Brian Knollenberg, VP Digital Marketing and Analytics
For this month's BECU Expert Q & A, we sat down with Brian Knollenberg, Vice President, Digital Marketing and Analytics, to learn more about him and the data insights he and his team bring to BECU.
How long have you been with BECU?
I joined BECU in August of 2016, so that makes it almost three and a half years now.
What is your role, and what kinds of work does your team do?
My official title is Vice President of Digital Marketing and Analytics, so my team of awesome people has a broad scope. We work across four main areas of the co-op: Analytics and Insight, Member and Product Strategy, Marketing Technology, and Voice of the Member. We work on things like understanding what products and services our members engage with, how we might suggest other products and services we offer, executing outbound campaigns like emails, display and search media (Paid), configuring and deploying our Marketing Cloud implementation, and listening to/responding to inquiries from our members on social channels. Those are representative things we do, but the team does so much more to try and enhance the financial health of our members and communities.
What do you find most interesting about data and analytics?
I like solving problems and have a curious mind. Some of the things that are really interesting about data and analytics is that there's always learning to be done. Math and statistics can be one part of it, but I often find that starting with a good hunch and verifying it with data is one of the most satisfying aspects. Some people say that you're either analytical or you're gut-driven, but I think the balance is what works best and doing the right thing isn't always supported by the data. Finally, results can surprise you, so it's never boring and offers opportunities for continuous learning.
What's something that people may not know about the work your team does or a fun fact?
I'd say the kinds of education people on my team have is surprising. It's a little known fact that people who studied liberal arts are thriving in the digital economy. Critical thinking and communication skills are more important than ever, and we mix those with a healthy dose of ethics aligned to our purpose. Other skills can be taught.
What is your favorite part about the work you do here at BECU?
I'd have to say the ability to do the right thing for our members. I've worked in a lot of large profit-driven corporations and spent many years chasing quarterly numbers. Working for a cooperative, we have a different point of view and I've been able to bring that to my day-to-day work. If something doesn't feel right to us for the membership, we typically don't do it.
Is there anything we can look forward to in the future from the work of your team? (Updates, new services, efficiencies, etc.)
I get excited about our lifecycle communication programs that are associated with our products. Members expect us to know them and provide relevant updates like when a payment is due, how to get assistance, or where their local branch is. We are continually striving to proactively provide helpful information like that to our members on the right channel, so they don't have to seek it out. If we can surprise and delight, it makes me feel like we did a good job in that area.