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PNC Pushes Virtual Wallet With Data-Driven Digital Marketing

PNC Bank has been using big data to identify and target customers by demographic segments to raise adoption of its Virtual Wallet.

PNC Bank has launched its first digital-only marketing campaign that leverages customer behavioral data to promote the bank’s Virtual Wallet. The bank hopes to boost Virtual Wallet adoption within specific customer segments that typically consume a large amount of digital content with targeted ads that speak to their financial needs, says Tom Kunz, senior vice president of PNC financial services.

“To us this is a natural evolution of how we need to do business. Customers are going to digital media. We have to do these things to be relevant to them,” Kunz notes. “We need to use data to reach a segment audience with cost-effective acquisition.”

[Check Out: How Financial Institutions Can Use Big Data and Converged Data Sets to Improve Customer Loyalty]

With that goal in mind, the bank began gathering data from a number of inputs to define and understand the segments that the campaign would target. The bank built a new data management platform to sit on top of the Virtual Wallet website to track customer traffic and behaviors, says Brian Lantz, SVP of digital marketing at PNC. The bank also looked at customers’ online shopping habits and partnered with Hears Media to gain additional insight into customers’ lifestyles, such as their magazine subscriptions, Lantz adds.

After putting all of that data together the campaign started by focusing its efforts on two customer segments: millennials and housewives. “The choices we make are different based on lifestyle, demographics, etc. The Virtual Wallet has components that are relevant to both of these segments, and both of them spend a lot of time consuming digital content,” Kunz explains.

To appeal to these two segments, the campaign created Youtube videos based on characters, named “Dave” and “Sara,” that each segment could relate to. It also highlighted certain elements of the digital wallet that would interest customers in those segments, such as bill payment or credit cards.

“Once we find a customer that fits a segment, we sequentially message that customer with a story through Facebook and Twitter ads. The characters may resonate with the customer, and it can help create buzz if they ‘like’ the videos,” says Lantz.

The bank said that it is not willing to divulge how the campaign, which began earlier this year, has resulted in an upswing of Virtual Wallet adoption among PNC customers for competitive reasons. But the campaign has been successful enough that the bank has decided to move forward with its second phase, which will involve targeting new customer segments. Later on the campaign will enter a third phase focused around deeper data mining, according to Lantz.

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
12/31/2013 | 3:03:54 PM
re: PNC Pushes Virtual Wallet With Data-Driven Digital Marketing
I could see them targeting young families since they are generally a group with some disposable income and have finances that are just starting to become more complex.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
12/30/2013 | 5:22:31 PM
re: PNC Pushes Virtual Wallet With Data-Driven Digital Marketing
Good point. I also think that since more millennials are entering the workforce, PNC can reach a good deal of working professionals by marketing to that group.
Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
12/26/2013 | 7:02:20 PM
re: PNC Pushes Virtual Wallet With Data-Driven Digital Marketing
It'll be interesting to see which customer segments they decide to focus on in phase 2.
Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
12/26/2013 | 7:01:28 PM
re: PNC Pushes Virtual Wallet With Data-Driven Digital Marketing
They chose housewives because they tend to spend a lot of time online and consume a lot of digital content. They also tend to be very involved in their family's financial affairs, something that PNC emphasized in the ads.
IvySchmerken
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IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
12/24/2013 | 10:39:05 PM
re: PNC Pushes Virtual Wallet With Data-Driven Digital Marketing
It's logical that PNC would target millenials for the virtual wallet. I'm curious how they come up with housewives as their second group, and not working professionals. I suppose housewives were doing a lot of bill payment and using credit cards.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
12/24/2013 | 1:54:27 PM
re: PNC Pushes Virtual Wallet With Data-Driven Digital Marketing
Seems like a smart way to market a product that likely will be of interest mainly to tech-savvy early adopter types.
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