Is it possible to deliver massive value with analytics? Jose Murillo, Chief Analytics Officer at Groupo Financiero Banorte, talks about how his team generated 200x on their marketing analytics investment for the bank in this episode. He was invited to build an analytics group within Banorte with a core mandate: Increase customer equity. After a little bit more than three years his analytics group has in partnership with the business and support lines, has produced value close to $1B in net income. In 2017, this was equivalent to 43% of the net income produced by the whole financial group. In this episode, Murillo talks about the six factors for success, including being set up as a profit center with targets and accountability, fostering relationships through the organization, and the passion that comes when an analytics team owns the results. He explains the impact teams can generate, and that they can take time to accrue. Murillo also explains how to pick the right project -- they are a mixture of science, business knowledge, and contain inevitable institutional hurdles.
- Here is a link to the book that Jose Murillo mentions about EQ by Yuval Harare:
- Here is a link to the Corinium Digital survey that Jose mentions about analytics groups as cost centers vs. profit centers, and measuring ROI.
- The results of Jose’s work were featured in a case study in Harvard Business Review: How One Company Made its Analytics Investment Pay Off.
Key Concepts: Customer Lifetime Value, Profit Center, Strategic Communication, IQ, EQ, ROI, KPI, Data Analytics
Who Should Listen: CAOs, Digital Marketers, Business analysts, C-suite professionals, Entrepreneurs, Ecommerce, Data scientists, Educators
Do you want to learn how to optimize your marketing analytics? Learn a new marketing approach first hand at Customer Centricity Conference, scheduled for May 15-17, 2018 at Wharton School San Francisco.
Allison Hartsoe - 00:02 - This is the Customer Equity Accelerator, a weekly show for marketing executives who need to accelerate customer-centric thinking and digital maturity. I'm your host, Allison Hartsoe of Ambition Data. This show features innovative guests who share quick wins on how to improve your bottom line while creating happier, more valuable customers. Ready to accelerate? Let's go!
Welcome everyone. Today's show is about Analytics payoffs. How much value can you create using better analytics? Some studies say 20%, some I've even seen as high as 70%, and results are really all across the board. So today I'd invited Jose Murillo to help me discuss the analytics payoff. Jose is the Chief Analytics Officer at Banorte and one of the most interesting people I've had a chance to talk to you because his results have actually been featured in an HBR case study. Jose, congratulations and welcome to the show.
Jose Murillo - 01:10 - Hi Allison. I'm very glad to be in your show. The customer equity episodes are fascinating.
Allison Hartsoe - 01:16 - Thank you. Thank you so much. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you were drawn to this whole topic in the first place.
Jose Murillo - 01:25 - Right after completing my Ph.D. in economics at Rice University, I began my career at a Mexican Central Bank. For about a decade, I was part of the monetary policy committee conveying to the governor's this tap spew on inflation, the key variable in the monitor policy decision process. Also, I was the chief information officer at the central bank is sharing data, quality, new sources of data, developing information systems and perhaps something that was. I found later that it was very much more valued in the private sector.
Allison Hartsoe - 01:58 - That's true. You're not the first person to have that, or your government work is more valued in the private sector. I can see that.
Jose Murillo - 02:05 - Yes. So five years ago I moved to the private sector and um, became an advisor to the president of the board at Banorte, which at the time was the fourth largest financial group in Mexico. And soon after that, and a newly appointed chief operating officer, Rafael Arana invited me to build an analytics group within a Banorte with a core mandate which will resonate with your audience increased customer equity.
Allison Hartsoe - 02:31 - Nice.
Jose Murillo - 02:32 - Which is basically translating permission into profits. And it was tested to be done at a rate of 10 times cost. So after a little bit more than three years, our analytics group has been quite successful in producing value for our customers, shareholders, and employees. We were able to leap frog our international competitors, Citi Bank, and Santander to become the second largest financial group measured by net income generation. In fact, in 2017 a return on equity reached to almost 20%, which compares very favorably to Santander and Citi Bank a who had 15 and 9.6% respectively.
Allison Hartsoe - 03:12 - Wow. You kind of blew them out of the water there through this strategy.
