BBVA becomes a digital experience leader in just five years, beating its own growth expectations using Adobe Experience Cloud.
Growth in digital client base in just five years
Grow digital customer-base, sales and global footprint
Elevate mobile into a primary digital experience channel
Become a data-driven enterprise built around personalised customer experiences
Achieves a 50/50 split between online and traditional customer communications
Serves more than 46% of clients on mobile
Created and ran more than 1000 A/B tests to personalise the customer experience
Grew global customer-base 20%, from 66M to 79M
BBVA is global force in the financial services industry, with more than 110,000 employees serving customers online, via its award-winning BBVA mobile app and in its retail locations. Since 2015, BBVA has undergone a remarkable transformation, putting data-driven decision-making and digital customer experience at the centre of its banking operations.
BBVA had ambitious targets when it began its transformation, including the goal of serving 50% of its customer online within just two years and making half of its sales on digital channels by 2020. “We had a viable customer experience in place, but with digital service booming we wanted to build a truly exceptional digital environment. That meant unifying our data and personalising digital customer experiences,” says Henrique Macedo, Global Head of Digital Analytics at BBVA.
The bank has since exceeded those targets, but to do so it first needed to rethink its approach to digital experiences. In short, BBVA needed to transform from the top down. Led by its global CMO, the bank set up a digital centre of excellence at its headquarters in Spain to spearhead its transformation. In parallel, it implemented a suite of Adobe Experience Cloud technologies to unify its data and fuel its digital growth.
Global Head of Digital Analytics, BBVA
When BBVA began its transformation, its digital tools were not standardised, nor had it got a model to unify its data or combine digital resources across the 10 markets it served at the time. To quote Macedo, “We had big plans for our digital business, but we were in the dark about how to build, grow and manage it.”
Recognising the scope of its needs, BBVA adopted a new way of working, putting digital talent at the helm of its operations and aligning its teams under a common mantra: to create and deliver data-driven services that speak directly to each customer and become more personalised every day.
With a clear mission, its digital centre of excellence in place and Adobe’s technologies forming the architecture of its new data-driven approach, BBVA proceeded to blow its metrics out of the water. From online customers representing just 20% of its portfolio in 2015 and mobile representing less than 15%, the bank now serves 50% of customers online and more than 45% on mobile.
"This hasn't just been a simple migration to digital," says Macedo. "We've grown from 66 million global customers to 79 million in just five years and that's because we've made digital experiences a driving force across our business with the help of best-in-class technology partners, like Adobe."
Global Head of Digital Analytics, BBVA
A central pillar of BBVA’s transformation was to bring consistency to its data-driven processes and customer services. As a bank with operations around the world, it needed to provide the same standard of experience to customers everywhere, while simultaneously empowering regional teams to personalise their services for local needs.
“We set out to build a culture of co-creation, connecting our people, knowledge and operations across geographies to develop a best-practice approach and roll it out across channels,” says Macedo.
Adobe Analytics facilitated this collaboration allowing BBVA’s many teams to communicate and share insight using a single global language. Today, every team can capture, interpret and present data on BBVA’s customer experience and marketing performance using a common taxonomy and tagging approach. These insights are then combined and analysed using simple dashboards to drive rapid, informed decision-making.
Adobe Analytics has proven particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. With access to data on BBVA’s digital sales, mobile app usage, service performance and customer behaviour, the bank’s leadership team has stayed one-step ahead of the many market shifts they have faced since March 2020.
“The fact that we had a consistent global data model in place was a godsend during the pandemic,” says Macedo. “We were able to create rapid reports that consolidated all the vital information our leadership team needed to navigate a challenging time.”
As part of its transition to data-driven decision-making, BBVA works tirelessly to personalise and continuously improve its digital customer experiences with support from Adobe Target. Across regions, its teams have a mandate to build, run and learn from A/B tests to optimise their web and mobile services.
Global Head of Optimisation & Funnel Health
BBVA has conducted more than 1000 A/B tests to date, often running more than 30 personalisation projects at any given time to improve the performance of its various sales funnels.
“Experimentation has become a way/practice of working that is an engine of growth and knowledge for BBVA,” says Iciar. "We cultivate curiosity to test and expand the mentality of putting data over opinion." BBVA centralises all the hypotheses and learning through the "Funnel Laboratory" for helping teams across the bank to understand customer needs, reactions and behaviours — so they can create better messaging, apps, product offerings and strategies with confidence. “That goes double for our mobile app; the A/B testing has become a genuine differentiator,” she adds.
The team responsible for the BBVA mobile app partnered with BBVA’s Analytics & Optimisation teams to establish a data monitoring and performance task force. Together, they implemented a data analysis and review process covering every aspect of BBVA’s mobile app development, from design, to engineering, to its sales performance. A/B testing with Adobe Target allows the team to refine each of these pillars of the app’s performance.
The next step for BBVA is to centralise and bring consistency to its content management, which will help it to communicate with customers in a more personalised and emotive way through its mobile app and other front-end platforms.
The bank is working with Adobe Experience Manager Sites to centralise its content creation process, using the solution’s Content Fragments and Experience Fragments features to make better use of the assets it has already created and establish best practice for how to use these assets when speaking with customers. Integrations between Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target have already allowed BBVA to serve up beautiful and relevant content in a way that feels consistent across markets.
This integration proved invaluable during BBVA’s brand relaunch in 2019, when the bank unified its many satellite banks, from BBVA Continental in Peru to BBVA Bancomer in Mexico, under a single brand identity. BBVA was able to launch under its new brand in every country at once with no major issues and perfect SEO re-indexing. Adobe Analytics provided the bank with real-time data on the performance of its website and app during the launch so it could course-correct where needed and address minor technical issues as they arose.
Global Head of SEO & Content, BBVA
“This approach to content is still quite new for us, but the payoff is huge and we’re excited to keep ramping up our use of Adobe Experience Manager to see what’s next,” says Macedo.
BBVA is a large organisation that has been operating since 1857, making its digital transformation all the more impressive. The bank’s successes have been more incremental than big-bang game-changers, as Macedo attests, but looking back at his company’s progress since 2015 those improvements have added up to millions of Euros in value.
For instance, after an A/B test with Adobe Target revealed that BBVA’s customers in Mexico were dropping out of the sales funnel at the final stage of its online user journey due to a previously undetected bug on its website, the bank quickly fixed the issue and recovered millions in revenue. “At the scale we operate, even the small enhancements to the customer experience we make with Adobe have a dramatic impact on our bottom line,” says Macedo.
Global Head of Digital Analytics, BBVA
BBVA continues to grow and enhance its digital business, supported by Adobe Experience Cloud. Its immediate priority is to adapt its first-party data collection strategy to the realities of cookieless browsing, especially with Firefox and Safari dropping third-party cookie collection and Google Chrome set to follow.
BBVA is also looking to further scale its digital marketing, with Adobe’s technologies positioning the bank to do so in a GDPR-compliant way. In parallel, it is beginning to leverage data from more digital tools in its big data infrastructure.
“If there’s one thing we don’t lack, it’s ambition,” says Macedo. “There is no rest for a customer-obsessed organisation like ours, especially if we want to lead the banking industry’s shift to digital experiences. With Adobe’s support, we are on our way to becoming the digital bank of choice for customers in every market we serve and counting.”