Will help increase my retail banking business thinks Citigroup. Citigroup, according to today’s Wall Street Journal in its article, “Bricks and Motor Loom Larger for Citigroup,” lags behind competitors in deposits because its retail business is weak. Consumers want a physical presence according to the Journal, “Like other big banks, Citigroup hopes the expansion will generate revenue by getting traditional savings- and checking-account customers to sign up for its mortgages, credit cards and other financial products. That strategy also has been fueled by the realization among executives that customers still want to stop into a brick-and-mortar branch form some of their banking needs, even if they pay their bills online or make transactions through automated-teller machines.”
Remember the late 90s when having a physical presence was ridiculed? The business model of the future was efficient, convenient, low-cost online transactions. But for large complex organizations such as Citigroup, there is no one business model, but a balance of multiple elements. Obtaining information about, analyzing, and truly understanding the myriad of elements is difficult for competitors. Citigroup may not understand exactly how each element contributes to its success; how can you?
You need to constantly monitor and analyze information about a complex competitor. You need to create a baseline analysis and periodically update it. If a major change such as significant acquisition or divestiture occurs, do a special update.