Jose Murillo - 03:16 - Yes. We're very happy. And the value that we've created with the analytics team in partnership with the business and support lines during this time is getting close to a billion dollars. Just to put it in perspective, the value derived from the analytics projects had been noted during 2017 was equivalent to 43% of the net income produced by the whole financial group.
Allison Hartsoe - 03:37 - Wow. That's incredible. Okay. So it's clear that she's got a strong background. You've had some amazing success. I mean both through the case study as well as through the background that you just described. Why do you think Banorte's analytics investment pays off when other people's do not?
Jose Murillo - 03:57 - I guess we were built payoff and end. At least we've done six things. Right?
Allison Hartsoe - 04:03 - Okay. Goodness. Only six.
Jose Murillo - 04:05 - Well, probably other things, but thinking about the whole process and I think the first thing that it was really a key issue is that the analytics team was set up as a profit center with very ambitious targets. In contrast. Yeah.
Allison Hartsoe - 04:21 - When you alk about the analytics team was setup as a profit center. This is not usually the case. Almost every team that I talked to was actually a cost center. Tell me more about that. That's really interesting.
Jose Murillo - 04:33 - Just found out that this is unique, I guess, around the world. In North America. There was a recent survey that was conducted by Corinium intelligence among 300 senior analytics professionals, mainly from the US showed that 71% of the analytics groups were belt discussed centers. Even more amazing that 80% of the analytics professionals did not measure the return on investment.
Allison Hartsoe - 04:59 - That matches what I saw as well at the recent conference I was at. Yeah. So I can definitely see that.
Jose Murillo - 05:05 - Yes, and thank you. That's an interesting point which you have made before. Is that being set up as a profit center? If it is successful, it makes it much easier to get resources, and I would add to have a say on technology investments from the companies.
Allison Hartsoe - 05:20 - Wow. Yeah. I think that's one of those key things. You know, if you're a cost center and you try to get resources, or you try to get tech investments, you really always have to kind of be borrowing from someone else, but if you're a profit center, then it's on the back of your own success. Right,
Jose Murillo - 05:38 - right. Yes. In my experience, it has made it much, much easier. And so that's the first thing is that to be set up as a profit center, it has been, uh, uh, keeping. The second thing is that in our case, the C-suite understood pretty well, but there was no other way than transitioning from a product-centric company that was used to toss and pushes products randomly among customers to a customer-centric organization enhanced by data. So I guess in short we had a significant support from the top who wanted to be sage but also want it to be rich, and this opened the doors to work with forwarding thinking champions within the organization, and the extraordinary short-term results gave us credibility and legitimacy for other business lines to explore analytics and at the end of the day, even though they might not fully understand the data or the embedded algorithms, we trust each other and they know we have their back because you have settled so before, so a lot of also not only the math but uh, and the IQ, but the EQ that you have to have.
Allison Hartsoe - 06:48 - When you said you had C-suite buy and it also sounded like you had C-suite and some influencers within the organization. Do you think you needed both pieces or was just the C-suite enough?
Jose Murillo - 07:01 - I think both you're hitting a very good point. I think both parts are very relevant and to have influencers on your side that makes a big difference.
Allison Hartsoe - 07:12 - What part of the organization were they from the influencers?
Jose Murillo - 07:16 - I guess all over it. You have them on the business lines and altering the support lines. You have people from the controllership from an equally on IT innovation. The communications department has also been very important for us, and in addition to the business lines for the ones that are seeing the, you know very directly the proper tests and the results are adding to their bottom line and making it easier to get the results.
Allison Hartsoe - 07:42 - So how many influencers are we talking about? Are we talking about a handful or are we talking about dozens
Jose Murillo - 07:49 - I guess as much as you can. But in my case, we started basically one key partner who was the credit card business and the results more quickly, and we started to gain support from key players within the organization within the business line and also on the side from support line. So it has a, I guess the influencers have been increasing and has been key. It gives you getting to a virtuous cycle which it feeds on itself. So I guess that's what I was saying that we. We've done six things, right? I've told you about two. The third thing that I think it was very fortunate the way being centric scheme was designed so that a quite well aligned and there are two key ingredients
Jose Murillo - 08:40 - and the first one is to it fosters the partnership between the analytics group and the business lines in the sense that the returns that are generated by the analytics project accrue to the business lines which do not contribute to the customer analytics team, which is a corporately sponsored and said it makes it easier for them to meet the targets. The second reason why the incentives are well aligned is that the analytics team is paid to using a variable compensation that it's based on a fully implemented and measured project.
