How Retail Consumer Banks Can Better Reach Consumers Online
Buying ads online and reaching lots of consumers is relatively easy. For retail bank advertisers looking to attract new customers online, the biggest challenge is to deliver ads that actually grab consumers’ attention and help drive them to open an account as well.
That last piece complicates retail bank advertising even further, because banks have very different criteria than other advertisers. Where a Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company may be content driving a small one-time purchase, retail banks need consumers to understand the value of their offering, and then commit a significant sum of money over an extended period of time by opening an account.
Therefore, banking advertisers have to target consumers who have the willingness and the means to open these kinds of accounts. By using advanced data sets that help segment consumers by specific banking propensities, bank advertisers can target online consumers with greater precision, allowing them to serve relevant online advertising that help enhance branding and drive direct response performance.
Better data for better results
For years, the key driver in online advertising has been behavioral tracking, which allows advertisers and their partners to make assumptions based on a consumer’s online behavior (such as the pages they visit). Armed with this information, advertisers can infer if a consumer is a frequent traveler, or in the market for an automobile, or shopping for new shoes across several online retailers.
But building an online campaign strategy around behavioral targeting alone will not help retail banks hit all of their marketing goals. Whether the campaign is built around online branding or a direct-response initiative, banks want to reach consumers who are not only looking for a bank account, but who have the assets to make a minimum deposit. Behavioral tracking can help identify those who meet the first requirement, but not the second.
One of the best ways to identify a qualified audience is to combine the behavior-level data with supplemental data sets that allow a view of likely consumer financial qualifications. Some banks need new customers to surpass a certain opening deposit for the bank itself to earn a profit. If the online ad campaign only hits consumers who fail to hit this minimum, then the bank could end up losing money even while it drives new accounts.
Prioritizing qualified consumers
Using Equifax’s Retail Banking Propensity Segments to look at financial information on a neighborhood level, retail bank advertisers can reach consumers on a much deeper level than simple behavior-based inferences. For example, they can reach segments based on:
- High Net Worth: A population whose estimated investable assets are likely to be $1MM+.
- High Deposits: A population likely to have $50k+ in deposits.
- MMDA Investors: A population most likely to have investments in money market deposit accounts.
- Young and On the Road to Wealth: A population whose estimated age and income indicate a likelihood of high future net worth.
Armed with this information, bank advertisers can better steer their ads toward prospects that exhibit high net worth and a propensity to invest in a money market account, for example. For campaigns that leverage third-party inventory sources, such as ad exchanges or real-time bidding trading desks, audience segments built around these and similar financial measures reduce ad spend on consumers outside the target. The targeting itself occurs in near real-time, first checking the consumer against the qualified criteria and then seamlessly serving the ad. This helps enable bank advertisers to allocate their online advertising dollars more effectively.
Developed by the IXI Services division of Equifax, the financial measures underlying these targeting segments are from a variety of data sources, including proprietary IXI wealth insights and aggregated Equifax credit information – anonymous data that are ZIP+4 specific. That gives advertisers the ability to target certain types of audience, without the use of any personally identifiable information.
There are lots of data choices out there, but many are built around the sometimes-faulty assumptions that come with behavioral tracking. Advertisers should bolster their campaigns with additional data sources that allow them to cross-reference other criteria — household income, spending trends – on an anonymous, privacy-friendly level. By targeting banking customers with advanced data, advertisers can help ensure they’re delivering a relevant message that allows them to meet their campaign goals.
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