Get expert insights on boosting credit card portfolio performance at all five stages of the cardholder journey.

Each new year is the start of a new journey. For cardholders, their journey consists of five distinct stages. I recently sat down with Jennifer Davis, TMG’s vice president of SmartGrowth™, to discuss ideas issuers can use to elevate each stage of the cardholder journey in 2017

Jennifer kicked off our discussion by providing a brief overview of issuers’ approaches to each stage in the cardholder journey:

  • Product – Designing card programs to be enticing to target consumer segments
  • Account Generation – Inspiring target consumers to take the desired action – applying for a credit card
  • Activation and Usage – Ensuring once consumers have their cards, they enjoy the benefits
  • Account Management – Maintaining a superior credit card product with a competitive credit line and rate
  • Service – Coming through on promise to deliver stellar experiences

Looking ahead to 2017, Jennifer highlighted several ways issuers can maximize portfolio performance during each of the stages listed above. To design a great card product, Jennifer recommends issuers turn to business intelligence. Those insights can help an issuer understand what each cardholder segment looks for and what other financial institutions are exploring. 

Once issuers have designed their card product, Jennifer suggested they consider a segmented marketing strategy geared toward consumers they already do business with. A credit union that works with TMG’s SmartGrowth team recently executed a highly targeted postcard and letter promotion geared toward existing members. 

As issuers look to optimize an early life-on-book strategy, Jennifer said they should look at ways to achieve activation within the first 45 days. First use bonuses or bonus points for frequently recurring purchases, such as gas and groceries, may be the incentives consumers need to keep their cards top of wallet. Issuing follow-up campaigns for cardholders who have yet to activate their cards can also prove effective.

Jennifer also shared some tips for taking account management and consumer service strategies to the next level. To hear more from Jennifer, take 15 minutes to listen to the podcast “Make Credit Card Magic in 2017.”

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