2022 Winner – ENBD Big data personalization & use of influencers and social media rewarded – Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards
Emirates NBD


Emirates NBD (ENBD) won the Best Use of Big Data in Customer Strategy at the RBI APAC Awards 2022 for its Multiplier Effect (ME) next best action strategy using big data techniques to drive personalization, satisfaction and profitability at the bank. It also won the Best Social Media Campaign and the Best Use of Influencer Marketing at the annual awards held on 23 June.

The #FastWithFriends project uses influencers to encourage social cohesion and understanding during the muslim holy month of Ramadan in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). It encourages non-muslims in the very diverse Dubai community, which has 8.84 million ex-pats and 1.15 million Emiratis, to join the fast or at least be aware and respectful to those who are fasting.

Ramadan requires muslims to abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk for 30 days. Its impact is noticeable in everyday Dubai life as there are different rush hour timings, sometimes shorter work times, and people may be tired, as they eat at night, or hungry during the day, requiring increased understanding and awareness of culturally appropriate manners. This is what the #FastWithFriends influencer campaign seeks to encourage, while also soliciting donations to the Al Jalila children’s hospital, as one of the main tenants of Ramadan is to do social good.

ENBD partnered with UAE-based influencers who challenged their non-Muslim friends and followers to fast with them to raise awareness of the values of Ramadan. Rima Zahran; Hind bel Jaffa; Nourhan el Gouhary; Virdah Khan; and Manal Muffin all have large followings and participated in the campaign.

#FastWithFriends ran on a variety of social platforms and in various formats (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok), along with the creation of a unique and measurable GIPHY to ensure personalization and active engagement. It was supported by a press release and accompanying bank social media efforts.

  • Over 1,150 non-muslims from around the UAE participated in the fasting challenge.
  • Resulting in a donation of AED 500,000 Emirati Dirhams (US$136,147) to Al Jalila children’s hospital.

The campaign reach was 10m+ people and engagement with 1.34m measured.

Social media car, people empowerment & a new strategy pivot win recognition

The influencer campaign was one of many projects that won ENBD the Best Social Media accolade at the RBI Awards 2002, with the SaveWinDrive promotion another contributing factor. This was designed to celebrate the UAE’s national day on 2 December 2021 marking 50 years since the Emirates were founded in 1971.

For this Golden Jubilee a special edition Mercedes car with this name, only 50 of which were made, was offered to three savers at the bank. There were also 54 Breitling Aerospace watches available in the widespread promotion.

The #PeopleWithoutLimits empowerment program also contributed massively towards ENBD’s win in the social media category and was recognized as being particularly noteworthy. It highlighted the diverse community from around the world that has helped build Dubai over the last 50 years into the huge metropolis it is now with massive financial, tourist and other industrial footprints. The aim was to encourage people to think positively, empower and train themselves, embrace innovative thinking and see what individuals and collectives can do when there are #PeopleWithoutLimits.

A campaign across social channels and traditional billboards with hashtags, evaluator screens, bank branches and at the Expo 2020 park, held in 2021 in Dubai due to Covid-19, highlighted how Dubai and the UAE has advanced since its formation 50 years ago.

For example, launching a Hope probe to Mars recently, building the Burj Khalifa world’s tallest building in Dubai, and becoming the first in the region to host an Expo futuristic fair that showcases what humans are capable of now and in the decades ahead in the fields of science, technology, sustainability and so on. The campaign got:

  • Seven million views on social media with 5m impressions registered,
  • 50% of which came from YouTube, and
  • 46% from

The other main reason why ENBD won the Best Social Media trophy at the Awards was a reframing of its campaigns following the advent of Covid-19, which placed the emphasis on ‘no contact’ digital marketing and a pivot towards social media. This started with a marketing program for credit cards unveiled in 2019 that quickly had to be revised. ENBD responded by:

  • Optimizing the entire social media marketing and sales funnel with clear key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success as the business pivoted.
  • Leveraging the Persado artificial intelligence (AI) marketing platform to drive personalization at scale.
  • Introducing a gamified recommendation engine to help social media users traverse the messy exploration and evaluation stages of a ‘buy’ decision.
  • Developing a mobile-first Direct to Customer (D2C) digital solution for product applications.

