to that customers financial life and you ought to be able to be better at recommending what they need because of the things you see that they're doing, not just they came to the side that they got the like hey, what, what kind of transactions are you making? What kind of credit card you it looks like you're paying more out the mx every month than you can afford. Like how do I how do I get ahead of that and maybe help you finance something? Are you seeing a trend of that kind of needs based orientation? It's looking at the unique flow of data that you have, as you know, the provider of you know, I think primarily, I think this is the checking account, because at such a front row seat to the INS and out of somebody's financial life, it seems like a really interesting opportunity to be, you know, leveraging that to be better at helping the customer find what they need. There's no doubt about it, and actually the word I would use for what you're describing is removing more and more into behavior based data. HMM, what exactly is my customer doing versus what's the profile of my customer? There's a nuance there. Profile is kind of a point in time. Behavior says what are the actual actions that my customer is doing, and that includes transaction data, that includes site behavior. What are you doing on my property or within these products? So we have a better fuller view of WHO JEFF is, grounded back into into identity, and we do see a lot of ai and ml wrapped around that right, taking all of that data in, because there's no core solution or technology that can utilize that data and come up with the decision, but these ai and ML solutions can. They can mind those billions of transactions and start to see trends that can align with your enterprise segmentation that better power your decisioning engine. So I think that is that spot on. Yeah, I couldn't think of segmentation. Some ways is like the set. It's kind of, like it said, the pixelated view of the behavior, if you will. It's kind of like I can't get down to like the individuals level of needs and wants and desires because, like there's too many signals. So I've got to like buck them in two groups. They're my segments and it works. But Ai lets you kind of actually get down to segments of one, if you will, where I can understand that segment really well. But it's requires a lot of data and it requires, you know, a lot of processing to do. But it feels like there's a lot of opportunity there, particularly, I feel like, to leverage that unique position. If you do have the primary relationship with a customer, how do I leverage that to provide more value, a better relate, a better experience for them? I think the days I get the next product, because you walk into my branch when you do something, an Airgo, when you need a loan, like you ask the guy across the table in the bridge. That's...

...gone, but you still would. They've given you a privileged position and the question is, now, how do I leverage that in the new way, right in the new context, to still give them a better experience and they could get going elsewhere, and that's a that's a tough challenge, but it feels like an imminently achievable one with the right application of technology to the data that the customers providing to you. And you know, you also you raise an important consideration here, which is it's great to have that data. It's great to have the technologies and the AI and ml to mind through that data and get the most relevant output for the customer and even even prospect. In many cases. There's a fine line, though, and how that date is used, whether it can be to use. Let's talk about that too, whether it can be used. But then, even if it can be used, how you use it in a way that the customer says, I'm glad you have that data, versus how in the world did you get that data right? There's a finally, like we called that the creepy line, and you never want to go right. You never wanted across the creepy line and you're never quite sure where it was. To be frank, everybody's creepy lines a little different in terms of when they think. Sometimes you go hey, that's I thank you, and sometimes you go that there, look at your shoulder, like where's the Google guys watching me? To some so I'd said that's a hard line. I do you have any and he gets guidance on how to stay on the right side of the creepy line when you're looking at these kind of systems. You know, I I think I would. I would say two things, and this is how I think of it as a pure marketer. Is First, we need legal and compliance to give us the appropriate protocol for how we utilize the data. We need that guidance. It doesn't matter what we think or feel, we need it so that we're sitting within sort of the right legal framework. But then, as the marketer, even if I'm approved to use data, so, for example, if I can identify you coming to the site and I can begin to profile that it's Jeff, the reality is is Jeff never told me, as the brand, that he's Jeff. So the way in which I then need to serve him that personalized experience, I better be sure it's relevant, but it isn't to the point where it's exposing what I knew about Jeff. That can diminish the experience. What I want to do is do something that's relevant and you could even get into some debate as to what level of segmentation, in microsegmentation, do you want to use? How close to the pin do we want to get an understanding? Yesterday Jeff did these things, so we're now giving him this personalized experience on the site versus, generally speaking, Jeff is moving into this type of bucket this recent activity. So we think there are two options here for that next experience for him. As a marketer. It's my job, it's our job in the financial services space, to create meaningful relevance, not personalization just because I got the tools to do so. Yeah, very interesting. Well, John, is there anything that you expected me to ask or wanted to talk about that I didn't cover today? You know, I think we talked about a lot of the of the definitely talked about it. We talked about a lot of stuff related to some core things right because, I think you know, the idea here was to talk about what's going on in the space. What are some of the trends? Address abilities a key trend. The notion of planning audiences across channels, not thinking about crm versus digital any longer. That's getting to be more and more old school. Sort of the commerce notion, digital experience, moving from digital servicing to experience is key and, candidly, personalization at scale, the whole decisioning and relevancy notion that we talked about a moment ago. These are really you know, key trends and I'm hopeful some of the some of the insights are helpful here. But I feel like we covered a lot of topics acts. I think the insights are very helpful, at least for me. So I that's always my demarcation for the audience that if it's useful for me, I feel like it's...