Allison Hartsoe - 09:15 - Wow.
Jose Murillo - 09:16 - At the end of the day we are a business line.
Allison Hartsoe - 09:18 - Wow, that's exciting because it's fully implemented and measured. I don't know how many people in the analytic space are probably like standing up and cheering right now because they make all these recommendations and then the problem of getting them implemented is like a a whole secondary challenge, so this is a great incentive.
Jose Murillo - 09:36 - Yes. What we're looking for really if you want to have great ideas, but eventually it's just prescription. If they are not implemented because you have this such a great idea and you cannot translate it into profit. That's true is it could be very frustrating for anyone. The fourth thing that we, I think we did a right is that we agreed on the yard sticks and he read constantly should that you've been an evangelizing frequently pitied the CLV, and we agreed on yardsticks on how we were going make the assessments of the results of our impact, which is not difficult for cost-saving projects, which you measure the impact, and it's direct and contemporaneous, but for revenue generating project it's a little bit more complex, and you need to have estimates of the customer lifetime value, and that will prove to be a little bit more complicated when you're starting out.
Allison Hartsoe - 10:30 - Did you have to have the CLV calculate and blessed by the CFO or other calculations blessed by that team?
Jose Murillo - 10:38 - Yes. In some sense it is blessed, and I have blessed that the chief operating officer performs as the CFO, he's COO/CFO, and I report to him and yes, what we do is kind of like a seminar type session with different stakeholders. Initially were presented. The CLV model and the idea estimates and yes, he reviewed how we were going to do it, and we agreed that that was the yardstick against which we're going to compare.
Allison Hartsoe - 11:07 - I can't tell you how fortunate it is that you are reporting into someone who is that CFO/COO. That alone is probably worth a big chunk of the success. That's an incredibly powerful place to report.
Jose Murillo - 11:20 - Yeah, it is well placed, and he said very smart forward thinking man. So that comes to my house, and I guess regarding the things that I think it helped us see being built for a payoff is a communication. And
Allison Hartsoe - 11:38 - this is number five now.
Jose Murillo - 11:39 - Yes, we are in five and as you said, one of the previous episodes of your podcast, the ability to turn down informational silos and break with the inertia of why fixing broken requests. A lot of savvinesses and uh, which I basically translate into being an effective communicator and a loyal partner. And what I mean by communication, you have like three tempos the first. It's the communication did you do before and during the project implementation, you need to build consensus around a business case and assure execution with all the stakeholders, the second part, the second tempo is sharing the results with those who help you get there. You know, this is a repeated game. So you wanted partners with whom you partner initially to one partner in the future with you. The third tempo is keeping the C-suite well informed about the results and how did you get them.
Jose Murillo - 12:36 - You cannot give for granted that it would be self-evident. What's the lift or the contribution of your analytic project in forward-thinking organizations. There are many things that are going on and on at the same time, and he could be very difficult for the C-suite to disentangle the contribution from each initiative. So you need to explain and be willing to communicate to, you know, be accountable. And I guess the final part which is common for a lot of people use that. You need to have a team of very smart and passionate people that have lots of IQ, and as we've said, both have to have a lot of EQ, entrepreneurial instinct and especially a passion for what we're doing, the kind of passion that you only have when you own the results and when you are falling to the business and celebrate the success of your team partners and just imagine just like a coach of a soccer team that rejoices when his team scores a goal. The same.
Allison Hartsoe - 13:34 - I can see that. So you know, I've heard this theme before where other analytics presentations, they've talked about the desperate need to not just dump numbers or dump data out and your emphasis of the EQ with the IQ I think hits on that as well. And it kind of ties into what you were talking about previously about keeping the C-suite well informed. If you had to pick like maybe a handful of traits, maybe one or two, maybe even three key traits that are EQ related, what is it that people should be looking for in addition to that IQ?
