Credit Card Lifecycle Management

The beauty of marketing credit cards lies in the dynamics of the product. Unlike selling soap the product is not self liquidating or disposable. What they do have in common is that they are both commodities. The marketing challenge centers on differentiation. Package goods providers focus largely on design elements, brand preference, store placement and packaging. In the payments space it is all about providing the right offer, to the right audience, at the right time with the right messaging. The marketing process does not end with the consumer purchase decision, to the contrary it is just the beginning. Customer journey management is the linchpin to driving successful outcomes. A bankcard needs to evolve with customers over their lifecycle. Fundamentally the product if managed properly can satisfy ongoing needs and wants associated with convenience of payment and increased purchasing power.

The key is to anticipate and fulfill the needs and wants of your customers in advance of the competition. This will require significant efforts to understand articulated and unarticulated needs and wants of your customers. Research needs to be informed by data, testing, actual customer behavior as well as primary and secondary research. Once compiled and routinely updated strategies can be developed to evolve the marketing mix and to build triggers to better manage customer treatments. I have illustrated this by way of example with the use of Emotional, Life Event and Customer journey Triggers. In this example a card issuer would proactively manage customers through a product ladder associated with aging, income, credit, emotional state and other attributes.

Key life events such as moving, marriage, divorce, buying a house and retirement brings with it opportunities to realign the product and customer treatments. These may include product upgrades, line management adjustments, product and feature refinements and cross selling opportunities. Moreover, adaptive messaging is critical to sustaining institutional relevance. It is very expensive to acquire a new customer and their are limits to market expansion which makes customer retention and growth a vital component to maximizing earnings. Managing customer value and programming systemic customer journey management treatments at all points of the value chain is essential to maintaining competitive advantage.


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