Q&A: Tide’s Engagement Marketing Director on connecting with its members through data

Alex Sword


The Financial Services Forum

Tide is a mobile-first banking provider for SMEs. In this interview, recently joined Director of Engagement Marketing Grant Morbey explains how the company is using content and data to better connect with its customers.


Congratulations on your new role. What does engagement marketing mean to Tide?

Engagement marketing at Tide builds and nurtures relationships with our members. Working closely with our member accession colleagues, we manage a member through a lifecycle with Tide, with the goal long-term to create loyalty and advocacy among our members. Our role involves creating content, experiences, and campaigns that invite and encourage our members to engage with Tide’s products and services, with a two-way communication channel, where members are empowered to share their thoughts and opinions and feel valued and heard. 

As a team that plays a key role in helping Tide with its product growth, we get the opportunity to continually work with other Tide teams and coordinate some great cross functional initiatives and company wide alignment. 

Alongside our accession colleagues, we strive to be the marketing gurus in Tide, so we have the responsibility and opportunity to present back an in-depth understanding of the marketing impact on our membership base. Communicating results, member insights and new engagement marketing trends to the business are three areas that we try to play a key role in at Tide. 


How does this work in the context of business banking?

Building trust and credibility with customers is crucial in our sector. Tide helps SMEs save time and money in the running of their businesses, so engagement marketing helps provide the personalised recommendations of Tide’s services to help members achieve that. 

Through various channels and strategies, we build a messaging strategy to engage our members focused on providing practical solutions to common business problems, such as managing cash flow, handling invoices, or accounting. We lead with a friendly, conversational, but educational tone that appeals to SMEs. 

Tide’s social media presence is a key part of our engagement strategy and has been rapidly growing with regular updates on our new products and services, as well as content that helps members relate to our brand and build trust. 

As a digital only financial services platform, we’re able to provide very specific personalised, relevant content and resources based on the data and behaviour we capture from our members.


What has been on your to-do list? 

A recent key area of focus has been and will remain the FCA’s Consumer Duty which comes into force at the end of July. Tide has always been very focused and committed to the four areas outlined in the duty, but we’ll always strive to improve every area of our business, so ensuring that the member engagement marketing (MEM) activity adheres to the duty principles has been a key to-do list item. 

Linked to Consumer Duty, has been the continuous focus on being data-driven (a core value at Tide) and enhancing our targeting strategy to ensure the products we market are relevant and timely across the member lifecycle. 

Most recently, we rolled out a new data strategy to accurately identify the most relevant Tide Plan for our members and a new reporting framework to monitor member value on a Tide Plan. This new operational setup and data strategy has provided MEM with the tools to scale and automate the campaign strategy, support the FCA’s Consumer Duty principles, and grow revenue.

We’ve also been scaling the use of our CDP (Customer Data Platform). Access to data can often be a blocker to execute the level of relevancy and personalisation we strive to deliver for our members, so these improvements have really helped MEM scale, automate and further personalise our campaigns. 

Tide has an ever-growing product portfolio, and most recently we launched Tide Accounting to our members. The MEM team has been working hard to deliver an effective engagement marketing strategy to make our members aware of this fantastic product and help with all the bookkeeping and accounting needs. 


How do you use customer feedback and data in your engagement marketing strategies?

Data drives our decision making and campaign ideas such as product recommendations, targeted promotions, greener or thought leader content relevant to our members. We analyse and interpret member data to create member persona groups that represent different segments of our target audience and enable us to track and measure the performance of campaigns in real time. Feedback and data drives our testing and optimisation focuses in engagement marketing. 


How do you measure whether your efforts are working?

Ultimately, success is evaluated on the ability to drive meaningful outcomes for the member. 

We monitor click-through rates regularly to ensure members find our content relevant. Our engagement scoring rules in place across our CRM teams ensure members only receive campaigns where we can see previous engagement. 

Members who score low are managed through separate re-engagement lifecycle journeys alongside new members who have limited campaign engagement data. Likes, shares, comments and direct message replies are all used in evaluating the overall reach and impact of social media campaigns.

Our teams have different measure of success, for example, some are measured on sign ups to a subscription product or add on, some on member usage and repeat usage of our free products and services, some on retention and churn rates, some on first time or regular transactional activity, some on net promoter scores, and some on member engagement to view other Tide content such as our blog articles.

We also use member feedback, which is essential to our product improvements and solving any live issues so we have member feedback metrics for each team to measure the frequency of that data. 




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