Jose Murillo - 14:12 - I think people have to be diplomatic. We have to be nice, and I guess that's a point that you bought. Some make people have to be willing to work with you. It's not something that you can impose. It's something that they know that it's going to be mutually beneficial and that you are going to be loyal to them. It's not that you're going to finish with the project and just run around and not give you credit when it's due to basic things that you look in the, in a person that you want to partner in the longterm. It's a book by Yuval Harari that was published Sapiens, which says that you know when we were in the prehistory, and you found another caveman, uh, and you wanted to do something, you know, hunt a deer or whatever. The first thing that he wants to do is that he's not going to kill you. That's the other guy. And then you look for it competence that he can really hold his arm, and then you build a campfire or whatever. So I guess it boils down to trust.
Allison Hartsoe - 15:20 - You make it sound so brutal. The corporate environment, they're not going to kill you, so make sure you're nice. Well, these six points I think are incredibly important and I definitely see this resonating and other conversations that I've had. Let's talk a little bit about the actual impact that you saw from the project. Do you know how did you get it off the ground? What kind of impact did you see in the beginning? I think I opened up with something like 20 to 70%, which is where people were generally throwing numbers around, but what did you see?
Jose Murillo - 15:56 - Well, let me tell you, the first year that my analytics group started out our target estimate is ten times our cost, which was pretty ambitious because, for a traditional business within the financial group, it is required to do three or four times our cost. So it was initially it was very aggressive, but the first year we were able to do 46 times our cost.
Allison Hartsoe - 16:19 - Wow
Jose Murillo - 16:20 - That was almost five times target, which was already three times what it used to be. The second year we were able to do hundred, six times the cost.
Allison Hartsoe - 16:31 - No, wait, was this the same basis or was this a new basis?
Jose Murillo - 16:35 - A new basis? In these three years, we've increased the size of the team by five fold.
Allison Hartsoe - 16:43 - Wow.
Jose Murillo - 16:45 - And I think this year we're probably going to increase it again and so we have an increasing basis. We moved to a 100, six times the cost which was equivalent to $275 million of net income generation last year, 2017. Our 3rd-year-old full operations would reach $550 million, and addition is getting close to a billion dollars, $7 net income generation. What we've done in these time,
Allison Hartsoe - 17:14 - that's incredible being. Does that make you want to turn around and ask for stock options or ownership instead?
Jose Murillo - 17:22 - Well, As I've said part of the deal is that the variable parties relevant.
Allison Hartsoe - 17:28 - I see. I see. So when you go and hit these goals, and it sounds like as you're moving up, they're resetting the basis, but you're still blowing away each basis. Is that a result of kind of hitting the low hanging fruit first and you get big gains in the beginning or do you think this is sustainable?
Jose Murillo - 17:48 - That's excellent, and initially there were a lot of low hanging fruits, and we focused on cost-cutting risk project. Basically we were weeding out a good and bad customer, and I think that for an analytics unit did that. It starting cost-cutting initiatives can be very attractive. At least they have three advantages. First execution is very fast. Second is practice contemporaneous and third the results are very easy to prove within the organization, so there are not many doubts. Although initially, we started with the cost-cutting strategies and the first year they represented about half of what we do, the value that we created later on now, although we started with the cost-cutting projects, we were already working on revenue-generating projects which are far more complex. Nowadays for my unit that you are generating nine-tenths of the profit that we're doing, but take more time and a little bit more difficult.
Allison Hartsoe - 18:53 - Why is it difficult? Is it the concepts that you're bringing through that are difficult?
Jose Murillo - 18:58 - I guess, it can have all the technical difficulties that he can imagine, but it pulls down that you need to build, you know, a measure of the customer lifetime value, and then you met her for the, for the people within the organization they are not familiar to thinking in terms of the CLV and you haven't gained credibility yet, so you need to build it, and they need to believe you and initially difficult because you don't know what are the true survival rates of the new good costumers when you are changing many things, and you need time to prove it out. What did happen? In my experience, he's in the first year we had an estimate of the CLV. I need my case. I underestimated significantly the true value of what we were doing and for my business partners. I guess it was the leap of faith. As soon as they've seen the results in the cost side, I said, well, yeah, that makes sense what he's saying, but I'm the second year we refined the CLV estimates and all the profits from the previous year are kicking, and it's becoming much more evident. Um, by the third year we really truly reached a wild moment, and it was very clear that with the chosen good customers, we were able to have more profitable than direct rippled relationships that translated to higher CLV.
