Observations from a first timer
I just joined Nomis on the last day of February in 2019. One of my first tasks as their new Head of Marketing was to spearhead their much beloved Banking Growth Forum. The Forum is their annual, home grown marquee client event. They have been successfully running the Forum for 10+ years, so I obviously felt an immense amount of responsibility to deliver a successful experience. A pretty intense initiation into a new company but I was excited to dive right in.
Planning was unlike most experiences I have had when pulling together a thought leadership driven client event. What surprised me was how unique the Forum was once I saw it for myself. It left such an impression I can’t wait to start planning for next year! And with all great experiences I wanted to share what I thought was so amazing about the BGF2019.
Reason #1: We all had common goals and challenges with a diverse set of experiences
A fascinating and eclectic group gathered together at the Forum. Executives at various levels, from different lines of business, across geographies. However, they were all unified by the same challenges. Intensifying competition, macro-economic pressures, and expectations of personalized experiences are driving banks to reevaluate. How do you ease the pressure and differentiate in order to achieve ongoing value creation?
The question on the table during the conference was how do we continue to grow? This is where the magic happened. A diverse crowd with defined points of views and a multitude of experiences drove the dialogue at the Forum all focused on doing right by our business and our customers.
Reason #2: A strong community developed
Banking is notoriously closed lipped. Industry executives are extremely protective of their practices since they are responsible for basically the livelihood of its customers. What surprised, and even delighted, the first-time attendees like me was the openness to engage and support each other. This connects back to the common threads that bind this group together. We are all in this together so let’s figure out how to tackle the issues and rise above the noise.
Reason #3: An eagerness to innovate and learn about new technologies
Advancements in technology are opening the door to ample opportunities to connect better with your customers and improve results. Mass amounts of data is readily available to uncover new truths about your customers wants. The challenge is knowing which data is most relevant and how-to best leverage and operationalize the insights across the organization. Forum participants were dead serious on getting a handle on how Big Data, Machine Learning, AI and mission-critical software can strengthen and increase the trajectory of their business. It’s not just about the math and the technology - but knowing how to make it work for your business, employees and ultimately your customers.
Reason #4: The customer really is first
We have been talking about this for years. For most of us this tenant was drilled into our brains from the dawn of our careers. However, we all know too well how often we get distracted by internal priorities that take us away from this north star.
In today’s hyper-connected world, the customer experience is about how, where, when, and why engagement happens. Our markets are no longer broad targets—they are collections of individuals, each of whom has a different and dynamic relationship with your business. Experiences are increasingly driving customer loyalty more than just providing reliable products and services.
The challenge is to figure out how to engage all those individuals—on their terms. This was a pervasive theme across the Forum. The renewed dedication to getting closer to the customer and putting their needs as the driving force of the business was palpable in the room. Differentiation will happen when banks pivot from being reactive to focusing on how their customers are unique.
This sums up a few of my ‘aha’ moments I experienced at the Banking Growth Forum 2019. I am excited to continue the conversation with the people I connected with during the conference. You too can experience some captured moments at the Forum website.