HDFC Bank truly “understands your world”



HDFC Bank had been executing 1,500 multi-channel marketing campaigns annually touching a base of 30 million customers. With the typical response rates on these analytical CRM campaigns between 2 – 10%, the bank was seeking to improve the stabilize and improve these response rates.


Xerago identified that mere automation and segment-level outbound marketing were not sufficient to transition HDFC Bank to a preferred bank. Apart from this there were several challenges to the analytical marketing initiatives at the bank

  • The analytical models resulted in the same set of customers, who seemed to have the highest propensity to convert, repeatedly
  • Downstream marketing automation compounded the repeating segments by excessive contact resulting in customer contact fatigue
  • The response rate of these campaigns was highly volatile – from 2% to 10%.


To solve this Xerago evolved a Customer Lifestage Communication Model for HDFC Bank, which would result in making the right offer (product) to the right customer at the right time.

This could be done only by understanding their customers and acting on specific events that could possibly allow us to service them better. And it was a fitting reflection of HDFC’s brand promise “We Understand Your World”.

This Event Based Marketing Framework works like this –

  • Every customer has a unique pattern of behavior.
  • Behavior that “falls outside what is normal” for that particular customer is identified.
  • The Bank sees this as an opportunity to engage in a conversation with him/her and triggers an action by a Relationship Manager who manages the customer.

From the customer’s perspective –

  • All Bank-initiated contact was service-led rather than sales-led
  • As offers were specific to individual customers, they were contacted with highly focused products that fulfilled their specific need in particular
  • Customer interaction was non-intrusive and a dialogue, instead of a monologue

Xerago pioneered the use of technology automation and analysis of customer events to drive customer dialogue in the Indian banking sector. And this is the biggest Event Based Marketing framework globally. This program has a repository of 168 rule variants where customer transaction events are analyzed just one day later, for possible interaction potential. It has 4 broad differentiators:

  • Scale of Operations: Over 108 trigger variants currently live, running on a daily basis
  • Width of Operations: Cuts across 7 segments of High Net Worth across Savings, Salaried and Business Customers
  • Spectrum of Triggers: Trigger types range from
    • Simple triggers e.g. FD maturity
    • Complex triggers e.g. Funds transfer within a week’s time of salary credit
    • Patterns identified e.g. drop in balances or banking transactions
  • The program also has a comprehensive Monitoring & Management Module ensuring a closed-loop marketing cycle. This includes:
    • Personalized alerts sent to each Relationship Manager in his inbox
    • Personalized consolidation of alerts sent to supervisors for close monitoring
    • Key alerts of extremely high values being sent to Cluster Heads of the retail channel
    • SMS reminders sent to frontline on total number of leads sent & tracked on a weekly basis
    • Monitoring the quality & quantity of customer interactions on a weekly basis to evaluate efficacy of program

    From a customer perspective, because the program functions on the philosophy that “to service is to sell”, HDFC Bank stands out distinct from its competition by

    • Pro-actively anticipating customer needs
    • Delivering timely services & tailor-made product or service offerings
    • Not having to sell, but only having to service customer needs

The entire program is unique in its conceptualization and execution, more so because of its scale and operational complexity.

The premise behind Event Based Marketing:

  • Every customer has a “normal” pattern of transactional behavior, consisting of
    • credits and debits in their liability accounts
    • type, size and frequency of spends in their card accounts
    • patterns of repayment in their loan accounts, and so on.
  • Life events – salary credits, monthly expenses, types and frequency of purchases, loan repayments, investment behavior, can be measured as “normal”, based on history of transactions
  • However, “larger than normal” credits, “quicker than normal” debits, “bigger than normal” spends, etc. likely indicate a life event that may afford a possible financial intervention
  • Also some customer transactions occurring at standard frequency can be obvious indicators of need for financial intervention – for example, funds being swept from a salary account and crediting another bank account every month
  • When such events occur that fit the pattern, they can serve to trigger a dialogue with the customer
  • When customer dialogue happens in such a context, and within a very short time window of the occurrence of the life event, it is likely to result in a conversion with a high degree of customer satisfaction to boot


This program has been the single most effective customer impact program in the history of the Bank. The key benchmark used to evaluate this program is Incremental Income.

This program

  • More than doubled and stabilized the conversion rate
  • Delivers approximately 5 times the revenue impact of any other comparable customer contact program
  • Achieved annual targets within 6 months of implementation.
  • Has contributed over 65% of total incremental revenue on liability campaigns so far.


What began as a conceptual solution is now a successful on-ground implementation covering over 1500 branches across India. In terms of reach, it extends to 100 High Net Worth Customer Relationship Managers, 1400 Relationship Managers, 1400 Personal Bankers & 9 outbound Tele-Calling centers.

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