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As the importance of marketing has accelerated for traditional retail banks in the highly competitive digital era, why would anyone make due with any old generic market research?

Banking is a game of strategy. The game plan is to not only attract new customers, especially among the Millennial generation, and keep the old ones happy, but to forge deep relationships with both so that they view you as their go-to financial institutions.

Devising just the right strategy takes data. Like the old saying goes, “You can’t make bricks without straw.”

But just as online and mobile technology has forever changed how customers interact with financial institutions, it has opened the door to a plethora of research options, including a slew of do-it-yourself and off-the-self packages and services that are best left on the shelf.

Why? Too many banks already rely on outdated customer-satisfaction and loyalty gauges that have not only lagged consumer behavior but fail to address critical issues such as flight risk, whether expectations are rising or falling and whether customers feel appreciated. Off-the-shelf services promise to help craft surveys and analyze data, but offer a one-size-fits-all approach that is ill suited for analyzing the intricacies of the retail banking market and your place in it.

Few industries have undergone as much change as banking has over the past decade. The eruption of mobile technology and a worldwide financial crisis that shook consumer confidence have altered how customers interact with their banks. More customers are visiting local bank branches with less and less frequency. And with financial-technology companies stealing market share, banks have yet to find an equally good way of drawing new customers.

The stakes are enormous and the clock is ticking. According to Accenture, roughly one-third of the retail banking industry’s market share could be up for grabs by 2020, and online-only players could steal as much as 15% of annual revenue.

For market and customer-satisfaction data to be truly useful, it needs to also provide context.

SEA Score, devised by Informa Research Services, measures member and customer engagement as part of an extensive array of market information for the financial industry. The key performance indicators it reveals are designed to gauge how well you serve and energize your customers, but also how to attract new business. Such complexity takes more than a simple survey.

What can the data tell you? Are customers loyal or too lazy to switch banks? Do they think you’re meeting their needs or do high customer satisfaction scores stem from low expectations and a stagnant market? Are customers willing to return to, reuse and promote your brand?

Remember, signs that you need to overhaul how your company engages with customer can be subtle. Generic online surveys can’t touch a more focused and strategic plan for collecting all-important data.


For more information on Informa Research Services' customer engagement and loyalty research and The SEA Score™ program, contact us at 800.848.0218 or email

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