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Summary of the Case
ABN AMRO, a banking institution decided to implement an e-mail marketing program in 1988. However, the bank faced two challenges in reaching its goal. Firstly, the bank was faced with the challenge of collecting genuine e-mail addresses from customers. Secondly, there was a challenge on how to construct and convey meaningful information on the addresses consistently. In order to tackle these problems, the bank teamed up with Financial Publishing Services (FPS), a marketing communication company, thus collecting 500 e-mail addresses so as to commence the program. This strategy enabled ABN AMRO to enhance its marketing strategy through the internet by the way of sending customized articles to the bank’s clients.
According to Mr. Goldwin, Senior Vice President of Transaction Banking-Marketing & Communications for ABN AMRO, the email distribution expanded to over 10,000 clients in the past decade due to more recipients being added by clients. Furthermore, ABN AMRO realized that the e-newsletters achieved more than average open rates, thus facilitating the popularity of the bank’s program. The publications distributed by the bank include the bimonthly Cash Solutions newsletter and quarterly newsletters Commercial Card Solutions and Global Trade Advisor. More so, ABN AMRO offers Treasury Tips to users of its CashPro treasury management system and MaxTrad Exchange to users of its MaxTrad trade services system. With such information to clients, the bank is able to: enjoy customer loyalty, experience brand image improvement, create cross-selling opportunities, and enhance client relationships.
To enhance its customer loyalty and market share, ABN AMRO constantly provides updates on banking services and industry changes. Also, e-marketing enables sales advisors from financial institutions to reach out to clients more efficiently. Miller, First Vice President of Marketing & Communications at ABN AMRO asserts that sales specialists rely on the e-marketing strategy to reach their customers electronically when they can’t always call customers. Despite the benefits of the e-newsletter program, the company is still faced with the challenge of further customizing messages and constantly developing communications that are client-driven rather than ABN AMRO-driven.
Statement of the Problem
As discussed in the case summary, even though the company has been able to deal with the problem of acquiring genuine email addresses from clients and routing meaningful information to customers, ABN AMRO still faces a challenge. The major problem that still exists is to develop customized messages that shall be controlled mainly by the clients rather than the bank itself.
Proposing a Solution
In solving the mentioned problem, ABN AMRO needs to have a clear understanding of its long-term and short-term information requirements through the incorporation of appropriate information systems in its business processes. Since the company is involved in banking services, setting up a company website that caters to the information requirements of customers would be much appropriate. From this website, clients can be allowed to log in with their email addresses, select the publications that they are interested in, or even participate in discussion groups. Furthermore, the company can register for an email domain so as to effectively control secure internet communication; this might enable clients and sales specialists to have good integrated communication. Thus, from the website, a client can have full control of requesting the information he/she is interested in.
The proposed solution will ensure that all the company’s information is available in a wider market through the website. Allowing customers to select their desired newsletters enables the company to develop more customized messages. In addition, the clients have total control of the information they get. Another important aspect of the proposed solution is that ABN AMRO can be able to enhance the relationship with clients and thus increase its popularity.
ABN AMRO (n.d). Brand Loyalty through Internet: E-Mail Marketing Positions ABN AMRO as ‘Trusted Advisor’.
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