Segmentation as a change agent.

How SunTrust used a customer-centric approach to inform brand strategy, improve marketing tactics, and drive organizational transformation.




  • Advertising
  • Segmentation

The Challenge

Creating a Modern, Customer-Centric Model.

SunTrust, a leading financial services firm, was relying on a product and wealth-based view of their customers. While this traditional approach worked in the past, it was leaving them vulnerable to new and increasingly sophisticated competition. Senior management decided the bank had to shift from its traditional product-focused model to a customer-centric model that would address customers and prospects on the basis of their needs and goals.

Our Client's goals were to:

  • Create consumer segments based on specific needs and goals
  • Improve brand strategy

The Results

Sophisticated Consumer Segments Based on Customer Needs.

The segmentation formed the foundation for SunTrust’s brand strategy, which both identified and targeted consumer segments. It was also central to a body of work mapping the future of SunTrust’s retail banking (along with priority product and service innovations).

As part of the brand strategy, the segmentation supported defining and designing differentiated client experience within the call center, which helped manage down costs and improve revenue from targeted segments. On a tactical level, algorithms linking the segmentation with third party and bank transactional data helped target DM to the most valuable households with the most effective messages.

How We Helped:

  • Created and prioritized consumer segments based on goals & needs, rather than products, life stage, or assets
  • Developed and led workshops to train executives in consumer-based approaches to create segment-specific value propositions
  • Partnered in creating algorithms to identify segment members based on third-party and transactional data
  • Tested advertising concepts created for each segment

SunTrust has been on a journey to evolve from a product-focused organization to a more client-focused organization. Understanding the unique needs of our different clients and helping articulate a clear value proposition for them was just the fuel we needed to drive the kind of transformation we are seeing in our company. CMB was vital a thought leader in both guiding the process, but also helping ensure we spread the transformation through the organization.

Jeff VanDeVelde

SVP, Director of Client Experience and Loyalty, SunTrust Bank

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Our People

Meet our top-notch team
who made all the difference.

Amy Modini VP, Practice Leader

About the Client

A trusted advocate for your interests.

SunTrust is an American bank whose purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. Banking services and products from SunTrust Bank including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, wealth management and retirement. Learn more about SunTrust here.