Allison Hartsoe - 20:18 - Well, you know, that's kind of incredible that it's taken three years to get there, but it does match other stories that I've heard. And I think it also underscores the need to have that executive buy-in behind you because if you didn't, and you're just getting one sample project off the ground that maybe doesn't have enough impact, it's really easy to assume maybe that it's not successful out of the gate. It sounds like your particular setup for success was not just setting you up in the first year, but it was setting you up for the long-term effort of trial and failure so that you could get to the right answer.
Jose Murillo - 20:57 - That's right.
Allison Hartsoe - 20:58 - Good, good. Well, let's talk a little bit more about how you pick a good project, and we often hear about quick wins and people needing quick wins to get started. You know, let's say that I have these six things and I've set up myself for some reasonable amount of success. How do I find a good project to start with
Jose Murillo - 21:19 - picking the right project is some mixture of science, and there's no login especially distinguishing. How hard will it be to sort out the inevitable institutional hurdles, so they like the political side? Let me exemplified with one of my favorite projects in which he's one of the first ones that I did. It would send an analytical, redesign of the credit card, cross all process and project that is on its third year of maturity and on the political side I found this. I said previously, willing forward-thinking a partner in the credit card business. It made sense of the fact that we were not going to have a lot of push back or have wings on the business knowledge side old. It was evident that the, although these were a very profitable business for Banorte, the share of the market that we had was way below the natural quota and cross-sell efforts were scant and very dismal results
Jose Murillo - 22:21 - and on the science part we dissected the problem and learned that we didn't have good estimates of our customers income, lack good contact data. We didn't use non-intrusive digital channels for the sales effort, and the whole process was too cumbersome for customers like us. We did six things in partnership with our business license support departments. We built new income estimate models, seeing a partnership with the risk departments and different people can build more or less accurate models, but the hard part is to start off by aligning with the partner so that you can implement the model and we were able to do that. The second thing that we did is that we incorporated digital channels for the sales process. Getting partnership with the managing director from the channels department, we improved contact data by seven-fold in partnership with the CDO we built a new offer, which recognizes the fact that cross sale customers were much better than walk-ins.
Jose Murillo - 23:24 - We made a very efficient delivery process which was very convenient for our customers, and we did that together with the operations department, and we set up with the product division multi wiping campaign effort to increase activation first usage metrics, and since then the process has been on a continuous improvement path and nowadays we're doing with the same or anything since using notching and, uh, using speech to text outwards to improve the sales process.
Allison Hartsoe - 23:53 - Wow. And when you say speech to text algorithms, are you including sentiment in there too?
Jose Murillo - 23:58 - Yes. Yes. And that's the point that you've made before. I think the was the game changer is when you start really listening systematically to your customers. You'll learn a lot, and that's when you get a lot of improvement.
Allison Hartsoe - 24:15 - I noticed that the six things that you've called out, that you're really stretching across the organization, and again, it underscores the need to, one, be well positioned in the organization with a powerful executive that has your back and at the same time be able to reach across to all your different partners, whether they're in the product division or the CDO or the risk department. You've got all these different groups to reach across to get the seal, the tactics that you want to roll out to be holistically successful. I could imagine if you only had one part of that picture, it might've been very difficult to get to the level of success that you had. Would you agree?
Jose Murillo - 24:59 - Yes, I would agree. At the end of the day, it was redesigning the process. The biggest complexity I guess was the alignment to fold the stakeholders and universal. I guess that's the hardest part of, you know, having people work in the project that you think it has merit. They have to be fully convinced in the, and there's a lot of crosses. It has to be-be built within the team. You know, as any good sports team we'll do, you need to trust your teammates that are going to perform and do their part. Otherwise, in this case, is pointed out six things and there are a plethora of other things. Any one of the parts doesn't do it part. You are not going to see the wonderful outcomes that you have the potential to get.
Allison Hartsoe - 25:45 - Well. Let's talk about that. Did you see a particular outcome from this credit card project?
Jose Murillo - 25:50 - Yeah. Well, these credit card project had a very relevant impact on the business last year in 2017 to customer equity belt with this only with this project was equivalent to a $130 million seat low income. We are very happy that this case was even recognized by the industry with a Lafferty Global Award on credit card excellence. So yeah, you were very happy with these.
