8. Earnest uses unconventional data to offer student loan refinancing
Earnest, founded in 2013, is another successful example of an “insights-driven business” that uses data and machine learning to competitive advantage, said McCormick. The student loan refinancing startup uses about 100,000 data points on potential customers — much more than traditional lenders consider — to more accurately determine who is a safe bet or a high risk for a loan. Earnest’s algorithms look at public online and social media behavior as well as previous loan defaults, among other considerations, and bring it all together without the data silos that stymie more established financial services firms. As Earnest itself puts it: “We use data other lenders don’t — like your savings patterns, investments, and career trajectory — to give you the rate you deserve.” The company also offers personal loans.
9. Jyske Bank is also a media company
Jyske Bank is the only media company that is also a bank, Pulizzi noted. In 2007, the Danish bank recognized the need to get its message out to customers at a time when YouTube was becoming popular. The company invested thousands of dollars in building one of Denmark’s most high-tech video production facilities. Initially, the videos were just for employees. But within a year, Jyske Bank TV was producing content for a much broader audience that includes interviews with Denmark’s top business and political leaders. Content is produced in English and Danish using global correspondents. Jyske Bank TV reporters have even asked the company’s CEO tough questions on air. And its videos have won multiple awards, Pulizzi said.
10. Keurig blends IoT with customer experience
Keurig Green Mountain has sold more than 60 million coffee brewers into 26.3 million homes and 1.5 million commercial and hospitality locations, said Ryan Scott, vice president of digital and innovation at Keurig Green Mountain. Money-saving deals have percolated much of that growth. But to continue growing, Keurig needed another strategy. The company created an online quiz to compare food flavors to coffee, helping customers discover new brews. Customers also receive a ‘blind taste test kit’ with coffees that match their profile as well as others that don’t, encouraging them to expand their palettes. And Keurig has sold 15,000 ‘smart’ coffee makers that help identify how opt-in consumers use its coffee pods. Keurig is using that data and machine learning to create a better experience for its customers, Scott said.
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