As Local Bank Industry Faces New Proposals to Increase Competition, Marketers Need to Focus on Retention But Lack Insights to Make Services More Personal and Relevant

SYDNEY, Australia (Feb. 24, 2011) – Younger, smarter banking customers with a desire for greater digital interaction and online engagement are challenging banks in Australia to deliver more personalized, value-added services with greater efficiency and precision, reports the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council in a study of evolving consumer needs and bank marketer priorities.

According to the new CMO Council report, What's Critical in the Vertical: A Look At Banking In Australia, only 15 percent of marketers in Australia’s $2.5 trillion banking sector feel confident they have a sufficient insights into customer profitability, value and retention. Unmet service expectations, interest in mobile and online banking, as well as the need for more financial advice and help are all top of mind with consumers who have become increasingly wary of hidden banking costs and fees. There are more than 17 million customers served by nearly 60 banks in Australia.

Sponsored by InfoPrint Solutions Company in partnership with Computershare Corporation, the CMO Council study reveals that while bank customers seek new, digitally driven engagement options, they are also demanding higher levels of personalized service, without the fees or premiums one might expect for these features. According to the 1,270 consumers surveyed, banking relationships are under strain from hidden or soaring fees without additional value or service, not the lack of perks, programs or online access.

"Customers want an intimate, individualized experience that one might find in a high-street boutique, but they are not willing to pay higher fees in order to enjoy it," commented Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. "As customer budgets and spending become more frugal and prudent, new financial management tools, reports and analytics associated with fiscal well-being and better business operation are going to be real differentiators for bank brands. This will also give banks better credit risk management and the ability to cross-sell products and process loans faster," Neale-May added.

Top of mind for consumers are paying bills on time (71 percent), saving or investing for the future (57 percent), or simply making ends meet (50 percent). Fewer consumers were concerned with juggling online accounts (10 percent) or consolidating accounts (9 percent).

Separately, the CMO Council also queried 113 bank marketers in Australia. In general, Australian marketers are being pressured to impact wallet share as 51 percent of those surveyed are feel pressed to develop more effective retention marketing campaigns in order to secure the loyalty (and accounts) of current customers. While personalization is a key tactic for some (24 percent), marketers are looking to further leverage customer data to better segment, target and message to customers, while also identifying ways to help depositors save, invest or manage money.

"Marketing is spending on the development of online, self-service channels, as well as more convenient ecommerce-enabled access points in an effort to make online banking easier. Yet the customer is openly asking for financial insight, advice and personal service as return for their loyalty," pointed out Lee Gallagher, Director, Precision Marketing and Sales at InfoPrint Solutions Company, and a member of the CMO Council's Customer Experience Board. "Banks must do more to advance Precision Marketing practices, and in so doing, drive relevance, response and revenue. Without more relevance and context in communication, there’ll be greater defection in a more competitive bank market.”

According to marketing respondents, primary customer pain-points include poor customer service around queries or problems (52 percent); increases in cost, charges and fees (48 percent); and a lack of convenient branch locations within a reasonable distance to home or work (36 percent). In contrast, customer issues include high fees and unexplained costs (41 percent); billing errors (39 percent); and higher or even hidden fees for in-person service (34 percent). What is interesting is that customers are more irritated by spam and junk mail (18 percent) than they are by a lack of paperless or eStatements (6 percent) or even limited access to online account information (8 percent).

The What's Critical in the Vertical report gathered insights through the final quarter of 2010 and into early January of 2011, conducting two online surveys, the first targeting bank marketers in Australia, and the second targeting consumers. Among the marketers audited, 32 percent hold the title of Vice President of Marketing, 29 percent are Directors of Marketing while 18 percent are either EVP or SVP of Marketing within their organizations. On the consumer front, among the 1,270 consumers tapped for the online survey, 68 percent do their banking with a commercial bank, 8 percent through a credit union, while 11 percent have accounts with both.

To download the complimentary paper, visit

About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council's 6,000 members control more than $200 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include over 20,000 global executives in nearly 100 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The Council's strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE),, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, Customer Experience Board, Market Sense-Ability Center, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, GeoBranding Center, and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME). More information on the CMO Council is available at

About InfoPrint Solutions Company

InfoPrint Solutions Company (InfoPrint) is a leading provider of Precision Marketing Services which is dedicated to delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time. This data-driven marketing approach produces highly targeted and relevant customer communication resulting in improved ROI. InfoPrint Solutions works with the world’s leading brands in retail, financial services, insurance, banking, travel and hospitality industries. Precision Marketing Services provided include customer strategy, retention data analytics, campaign design and delivery, and campaign measurement services. The company was created in 2007 through a joint venture between Ricoh and IBM's Printing Systems Division. On July 1, 2010, InfoPrint evolved into a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh and a strategic member of the Ricoh Family Group. Today, InfoPrint Solutions is a global company that currently has more than 2,500 employees working across many countries. Its worldwide headquarters are located in Boulder, Colorado. More information is available at and

About Computershare

Computershare (ASX: CPU) is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications. The Company also specialises in corporate trust services, tax voucher solutions, bankruptcy administration and a range of other diversified financial and governance services. Founded in 1978, Computershare is renowned for its expertise in data management, high volume transaction processing, payments and stakeholder engagement. Many of the world’s leading organisations use these core competencies to help maximise the value of relationships with their investors, employees, creditors, members and customers. Computershare is represented in all major financial markets and has over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit

About Computershare Communication Services

Computershare Communication Services (division of Computershare) is a leading global outsource technology provider of business process automation and multi-channel communication solutions. The world’s leading organisations depend on Computershare to help them capture, organise and publish business critical documents and payments, freeing them to focus on what is most important about their communications - the content. We are a ‘behind the scenes’ organisation, yet we play a pivotal role in managing and delivering services for our clients, of which there are over 10,000 globally. As a business-to-business company, we focus on responding to the needs of our clients. To do that efficiently we rely on our outstanding people, trusted technology a robust global structure to assist our clients in responding to everyday activities. For more information, visit