SPSS Analytics Partner | Case Study – First Tennessee Bank

Case Study – First Tennessee Bank


The need

To achieve its goal of doubling annualsales of online accounts by 2019, First Tennessee Bank (FTB) needed to give
customers a smoother journey through the account sign-up process – but how?
The solution

FTB implemented IBM® Digital Analytics to capture, monitor and analyze real-world customer behavior on its website and mobile app, and identify opportunities for improving the user experience.
The benefit

More user-friendly online and mobile journeys drive more customers to complete the account sign-up process. Ongoing monitoring helps to continuously assess and improve the user experience.

First Tennessee Bank

Winning new business online with streamlined
customer journeys across all devices

The growth of online connectivity is changing customer expectations of retail banking. Today, the ability to offer anywhere, anytime banking services is often a prerequisite for winning new business – but how can retail banks ensure that they are delivering a positive customer experience across all channels?

First Tennessee Bank (FTB) deployed IBM Digital Analytics software to gain fresh insight into the way customers interact with its website, mobile site and mobile app – helping it to identify and apply user experience improvements that drive new account openings.
Setting the scene

Founded in 1864 and headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, FTB is a leading financial services company. With total assets of USD26 billion and serving more than 460,000 households across the State, the bank offers a range of retail banking services including checking accounts, mortgages and insurance.

“The popularity of mobile devices is exploding, and retail banks must meet high expectations for anytime, anywhere banking services. “IBM Digital Analytics is helping us identify ways to create a streamlined customer journey on every device – delivering the positive experiences that turn prospects into customers,” says Nicole West, 

Manager – Web Analytics, First Tennessee Bank.

Solution components


  • IBM® Digital Analytics
  • IBM Campaign
  • IBM Cognos® Business Intelligence
  • IBM Detect
  • IBM Interact
  • IBM SPSS® Modeler
  • IBM SPSS Statistics

High-quality experiences on every device

With the popularity of online and mobile banking on the rise, FTB wanted to ensure that its customers could access their banking services easily through every device.

Nicole West, Manager – Web Analytics, First Tennessee Bank, explains: “Customers expect faster, more responsive banking services than ever before, which means that online banking is a major opportunity to win new business. By 2019, we aim to double the number of online accounts that are opened every year.

“Digital banking isn’t just about desktop browsers: it’s a truly mobile-driven phenomenon. For example, 60 percent of our monthly traffic now comes from our mobile channels, which include our mobile site and banking app.”


Winning new customers online

To meet customers’ expectations for fast, reliable and easily accessible online and mobile banking services, FTB wanted to deliver a seamless customer experience across all devices.

“Our previous approach to web analytics meant that not all pages were tagged correctly – making it extremely difficult to identify and address potential ‘sticking points’ along the customer journey,” says West.

“Furthermore, our limited reporting capabilities meant we could only review the situation once per month. From elsewhere in the business, we know that if we can’t detect and respond to an opportunity quickly enough, our chances of converting a prospect into a customer drop dramatically. To maximize our ability to win new business online, increasing the frequency and depth of our reporting was therefore a key priority.”


Selecting the right partner

To help achieve its goals for the e-commerce platform, FTB decided to refresh its digital analytics strategy with IBM Analytics software.

“Our marketing department has relied on IBM analytics solutions such as IBM SPSS® and Cognos® Business Intelligence for many years now, so we know first-hand that deep insight is a powerful tool to drive sales,” says West.

“Based on our positive experiences with our existing IBM Netinsight® On Demand solution for web analytics, we
were confident that IBM Digital Analytics would meet our operational requirements.”

FTB performed an audit of its existing approach to analytics, and  identified the new processes and capabilities required to achieve the target state.

“We have a major website redesign underway, and IBM Digital Analytics will be instrumental in our approach to designing the new platform.”

—Nicole West, Manager – Web Analytics, First Tennessee Bank

“Early on in the implementation process, we realized that nurturing a culture of web analytics was vital to meet our goals,” says West. “We wanted to ensure that all of our people understood the importance of tagging content correctly, and the mechanics of tagging in the new IBM solution.”


Smooth migration

Working together with IBM, the bank migrated 12 years of historical business data from its IBM Netinsight On Demand software to the latest IBM Digital Analytics solution.

“Throughout the project, the assistance we received from the IBM team was faultless,” West adds. “Any time we needed support, their expert advice was only an email away.”


Understanding the customer journey

Today, FTB continues to identify opportunities for improvements to the online and mobile customer journey – helping to drive positive customer experiences and boost sales of new online accounts.

“We get detailed web traffic reports every week,” says West. “Moving from monthly to weekly reports means we are far more reactive to customer experience issues such as broken links, which might otherwise go undetected.”

West continues: “As soon as the solution went live, we immediately targeted the low-hanging fruit: small improvements that make a big difference to our customers’ online experiences. One of the first things we looked at was our homepage on the desktop site. By drilling into our analytics data we discovered page functionality wasn’t providing an optimal user experience.

“Based on this insight, we changed our home page offer carousel from six ads to three. We also improved the way the log in functionality worked, enabling customers to access our services 13 percent faster. Small improvements like these add up, and have contributed to a three percent bounce-rate reduction.”


Driving positive experiences on all devices

FTB is now using its deeper insights into mobile customer behavior to drive experience improvements across all devices.
“Mobile is a central part of our strategy, and IBM Digital Analytics is already offering us valuable insights in this space,” says West.

“For example, we can now give our web development team detailed information on the types of mobile devices that are most popular among our customers. This helps them to tailor the mobile experience according to real-world usage data. We expect the new solution to be equally important in supporting the development of our mobile banking apps.”


Ensuring sales campaign ROI

The IBM solution is also helping the bank to improve return on investment for its online campaigns.

“Comparing traffic across the site on a weekly level helps us to ensure that our paid ads are delivering the expected net present value,” says West. “If we see that certain keywords are not performing as expected, we can identify ways to refine our search optimization strategy to drive traffic to the site.”

Ready for the future

After taking the first steps on its web analytics journey, FTB is now planning to harness the full capabilities of the IBM solution.

“We have a major website redesign underway, and IBM Digital Analytics will be instrumental in our approach to designing the new platform,” says West. “A/B testing is a feature that we are particularly excited about. This will enable us to roll out experience changes to a select portion of our online users, and monitor their reaction to test whether those changes make the site easier to use.”

West concludes: “Our goal is to make it easier for customers to do business with us on every channel. Today, we have all the tools we need to deliver an outstanding mobile banking service across every device: helping us win new customers and supporting our goal of doubling online account sales by 2019.”

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