FICO Scores and Customers: What Marketers Can Learn From the Power of Scoring

FICO Scores and Customers: What Marketers Can Learn From the Power of Scoring

Original article by Will Margiloff for MarTech Series

As marketers, you’re working with massive amounts of data to better understand real-time customer behavior, navigate purchase intent, and unify multiple touchpoints across devices. How do you qualify which information is the most impactful for aiding that customer through the purchase journey?

A customer engagement score is to marketing what a FICO credit score is to financial services.

For years, your FICO credit score has been the defacto way for financial institutions to understand your creditworthiness. Those institutions use that score to create strategies on how to interact and communicate with prospects and customers. A practical example of this is to look at two neighbors who appear to lead similar lifestyles but actually have very different financial profiles: One might be a renter and one might be an owner. One might be a CEO and one might be a manager.

One might have six credit cards maxed out and regularly late on payments, and one might have two cards and impeccable payment history. FICO scores are deduced by collecting these and many more pieces of data on a daily basis—each customer’s spending activity, consumption habits, payment history, and so on—all consolidated and summarized in a score for efficient comparison and decision-making. At the end of this exercise, you can see that a credit card company, for instance, may offer two different credits to these two different individuals that have different credit limits, APRs, and benefits.

So why not apply this approach to a broader range of marketing? Aggregate your prospect and customer data to build that score!

Know the Score: Identifying Real-Time Insights

Today, there’s no excuse for not knowing who your customer is. Even in this data deluge, many marketers still lack genuine customer intelligence: The ability to understand in real-time how and why each customer interacts with your brand. These insights are the starting point for personalization: A way for marketers to identify and truly understand which customers want to engage more with the brand, thus paving the way for more meaningful customer relationships.

When it comes to customer engagement efforts, personalization is essential for reaching savvy customers, who want to feel a sense of affinity with their favorite brands. When a customer feels that a brand truly speaks to who they are — with an understanding of what they want and how they like to be engaged — it goes a long way in building that affinity. Personalization is now expected by customers in order to earn both their trust and spending dollars.

A precisely-targeted ad can make a huge impact in securing customer trust and attention. But it’s both costly and inefficient to try and target every new lead and prospect in a uniquely personalized way. A customer’s score adds a layer of insight that enables marketers to maximize efficiency and ad spend.

Simplify and Identify

Scoring not only simplifies data sets, it helps marketers understand how customers interact with your brand across channels and informs your strategy on how to best interact with these customers in real-time. For example, a traveler might be looking to book their next hotel. To find the best deal, they’re monitoring deals on their desktop at night, while searching on their mobile device at work. It’s up to the marketer to connect the dots between these different channels and identify the right time to target the right customer on the right device. Leveraging scoring capabilities for omnichannel engagement ensures that these decisions are made with a comprehensive, holistic view of the customer.

Taking A Chapter Out of FICO’s Book

Marketers battling with the challenge of personalizing their approach to customers can take a page out of creditors’ books when considering how FICO scores help to inform decision-making on the type of offers that different customers receive and the effectiveness of the messaging that is delivered.

Once established, a customer’s score can be used to inform targeting and remarketing efforts. For example, if a customer is in the market for a new car, their score will inform marketers on how likely they are to purchase a car within the next few weeks, what creative they respond to, what offer should be extended to them, on which device and which channel, when it should be delivered, and how much a marketer should pay to reach that customer if in a paid channel.

With further advancements around AI, personalization will continue to be a top priority for marketers. Brands that deliver highly personalized campaigns will go a long way in reaching customers and building long-term customer loyalty. So consider taking a chapter out of the FICO book and use scoring methods to your advantage — if done correctly, it’s a smart way to ensure your most valuable customers get the right message at the right time.