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VoC Case Study: RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge

by Susan O'Neill.

How do you plan and build out the next generation of banking products and services for an increasingly empowered yet cynical consumer base of young adults? RBC’s Next  Great  Innovator Challenge, designed by Delvinia, demonstrates how crowdsourcing—one of our VoC offerings—was used to source solutions from Canada’s next generation of economic and financial leaders.

The Situation

RBC Royal Bank’s Innovation team came to Delvinia with a head scratcher: How do you plan and build out the next generation of banking products and services for an increasingly empowered yet cynical consumer base of young adults? This audience, and business students in particular, has specific needs; and RBC needed a new way to meet those needs.

The Solution

The RBC Next Great Innovator competition was conceived to gain insights into what innovations young adults wanted to see in banking within the next 30 years. Delvinia developed a comprehensive digital program incorporating social media with a cutting-edge web site, and developed content to engage participants throughout the competition’s six-month lifecycle. Project components included a Virtual Agent (avatar)-hosted key information guide, a competition blog (with RSS), teaser-based video presentation and SMS and Mobile Text Alerts.

The Results

They not only told us what they thought would happen tomorrow, they spoke about what they wanted today.

In the first year, the Challenge saw 269 registered and validated teams, representing 538% of the program target of 50 participants. The competition also experienced the following successes:

  • 927 registered students participated in the competition
  • The competition blog had, on average, 200 weekly unique visitors
  • 45 Canadian universities were represented in total registered teams (only 18 universities were actively marketed to), indicating that more than half of the registered teams are the result of viral communications
  • Competition interest was positive as university students outside of business faculties (the key target) registered teams

Finally, the Challenge has been a topic of interest and conversation across international blogs, with positive opinion and discussion and the entries yielded other online initiatives that RBC has since put into place.