Proposition managers

Proposition managers are the owners of a portfolio of customers that the bank wants to grow, and their job is to develop and manage the bank’s propositions so that they realise customer’s dreams, solve their problems, or help them get a job done. It includes the products and services the customer needs and how these are delivered and managed by the customer.

To achieve this, they collaborate with colleagues from other departments and teams, including product management, marketing, risk management, compliance, operations, and distribution teams, to define how the proposition is promoted and delivered to customers.

One of their key behaviours is being able to empathise with their portfolio of customers, to understand the customers, their attitudes, behaviours, and needs. This is crucial, as a proposition manager who can’t empathise with their portfolio may, through their confirmation biases, misinterpret the information, develop a proposition that customers don’t want to buy and use, resulting in losing customers and their value.

For example, a young proposition manager, who graduated from university a couple of years ago would be well suited to empathising with student or graduate customers, who want to get their first job, find somewhere to live, and perhaps travel. But they may not empathise with a portfolio of customers nearing retirement, to whom the bank wants to offer retirement services.

Likewise, a proposition manager nearing retirement may be a bad choice for a student or graduate portfolio. We outline what a student proposition might look like in the next section ‘Ability to get, grow and keep valuable customers’, that shows how a proposition manager needs to ‘think like a student’ to help solve some of their ‘problems’.

Customer Insight Manager

This role belongs to a member of the Proposition Manager’s team who creates valuable customer insight and hypotheses by working with the market research team, other departments, and the technically skilled customer analytics team.

Customer Analytics Team

At a retail bank, the role of the customer analytics team is to create customer segmentation models using customer behaviour and value data, and to track all customer contact.

The retail bank may have several analytics teams that include customer management, risk, fraud, finance, and operations support. Sometimes, to save on costs and ration scarce resources, the bank may combine all analysts into one team, with business managers allocating resources to departments on a project basis.

A customer analytics team must be dedicated to retail banking for it to develop an understanding of its customers’ problems and dreams and use to their skills and ability to create valuable insights. This diagram summarises their role. The data, and their analysis skills and experience are discussed further in Level II.

Flower, Graham and Fawcett, Phil, Managing Information in Financial Services (Financial World Publishing, 2000. Updated 2021.)