NCDM Speaker: Unified Database Propels Wells Fargo's Online Wagon

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LONG BEACH, CA -- The online share of Wells Fargo's sales has risen to 17 percent, equaling revenue of about 500 branches.

This boost resulted largely from better coordination between the San Francisco-based bank's online and offline channels, said Naras Eechambadi, CEO of Quaero Corp., which helped design and build Wells Fargo's unified database and campaign management system.

"The challenge is aligning the organization with the structure," Eechambadi said yesterday at the National Center of Database Marketing's summer show here.

Integration of the bank's databases cut the number of calls to call centers by 20 percent to 25 percent. This was despite the rise in sales volume, since marketing communications to customers now are much more tailored.

Wells Fargo claims two other achievements since the cross-channel database integration effort began 18 months ago. Click-through rates increased three to six times across product lines. And saw an 80 percent to 100 percent sales growth in that period.

When Quaero landed the project, the situation was vastly different. Wells Fargo lacked an integrated customer strategy between its offline and online channels.

"They didn't have the ability to use online information and intelligence for offline marketing programs like mail," Eechambadi said. "Online behavioral insights could not be translated into offline marketing strategies."

And beyond that, offers were inconsistent across channels. Customer frustration rose because of lack of cross-channel memory, too.

Wells Fargo had its work cut out. First, create an integrated customer information view of detailed transaction behavior across the bank's channels. Second, develop strategies, marketing programs and decision models to use this new information.

Third, the bank had to implement new processes to execute these plans, especially being more real-time online. Fourth, organize marketing and new processes. Finally, examine the skills inventory of all marketing people at the bank, identify the gaps and recruit where necessary.

Quaero brought data together from 45 source systems across Wells Fargo lines including deposits, checking and savings accounts, and CDs. It helped integrate the new campaign management tool while running the process and organizational alignment.

The bank now looks for true real-time service integration while maintaining sales momentum. It is important for its call center reps to have a cohesive picture of the customer and business rules when the call comes in.

All changes by Quaero are designed and executed on the Teradata database system used by Wells Fargo.

"Everybody pretends it's about analytics, technology, software and numbers," Eechambadi said, "and what it really comes down to, and not just at Wells Fargo, is the processes and the right people running them. That is what makes it all come together."

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