In banking, great successes often start as small tests — and small failures can be okay when they help you learn and adapt. But learning and adapting requires financial institutions to track and analyze all of the metrics of a product or portfolio and utilize that information to iterate, test, and optimize. Otherwise, it’s just anecdotal, right?
To do all that properly, banks need to elect a single person to own all of this — someone to evaluate the data, offer recommendations, and make decisions. We call this person the program manager (PM).
The PM may be the CFO or someone who reports to the CFO. The PM may oversee a single product or a suite of products, but this individual is active on a campaign level, monitoring performance across digital channels, in-branch network, and call centers. And this role goes beyond adjusting rates and running profit and loss statements.
Using operational data, the PM can build efficiencies, reduce costs, and drive innovation.
Four areas where a program manager can shine
Underwriting — The PM will identify opportunities for efficiencies: flag inconsistencies, update portfolios, and call out consumer demographics that may need more personal (hybrid) attention. Where can you automate decisioning? Often, the devil is in the details: FICO Score migrations, score cut offs, existing vs. new customer DQ performance, LTV pricing, fair lending, credit limits, etc.
Marketing — The PM can straddle the marketing and sales worlds and function as both a liaison and motivator to keep the teams aligned. Is everyone meeting their KPIs? Are those the best metrics to use? How does the work of your sales and marketing teams support the objectives of your People, Processes, and Technology framework and strategy? Your PM will know the answer.
Cross-sell — The PM can ensure cohesiveness and consistency between products and channels (for both consumers and bankers) by leveraging rich, realtime data and reporting. It’s that level of agility that increases ROI and can even inform and optimize onboarding and activation. And optimized onboarding leads to activation, top-of-wallet, and primary financial institution (PFI) status.
Service and delivery — The PM can develop a keen understanding of the competition and trending consumer behavior to bring a clear perspective. Are you delivering customer experience excellence or are you a bit unsure about the needs and expectations of your customers? How does your product focus, pricing, and messaging compare to your competitors? Misalignment on any of these categories can be detrimental to your business.
Maximizing program management with a platform solution
Now, how much each organization invests in this role will vary. But one thing is universal: The success of program management is directly connected to the speed and flexibility of your tools.
Disparate systems and legacy technology can only do so much. To really accelerate testing, iteration, and optimization, your organization needs a unified platform.
A platform solution is not a silver bullet, it’s a tool that integrates services across all of your business lines with a level of configuration that maximizes program management.
With modular platform architecture like the Blend Platform, you can launch unique product offerings faster, increase conversion, build loyalty, and offer your bankers and customers access to a financial system that’s simple and state-of-the-art. It may very well be the last piece of technology you’ll ever buy.