NAB expands Salesforce to broker marketing

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NAB expands Salesforce to broker marketing

Approaches pre-release for new cloud-based capability.

National Australia Bank is preparing to extend its use of Salesforce to enable 1800 brokerage partners to market and communicate better to home loan customers.

The bank uses the broker CRM system Podium, which is underpinned by Salesforce.

Until this point, it has been using only Salesforce sales cloud capabilities within Podium, but has now embarked on a project that will see it also use Salesforce's marketing cloud for the first time.

“We’ve been on Salesforce sales cloud for a long time, and we’ve just brought in marketing cloud now which is going to enable us to do B2B2C marketing,” NAB broker partnerships head of marketing Simon Hofmann told iTnews on the sidelines of the Dreamforce 2015 conference.

“We’ve got 1800 different brokerage brands that we will build marketing capability for. Those brokers can be small one-man bands [or] up to 100-to-200 staff.”

B2B2C is a marketing term that describes a relationship where one business supplies products to another business which on-sells to consumers.

The first part of NAB's project involves providing an initial 1800 brokers with the tools to better “engage, communicate and retain” customers that have NAB loan products.

Hofmann said they would also likely use the same system internally to better engage with their brokers down the track.

“We’ll be able to deploy the same capability but the first instance is very much focused on our brokers to better enable them [to communicate],” he said.

“One of the mistakes of the past for us was only talking to the customer when we had something to say - your loan’s expiring, or your rates are changing.

“Our challenge is how we build a relationship which in turn builds trust over the course of time rather than just talking to the customer when we want or need something.”

Hofmann said the marketing cloud capability is currently timed to go into “pre-release” in about six weeks.

“We see that running probably from sometime around November to March, and then a full rollout in March [2016],” he said.

Hofmann said NAB continued to tread carefully in its adoption of Salesforce technology.

“You just have to be really careful especially dealing with multiple brands and multiple sets of data,” he said.

“I think we’re lucky we work at a place like NAB where the risk and regulatory partners really work hand-in-hand.”

Cloud adoption in Australian banking remains a prickly area and others have not been so fortunate. Earlier this year, Bank of Queensland was forced to write down its investment in Salesforce in part due to regulatory requirements it did not meet.

One of the keys to NAB’s use of Salesforce has been to start simple and add complexity later, according to Hofmann.

“I think there’s a beauty in simplicity,” he said.

“If you start too big and try to build these amazing programs, you get lost along the way.”

Ry Crozier travelled to Dreamforce 2015 in San Francisco as a guest of Salesforce.

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