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Profitable customers with digital - A look at Nigeria's financial services industry

There is ever increasing need for Nigerian financial services organisations to further expand their digital and electronic banking operations. This should definitely make it easier for more customers to perform financial needs through their preferred digital/electronic channels – Online, Mobile and ATM.

The upside of course, is the potential for a better customer experience and improved efficiency which can both translate into more profit for financial institutions.

Successfully managing an efficient digital/mobile banking operation requires long term investment in robust information technology solutions. As part of the payoff for these investments, Banks can leverage digital channels to connect potential customers with product offerings or services. Also, digital media technology can be used effectively to retain profitable customers.

Coupled with the rapidly growing Mobile phone usage and rising internet penetration in Nigeria, Banks are well positioned to take advantage. The implication is that digital media must be a key component of marketing efforts for financial institutions; not an afterthought.

Banks that are determined to gain competitive advantage must integrate their corporate web presence, online/mobile banking and digital marketing efforts into an overall customer acquisition and retention strategy. In support of this strategy, a long term digital blueprint that sets out clear “road map” for success must be developed. This is a required starting point and it should align overall organisational goals with a digital vision.

This blueprint must clearly articulate how to create value for customers, key internal constituencies, and the brand. And of course, it should include solid plans on how to bring in new customers.

A collaborative effort with Banks internal teams and digital marketing experts must be an important first step. The internal teams must include the following: Customer Experience Management, Branding & Media and Marketing & Technology Solution. The goal of such a collaborative effort must focus on developing that blueprint and managing execution of any relevant digital initiative/program.

An action-oriented digital blueprint requires commitment and buy-in from senior Bank executives and input from internal teams. As well, there will be a need to identify the key challenges and opportunities for the Bank.

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