...hopefully useful for them as well. It's the best, best proxy I have. But I always in these podcasts and I think I forgot to sendyc so I apologize. You have to go on blind, but with the same three questions that I just kind of like to kind of wrap up the discussion, kind of rapid fire mode of John. Then here they are. Number One, what's the best piece of career advice you've ever gotten? Always continue to get educated, always continue that your first want to say that I like it continuous learning. Yes, what are you learning right now? I think it's the continued evolution of you know, I leave Merkel's financial services practice and we're continuing to evolve into innovate and I think every day while the individual capabilities are things that I'm very familiar with this I work with our clients. Yeah, putting together a value proposition for the space. You just think about the trends, much like our conversation, very differently. So interesting. So my second question is, what is the best piece of advice you've ever gotten about consumer lending or consumer finance as an industry? Always are on the side of conservatism. Out to the industry. Feels like it follows that one pretty always all on the side of conservative. It's I think it's a good rule of thumb as we think about how we engage with lending products. There's no doubt about it, we have to protect the organizations that we serve. That being said, we don't want to protect the organizations to the point that we're not providing value to customers and prospects. Peter, sure need these products and serve it and services. So if we're completely inwardly focused on how do we mitigate all risk, we're not serving the community that we're in business to serve. That's right. The keeping the consumer at the front of your mindset and how do we not just think about, yeah, practing institution, but serving the customer, I think, is always a good good. So okay, so always are on the side of concerned and my last one is, do you have a bold prediction, if it doesn't have to be marketing, technology or financial services, but a bold prediction for the futures? Some I can hold your feet to the fire and when I bring it back in a year, I don't know that I would call it bold, but I definitely think that it's an acceleration of the space that we're in. Just to keep it relevant to our conversation. The space that we are in will certainly become more and more digital, more and more real time in the ways in which that we interact and, frankly, the demands of customers and prospects. And while it's easy for me to say that, I don't think anybody really understands the magnitude of what that means right identity connecting digital experiences. We've seen bits and pieces over the last five, six eight years the acceleration and the rise of direct banks, the rise of the thin text, the rise of the service providers and what some of these fantastic, you know, data and technology companies and candidly, I'm super proud of the work we're doing within MERCAL financial services. It's going to be a very different landscape. I believe in the next five years. That's interesting. It reminds me of I think it was Royal Mara who said once we tend to overestimate the effect of technology in the in the short term and underestimate it in the long term, and that that differences all where people. People may well, they said that six months ago on it hasn't happened yet, and then five years later you like, Oh my God, it was like it's farther than even even the the crazy people printed. We tend to kind of not not appreciate how far and fast things will go on that medium to long term horize. So I think that's probably probably true in this digitization trend. To we all yeah, I know everyd's going to deposit their checks on the phone, but like it's gonna be more than that. Yes, it's going to keep going. Well, Jonathan, I appreciate the time of day. This was a really fun conversation and formative for me, so I'm going to assume for the audience as well, and I appreciate you make of the time. Thank you very much, Jeff, who was it was a great experience. Thanks for having me up start partners with banks and credit unions to help grow their consumer loan portfolios and deliver a modern, all digital lending experience. As the average consumer becomes more digitally savvy, it only makes sense that their bank does too. Up Starts AI landing platform uses sophisticated...

...machine learning models to more accurately ID, if I risk and approve more applicants than traditional credit models. With fraud rates near zero, upstarts all digital experience reduces manual processing for banks and offers a simple and convenient experience for consumers. Whether you're looking to grow and enhance your existing personal and auto lenning programs or you're just getting started, upstart can help. Upstart offers an into end solution that can help you find more credit worthy borrowers within your risk profile, with all digital underwriting, onboarding, loan closing and servicing. It's all possible with upstart in your corner. Learn more about finding new borrowers, enhancing your credit decisioning process and growing your business by visiting UPSTARTCOM Ford Banks. That's upstartcom Ford Banks. You've been listening to leaders and lending from upstart. Make sure you never miss an episode. Subscribe to leaders and lending in your favorite podcast player using apple podcast. Leave us a quick rating by tapping the number of stars you think the show deserves. Thanks for listening. Until next time. The views and opinions expressed by the host and guests on the leaders and lending podcast are their own and their participation in this podcast does not imply an endorsement of such views by their organization or themselves. The content provided is for informational purposes only and the discussion between the host and guests should not be taken as financial advice by companies or individuals.

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