Allison Hartsoe - 26:18 - Wow. That's. I mean that must've made your whole team just shy. They must've felt so good.
Jose Murillo - 26:25 - Yeah. Everything is very proud of what I would say. The whole Banorte team on the product side, on the channel side, on the, you know, everybody that was involved in this redesign.
Allison Hartsoe - 26:36 - Very nice. Now if people have questions and they want to ask you more details about this particular, is it okay for them to reach out to you and how would they reach you?
Jose Murillo - 26:48 - Yes, I would be very glad to, uh, probably the most efficient way is through Linkedin.
Allison Hartsoe - 26:53 - Okay. Is there any trick to finding you at Linkedin? You know, like do they just look for Jose Murillo or do they look for more names than that?
Jose Murillo - 27:03 - I guess they put Jose Murillo, Banorte. They'll find me.
Allison Hartsoe - 27:07 - Okay, good enough. Good enough. Sometimes there's a lot of people that come up on any search on Linkedin. So let's take a minute to summarize a little bit of our conversation and then you can tell me if I missed anything. Here's what I heard first, you know when we talk about why should you care? Well, we start there, why should I care about getting my analytics investment to pay off? And the conclusion we came to here is that it's more than the payoff. It's really about being set up to succeed and kind of getting to a virtuous cycle. We talked about six factors, everything from being set up as a profit center with targets and accountability to support from the top aligned incentives, rigorous assessment of the impact or results and that's where I talk about them as being blessed by the CFO or being blessed by someone internally who's going to back up your results, good strategic communication partners across the board and finally smart people who have IQ and EQ. And. Did I miss anything there?
Jose Murillo - 28:06 - That's right.
Allison Hartsoe - 28:07 - Okay, good second. Then we talked about the kind of impact and boy, there were a lot of really good examples here, but I think what was fascinating to me it was that Banorte, it's not an instant process that year one, you pretty much had a directional CLV and then year two you refined it and it wasn't until year three, you got to that. Wow. And then we saw that in the prophets that were coming out. So in the first year, you had 46 times the cost, even though the goal was 10 and the second year you were at 106 times and the third year or 200 times. It's an amazing ramp showing that there was an awful lot of value the group could bring to the organization. Anything else you want to add to the impact?
Jose Murillo - 28:53 - I guess you summarized it perfectly.
Allison Hartsoe - 28:55 - Okay. And then finally we talked about picking a good project to start, and I particularly like your mix of not just science and business knowledge, but the political element that we shouldn't shy away from. Even though that can be hard to quantify the institutional hurdles that every organization hits. They are landmines, and you have to navigate them out of the gate. Otherwise, I think you could easily end up halfway down the path with a project and then have somebody working against you instead of all boats rowing the same direction. So the project that you pick has to have those good fundamentals, good politics, good people behind you. And it almost sounds like it to be anchored at the top of the organization to get that three-year continuous improvement path kicked off. Would you agree if I miss anything?
Jose Murillo - 29:52 - Yes, I agree. I agree. Certainly helps it to get it anchored at the top.
Allison Hartsoe - 29:57 - Excellent. Excellent. Well, as always, everything that we discussed today is going to be linked into the ambition data.com/podcast site. And on this podcast, we're going to have the link to the Corinium survey results. We're going to have the HBR case study, and then you also mentioned a book along the way that I'll pick up from you from Yuval Harari, and I want to make sure we link to that as well, so we'll include that. Jose, I want to thank you for joining today is it's such a pleasure to have you.
Jose Murillo - 30:28 - Thank you for having me. Allison. I love your show.
Allison Hartsoe - 30:31 - Thank you so much. Now, remember, when you use your data effectively, you can build customer equity. It's not magic. It's just a very specific journey that you can follow to get results. Thank you for joining today's show. This is Allison, just a few things before you head out. Every Friday I put together a short bulleted list of three to five things I've seen that represent customer equity signal, not noise, and believe me, there's a lot of noise out there. I actually call this email the signal things I include could be smart tools. I've run across articles, I've shared cool statistics or people and companies I think are doing amazing work, building customer equity. If you'd like to receive this nugget of goodness each week, you can sign up at ambitiondata.com, and you'll get the very next one. I hope you enjoy The Signal. See you next week on the Customer Equity Accelerator.