Engaging with perpetually connected customers is something you can't fake, and when you engage, you create expectations that need to be met. This is one of the key messages Yannick Grecourt, Head of Strategy and Marketing at Deutsche Bank Belgium, shared with me when I talked to him recently in preparation for his speech at our Forrester Forum for Marketing Leaders EMEA

Q: How does Deutsche Bank Belgium prioritize the most important channels for reaching customers?

A: Confronted with remarks on why other banks were developing new initiatives and we were not, we were forced to share our direction with all the internal divisions explaining the prioritization process. We decided to divide all channels into two categories: the managed and integrated channels, and the ‘non-integrated’ channels, and we used the customer journey to define all possible touch points. For the integrated category, the most important elements are alignment and relevancy, whereas for the non-integrated the judgment call is made based on the impact to the integrated channels.

Q: How do digital channels improve the advisor/client relationship?

A: A key impact of the financial crisis was the increasing involvement of clients in the management of their portfolio. As a consequence, clients were in search of more frequent contact but in a more and more digitalized environment. The development of a new advisory approach included a new online platform that has allowed us to align the tools we provide to our clients with the tools we use internally. As a matter of fact, our clients are sharing the same tools and information as our advisors do. Over time, clients are also getting used to how important/urgent a message is depending on the channel.

Q: As the key executive in a local market, how do you work with Deutsche Bank global on digital and mobile strategies? Who leads when?

A: Views cannot always be aligned. Global is looking for initiatives that fit the needs of most countries and where synergies in the roll-out can be achieved. Local is looking for initiatives that are reinforcing the strategic approach for a country. Locally we will continue to be frustrated when we don't get more from the Group that can be reused to solve our local challenges, but it is our responsibility to develope local initiatives that they can be rolled-out globally. The question on the leadership is easy for me: The client’s needs lead.

Hear more from Yannick Grecourt in May at Forrester's Forum for Marketing Leaders EMEA, May 21-22 in London.