As we’ve seen in this series, the Efma-Accenture Distribution and Marketing Innovation Awards celebrate the latest, most disruptive innovations in the banking industry. As a major networking event and product showcase, the awards are also a great chance to take stock of the trends that are shaping the industry.

The spread of digital technology has put a huge amount of information in the hands of banks. They can track more closely than ever what their customers want, how they make decisions, and how they spend their money. They can track their own operations to change operations. Turning this nearly overwhelming amount of information into actionable insight was a major theme of the awards last year.

As one attendee put it, the amount of data available to banks today is almost too rich. Knowing where to start looking for customer insight is half of the challenge. But banks across the industry are addressing this issue in innovative ways.

Some are developing smart ways of sharing their data with their customers. Santander’s Spendlytics app opens up the bank’s customer insights to the customers themselves. Users can see their spending broken down by category, by time, or even by brand to surface the insights they need to make smarter choices.

Some are using big data and analytics to drive their own performance. Sberbank’s Smart Management System is an innovative self-learning technology that tracks employees and automatically generates constructive feedback to boost performance and job satisfaction.

Some are using artificial intelligence and big data to automate mundane marketing tasks. Poland’s Alior Bank developed Dronn, an AI that uses cutting-edge technology to automate routine marketing work. Dronn can guide customers through personalized conversations about their accounts or reach out to them and conduct marketing surveys.

All of these exciting applications are leveraging the data banks can access to transform marketing. Even so, these ideas are no longer on the bleeding edge—they are almost one year old, and a lot can happen in the banking industry in that time.

That is why I look forward to the 2017 Efma-Accenture Distribution and Marketing Awards. The new ideas and initiatives the industry is working on to solve our latest challenges will be evaluated and celebrated.

To learn about this year’s awards and to register for the live webcast on Oct. 25, visit our event page.

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