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Betsey Chung

Senior Vice President & CMO, Canadian Banking, TD Bank Group

Betsey Chung is the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at the TD Bank Group (TD). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches, serving approximately 25 million customers around the globe. In her role, she oversees all lines of business as it relates to marketing, including retail, commercial and wealth management. She is responsible for driving everything from gross strategies for the businesses to tactical elements like acquisition and the deepening of customer relationships. Overseeing paid and owned channels, she has led the transformation of digital marketing capabilities across digital, social, content and media to ensure they are reaching consumers across all channels.

With over 20 years of digital marketing and strategy experience working in the financial services industry in top-tier organizations like BMO, American Express and KPMG Consulting prior to joining TD in 2017, she says the last two years have been the most transformative in terms of marketing evolution. The increased influence of social media and the networked economy has pushed marketing to engage with customers 24/7 in an omni-channel environment. As such, organizations are moving towards digital and data-driven analytics that allow marketers to optimize experiences in real time. Starting her career as a chartered accountant, she says she has benefited from the move towards data and digital due to her analytical skills. Her mandate is to lead digital marketing transformation to move TD from ‘Doing Digital’ to ‘Being Digital’.

“As a former strategy consultant, I believe strategy must be centered around execution, and execution must be based on data,” she says. “Organizations must be set up to be agile in order to be closer to the data and customer signals. We are transitioning towards that.”

To meet the needs of today’s customer, TD Bank hired Chung as the Chief Marketing Officer along with a Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data Officer at the same time. “We call ourselves the class of 2017, and we are tied at the hip,” she says. “Being hired together, we have formed a strategy that brings us as close to the customer as we can from an operations perspective. We are heavily data-driven in our operations, and we ensure we are looking at the same sources of data to have a singular view of the customer.”

She says customers are giving off signals all the time, and the ability to listen to those signals in real time allows marketers to engage with them in a more targeted and relevant capacity.  

“Marketing transformation must move towards customer journeys; we must be journey-based in terms of how we approach our customers,” she says. “Rather than approach the market through campaigns, we need to think about how to meet the customer needs at each stage of their journey, whether that’s in the shopping stage, research stage or buying stage. Then we need to decide what partnerships we need along the way to actively engage those customers.”

She says the biggest hurdle for legacy organizations is to get out of the past and solve for the future. She says working in lockstep with digital and data functions gives marketing a huge competitive advantage. “I often see that if these three functions don’t work together, they build fences that block their ability to reach the customer in a unified way,” she says. “Because these three functions were brought in at the same time, we have a united lens and are completely aligned in our approach.”

She says digital transformation is required to enable superior customer relationships, as it allows teams to be nimble and ensure they are delivering consistent and seamless experiences through a truly optimized omni-channel experience.

In a highly data-sensitive industry like financial services, it is important to utilize data to help deliver those connected, personalized experiences for customers, but it is equally important to ensure that data is protected. “We strive to ensure that we are relevant for our customers, while also delivering financial confidence in all of the touchpoints we utilize,” she says.

Data privacy is even more important in the connected economy. Taking steps to ensure that delivering personalized experiences is balanced with adhering to customer data and information preferences is essential today. “While most marketers would love access to as much data as possible, we also need to think about what customers really want us to have access to, and respect that,” she says.

“You can utilize existing customer information and, while respecting their preferences, deliver them highly personalized experiences,” she says. “The data we have within our walls is all information to which customers have granted us access. Our customers have placed their trust in us, and that is an honor we respect and take very seriously.”

Overall, she believes that any data-driven digital transformation must be undertaken through the lens of analyzing and optimizing the entire customer journey, rather than through the lens of distributing campaigns.

“By approaching marketing from the standpoint of the customer journey rather than looking at campaigns, we are thinking about how we meet customers’ needs at each stage in their journey,” she says. “From a data perspective, we need to analyze data in a way that allows us to deeply understand and respond to the customer journey.”

When it comes to leveraging data for customer engagement, she highlights two key aspects to the approach.

“We think about acquisition of new customers and onboarding of existing customers, as well as retention efforts,” she says. “When it comes to acquisition, attribution is fundamental. When it comes to engaging current customers, we are deliberately focusing on a customer-centric model rather than a product-centric model. We need to consider the needs they have at the point of sale, as well as what needs they have throughout their relationship with us. We need to ensure we provide them both the right advice and the right content during their journey to provide optimal financial education.”

Attribution, she says, is vital to measuring the success of marketing initiatives and change strategies or invest differently as needed. “As a marketer, it is imperative that I consider both efficiency and effectiveness of our programs. If we only look at the last touchpoint for a customer, we are going to weigh that more heavily than all of the moments that led to that moment. A multi-touch attribution tool properly weighs all of those activities, thereby enabling marketers to make more informed decisions.”

She says for organizations to be responsive to the customer, they must establish agile teams that are closer to the data and closer to customer signals. At TD, the Head of Enterprise Data & Analytics, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Digital Officer and Global Chief Marketing Officer are fully interconnected. These leaders and their teams jointly focus on business challenges, outcomes and even share targets.

“Our relationships are vital for the success of the organization,” she says. “Sharing knowledge ensures that we have one source of truth. We are all working from the same system and tap into the same set of data.”

She says over the last 18 months they have been investing heavily in both people and tools – signifying a rallying call to focus on a unified view of the customer.

“I believe we have a huge competitive advantage in having these functions working in lockstep with one another,” she says. “The magic happens when you’re all rowing in the same direction, utilizing each other’s expertise toward a united goal.”

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