Cynthia A. Graham, who left the helm of Barnett Banks Inc.'s credit card program in 1997, has resurfaced as manager of the data mining operation at National City Corp. of Cleveland.
Ms. Graham, who started her new job in October, oversees data base marketing and data warehousing for the retail bank-not the credit card side.
National City hopes to build up its capabilities to cross-sell retail banking services and attract new customers in its midwestern markets.
"For a regional bank, it's very important to be sure your customers are aware that a variety of products they need are available," said Ms. Graham, executive vice president of retail sales and distribution. "What we're trying to do is break through the marketing clutter."
The responsibilities are familiar ones for Ms. Graham, who spent 10 years at Barnett Card Services Corp. in Jacksonville, Fla., and spearheaded a data base marketing program for credit cards. She was president of the cards division her last seven years at Barnett, which has since been absorbed into BankAmerica Corp.
National City has been using data base marketing for about three years, and in the past two years it has expanded the effort to include data warehouse functions. The programs use computer modeling of customer data to determine which products and services match customers' needs at different times.
Ms. Graham said her first priority is to take the information in National City's data warehouse and apply statistical modeling techniques to it in order to "prequalify customers for particular products."
Response rates and product utilization rates will be tracked over time to refine the bank's target customer list for different products.
"This allows you to take the same marketing dollars and expand the number of accounts you can garner with those dollars," Ms. Graham said. "You can either look at it as achieving higher growth-which is the name of the game in today's world-or as lowering expenses, which is also important."
The modeling techniques in retail banking are similar to those used by credit card issuers. Ms. Graham cited two monoline credit card specialists- Capital One Financial Corp. and Providian Bancorp.-as pioneers in data mining.
"You are seeing more banks looking for more ways to leverage the intellectual insight they've gained in the card business and translate that over into other bank product areas," she said.
Ms. Graham said she believes the information stored and manipulated in data bases can help even large banks keep careful track of their customers' financial needs.
"When you're a locally operated regional bank, there's a good opportunity for you to have an intimacy with the customer and to really understand them," she said.
While at Barnett, Ms. Graham, 48, oversaw the management of $1.6 billion of card receivables. She introduced data base marketing efforts targeted at both existing and prospective customers.
Before Barnett, she worked in retail credit and collections and product development at Barclays American Corp., a defunct Charlotte, N.C., subsidiary of Barclays Bank.
At National City, Ms. Graham reports to James R. Bell 3d, a corporate executive vice president and head of retail sales and distribution.
Mr. Bell said, "Data base marketing has become one of our most important and successful sales initiatives in recent years, and it is crucial that we have a top-notch expert such as Cynthia to lead this program into future phases of development."
"What really appealed to me about this opportunity is that I can work with a broad product array," Ms. Graham said. "The bank has a high level of commitment to data warehousing and what it can do."