2013 Summit Spotlight

Friday 13th September 2013

GBA Newsletter

Here are some of the key takeaways discussed during the XII Summit. For full overviews of each panel, speaker presentations (available to members only), photos, videos, and other materials of the event, visit the Summit page.

Inez Murray introduces the Female Economy panel

The Female Economy and Business Case for Serving the Women’s Market

Women’s economic influence is rising rapidly throughout the world, and cultural expectations of women’s roles are in flux. These demographic and societal trends mean that serving the women’s market is the smart thing for banks to do. Leaders within GBA banks shared their institution’s rationale for having a women’s market program including key proof points-metrics and results-and benefits such as brand building.

Some Takeaways

  • The market potential is huge given that women are underserved, are starting businesses at higher rates than men, are increasing their presence in the professions, and currently make 80 per cent of household purchasing decisions.
  • The women’s market is a profitable business opportunity. It is not about fairness, it is firmly grounded in commercial reality.
  • All segments require access to finance, information, education and networking opportunities.
  • Women are not a “better” business proposition than men; rather women are profitable customers.

Customer Segmentation and Defining the Customer Value Proposition

Women are not a homogeneous block. Panelists representing the geographic spread of the Alliance shared how they segment the women’s market including women-owned SMEs and women as consumers. They also discussed their bank’s value proposition for each segment.

Some Takeaways

  • A woman’s market strategy is simply a ‘segment’ strategy.
  • Start-ups are an increasing focus of Alliance members recognizing that many women are in that segment and need support to grow.
  • The liability side is very important for women and a great opportunity for banks-women have a higher saving propensity and tend to save for longer.
  • There is no inherent difference in the entrepreneurial capability of women compared to men but there are attitudinal differences reflected in what they require from banks.

“We heard from women: please take us seriously as customers”. Karyl Akilian, Head of Brand Management, BLC Bank

Selin Oz introduces Garanti Bank's Women's Market program

Effective Marketing Strategies and Performance Measurement

While no women’s market program is identical, key elements of program design are universal. Panelists shared their program’s marketing strategies (products/services, promotion, channels including on-line and mobile), KPIs, team structures and lessons learned.

Some Takeaways

  • Build a social media strategy from the beginning – developing online and social media presence can be very beneficial to the program.
  • Build an emotional connection. Many successful advertisements don’t emphasize or even mention products but rather showcase solutions to life’s issues.
  • Profitability should be measured in terms of total wallet and not just looking at one product, such as loans for example. The marrying of personal and business banking is where the profit lies.

“We don’t have specific products for women customers – women want to be treated equally. We have off-the-shelf products and market them in different mediums through the eyes of women.” Larke Riemer, Director, Women’s Markets, Westpac Banking Corporation.

Defining the External Value Proposition

Women need access to information, education, networking opportunities and markets if they are to grow their businesses and become increasingly valuable customers for banks. This panel showcased best practice examples of programs offered by Alliance members that support women owned SMEs’ bankability and business growth.

Some Takeaways

  • It is in the interest of banks to support their customer’s business growth.
  • The creation and sustaining of women’s business networks is a fundamental element of Women’s Market programs.
  • Education provides foundational support for women in all segments.
  • Supplier procurement is a key lever for banks to support women-owned SMEs.

“Women need funding, training, and encouragement. Even if Costa Rica is a very equal country, we need to encourage them.” Maria Aminta Quirce, Directora General, Banca Mujer, Banco Nacional de Costa Rica

Building Internal Alignment

This final Best Practice panel discussed the knotty topic of building internal buy-in from the boardroom to front-line staff. Panelists discussed what worked and what did not during their journey to program success, and they shared their winning formula for determining where (the marketing department? SME? Retail banking?) the Women’s Market Program sits in the bank.

  • Building internal alignment requires “soft wiring” and “hard wiring.” Soft wiring is storytelling and qualitative indicators pointing towards customer perceptions, loyalty, and brand equity. Hard wiring refers to empirical quantitative key performance indicators. Successful women’s markets programs measure, and religiously report, on both. You want to win hearts and minds and share-of-wallet.
  • Diversity & Inclusion has to come first.
  • You need to find ways of engaging men in the bank. Without them, the program will not be successful.

“Setting targets really works but not all by themselves. You need leadership programs, you need training to help people overcome unconscious bias.” Rachel Slade, General Manager, Transformation and Delivery, Westpac Group