Optimizing the digital acquisition funnel through performance marketing and data-driven insights

The objective of the new framework was to control the rising the cost of acquisition on digital channels and optimize it by:

  • Using the power of social media to drive awareness, consideration & purchase of ENBD products.
  • Scaling up the overall digital share of
  • Grow the ‘new to bank’ customer profile, especially among tech savvy youngsters.

Apply ‘Personalization @ Scale’: this is a key pillar of the so-called 5R marketing strategy at ENBD that focus on identifying the Right Customer, Right Channel, Right Time, Right Offer & Right Message.

By using AI to aid personalization and targeted social media, customers learned about new products and the improved straight-through processing (STP) credit card application procedure, explaining that there was no longer any need to submit documents in-branch.

It was made plain that a user-friendly desktop and mobile website, or app, could be used to guide customers through the revised Covid-19 secure application process. This ensured faster document processing and quicker card disbursements. The lessons learnt by the pivot towards social media and how best to deploy it have been shared with other divisions of the bank.

Selected benefits of the social media pivot include an increase in website traffic by 30% and the digital share of business at the bank up by 10%. Other benefits include:

  • 56% increase in average monthly leads & 51% increase in average monthly conversions.
  • Social channel is now driving more than 70% of ‘new to bank’ customers.
  • Better audience quality driven via social channels v non-digital channels, with a higher mix of premium card customers evident.
  • 42% higher monthly revenue per account sourced through social This proves the success of the personalization drive.

Best use of big data

The Multiplier Effect (ME) framework is a next best action strategy used by ENBD with big data techniques to act on personalization, propensity and profitability pillars. It has been deployed at the bank to drive satisfaction and profit by recommending targeted next best action tips to consumers or agents serving them, winning ENBD the Big Data Strategy RBI APAC Award.

The framework has also helped to better target and amplify the bank’s award-winning social media

campaigns, as described above. The end-to-end non- siloed ME framework ranges across the bank and solves three main problems:

  • Whom to Target? Focusing on right targeting with propensity (to act) models available across all bank products and activities, such as Acquisition / Activation actions; Build/Deepening relationships; Retention draws; Win back imperatives.
  • What to Sell? Identifying high revenue generating products & actions for every customer based on their profiles and revenue models that account for key financial attributes. Marrying the propensities with expected revenue estimates, maximizes profitability.
  • How to Communicate? Effective personalized communication with customer preferred channels maximizes It also cuts customer fatigue from mass bombardment of communications and lowers costs.

Its initial deployment in the cards arena has delivered results, with a 15% uptick in incremental revenue opportunities. Examples of its use include:

  • Card customers: are now pitched the best single product based on the ME recommendation by both call center agents and digital campaigns, driving conversions up by almost 10% and cutting irrelevant communications by 30%. The scattergun approach with multiple products pushed is no more.
  • Debit card retention campaigns: based on ME generated profiles and targeting, customer retention is much more effective, keeping 33% incremental spends within the bank that otherwise would have left.
  • Liabilities balance build model: captures 70% of customers identified as being able to increase their balance because they are in the top 20% of the population.
  • FX propensity activation model: operates in a targeted foreign exchange (FX) segment where now 60% of activations came from just 30% of customers pre-identified by ME. This was important during Covid-19 when many of
    the usual acquisition channels and events were closed. A similar credit card spend activation model captured 70% of activations from a 30% eligible base.

    With the Multiplier Effect framework ENBD has moved from a product-centric approach to a more customer- centric methodology where customers are targeted with personalized communications and relevant marketing via their preferred channel, with digital obviously taking the lead during Covid-19 and its eminence remaining since.

    The aim is to improve conversion rates, cut unwanted contact and improve the user experience (UX), and this is already evident. All available data is used to feed the next best step engine and ME is now being rolled out across the bank and further refined. If data is the new oil, ENBD has struck a rich seam.

    ENBD was also HC: Highly Commended at the Retail Banker International (RBI): Asia-Pacific (APAC) Trailblazer Awards 2022 in the following categories: Best Application of Data Analytics; and Best Advance in Customer Relationship Management.