Conrad Ford, Chief Product & Strategy Officer at Allica Bank, spoke to us about why they partnered with DataGardener.
In this article, you will find out how award-winning UK SME banking provider Allica Bank used our business intelligence platform to:
- Successfully complement their strategy when building their new local relationship management channel.
- Provide their relationship managers with a real competitive advantage by helping them identify the most attractive or suitable prospects in their local areas.
- Enrich their CRM data
- Access DataGardener company data via API implementation
- Get a clear view into the UK’s SME market to identify which businesses needed Allica Bank’s services and when
- Have a deeper understanding of their target prospects, including the ability to have a comprehensive view of publicly-available data to identify ideal customers
- Help launch effective data-driven marketing campaigns.
A little bit about
Allica Bank is built specifically to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to succeed by combining tailored expertise, local relationships, and powerful technology.
They deliver expert banking for business in Britain by combining technology with community relationships and offering market-leading lending products, such as commercial mortgages and asset finance, as well as a range of business and retail savings products.
Allica’s focus on innovation strengthens its personalised and tailored service with the best technology that makes customers’ lives easier.
Conrad shared with us a little about Allica’s vision and objectives for partnering with a Corporate Data provider.
“We began to build a new local relationship management channel at the start of 2021, so we didn’t have a process for data- driven marketing and prospecting in place; however, I shared a clear picture with our Head of Marketing of how we both wanted this to work.”
Conrad Ford has extensive experience in developing and implementing product strategies in the financial sector and was an early adopter of data-driven marketing strategies. He and Allica Bank’s Head of Marketing Chloe Fenton knew that being able to target audiences using an ideal customer profile was the way to reach and engage the right buyers at the right time.
“I wanted us to know as much as possible about our target customers. There are over 5 million SME businesses around the country, with about half a million fitting our target customer profile of established SMEs. I wanted to know which ones might need Allica’s help and when, so finding a real-time data source was also a priority.
We wanted to reach out to potential clients at the right time, either by phone or through other channels. So that was the vision behind our quest for a business intelligence data supplier, a rich live data source about our target customers, and that’s how we came to find DataGardener.”
For Conrad, it was essential to find a data partner that would grow and evolve with Allica Bank.
“When launching a new product or channel, I’m a very strong believer in testing and learning, which is why you should start with the assumption that the only thing you know with absolute certainty is that your business plan will turn out to be incorrect.
As such, the best possible thing to do is to launch early and fast with a team of people who are going to learn very quickly, which is why we chose DataGardener. We wanted somebody who would very happily come on the journey with us. Because it would help them too, it was really about having a responsive partner, and I understood the rationale for them wanting to work with us.”
DataGardener’s web front end lent itself perfectly and meant that Allica could start using the capabilities immediately. Then as they began to get more advanced and more sure about what would work, Allica began to get data into their modern CRM. Being able to do this from the early stages of the project enabled them to get familiar with the data and analyse it. Still, ultimately, Allica wanted to be connected with APIs, so access to a modern API was critical to them.
A partnership that drives performance
“We’ve had a really exciting first year with this new direct channel. We launched an MVP, with a small team of really enthusiastic and smart people who were willing to learn quickly, and we have had fantastic results.”
“The volume of customer inquiries coming through the door pretty much doubled every month from day one.”
Conrad added, “I’m particularly excited that we already have all the building blocks for what is often called predictable revenue, which requires a powerful CRM and robust data, and the fact that those two components have melded together nicely quite quickly has been truly fantastic!”
“There have been occasions where we’ve made a technical request to the DataGardener team, and it’s been turned around overnight, so it’s great to work with somebody who works to our pace. Having a partner as agile as us was one of the things we enjoy most about working with DataGardener.”
Overall, Allica Bank’s decision to entrust DataGardener for business intelligence has been a fruitful one. With its real-time data serving to identify prospective customers and supporting data-driven marketing efforts, which will help them stay ahead of the changing business landscape and evolving customer needs in the post-pandemic world of tomorrow.
Advice and Feedback
Conrad had some advice for businesses in the process of launching a new product or channel:
“Managing an established business is like steering a super tanker, but starting a new business from scratch needs to be like steering a motorboat, and you know you have to be agile. You have to assume that things will not work out as you expected. So the best thing to do is to launch early and quickly learn through your data.”
He also had some final thoughts for us:
“I’d definitely recommend DataGardener. Keep doing what you are doing.”
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