How Financial Marketers Can Utilize Programmatic to Take Advantage of Market Fluctuations

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In advertising, staying the same means falling behind.  Given changes taking place in the world, from Brexit to major changes in U.S. administration creating uncertainty over trade policies, financial institutions of all kinds – B2B and B2C – face similar challenges. When faced with these fluctuations, marketers need strategies that allow them flexibility in messaging and the ability to switch tactics quickly while remaining on task.

It’s not just market fluctuations affecting strategy. With disruption from app based banking to ‘robot-advice’ centers for online wealth management, new threats to the way things have traditionally been done are arriving all the time. When it comes to branding and advertising, going digital is a necessity – a fact that U.S. marketers appear to be aware of, spending $8.37B on digital advertising in 2016. So, what are the best ways for financial marketers to get the most ROI?

Personalization and the importance of context

Driving engagement and encouraging customers to perform an action is the overarching goal of most well thought out campaigns – whether performance or branding. Research shows that a call to action performs 42% better when targeted with a personalized message than those that were generic. As many financial audiences are niche, it’s important to make every interaction count. Segment your first party data in your data management platform (DMP) or CRM into audience types and serve each segment messages with context. Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) can tailor advertising to potential clients in a more unique way – using site behavior and message exposure to make messaging more likely to resonate.

Creative can be set up depending on market fluctuations as well. If you work for an investment management company for instance, you can set up creative to only activate when there’s a specific level of volatility in the markets, linked to live exchange rates. Specific creative can then be sent to encourage potential investors to trade more at points in the day.

UK bank Atom took personalization to the next level with their 2015 campaign – they let customers make their own personalized logo, color palette and use face, fingerprint and voice biometrics to securely log into the app. The aim was to help customers understand money better by being more engaged and focusing more on the customer than the bank itself. For a bank that is app only – with no physical branches – personalization is essential to help replace the one-on-one experience and give a warmer approach to what could otherwise be a detached experience.

Messaging through the consumer journey

What is said to a prospect before they arrive on an advertiser’s site should vary depending on whether they’re a repeat customer or a new visitor.  For complex products or purchases, a prospect will conduct more research, so there’s an opportunity for brands to share more meaningful information with that prospect knowing where they’ve been on your site, what content they’ve seen and even how far they went in and order before abandoning.

Having a progression of messages is more likely to influence customers at the various points in their decision making.  For instance, perhaps they went as far as your pricing page, but didn’t transact. That could mean there’s price sensitivity and you may choose to focus on building value.  Or if you know they’ve purchased your entry-level product, there’s an opportunity to up-sell them to the next tier. Data from digital advertising is there to be used to your advantage.

Make advertising omni-channel

There’s often a misconception with programmatic advertising that placement quality won’t be as good as when buying from a publisher directly. Private marketplaces (PMP) allow the marketer to apply programmatic methods of 1:1 targeting while securing quality inventory — often at reduced prices.  This enables your brand to test the most contextually targeted sites and put more of your advertising spend where the best results are.

When you’re ready to expand to other channels, programmatic is a useful tool to get core messages in front of your customers across devices. Synchronising your TV ads with digital ensures strong brand alignment across devices at key moments, reinforcing messages. Also, as the closest digital format to TV commercials, Connected TV also offers a way to build on your base TV plan across all screens and formats, and extend the life of your video.

In 2015, Western Union conducted an award winning omni-channel campaign, promoted across display, social, email, website, celebrity endorsement and physical events over the course of 11 months. Their American Dream Sweepstakes campaign offered cash prizes to US customers over 18 years old to encourage engagement and a higher frequency of platform interaction. Customers also had the chance to be featured in the Western Union video by sharing a picture of video on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #WUAmericanDream. The results were more than 13 million eligible entries from across America.

Customer segments and niche targeting

Just as finance is about precision, so is programmatic advertising. As with anything, the more targeted and niche you go with something, the higher the CPM may become.  However, by targeting more desirable audiences, you’ll likely find your ROI improves as well. If you’re targeting high net worth individuals for example, or a very defined portion of the population, there are many effective programmatic approaches open to you.

Technology is changing the very nature of advertising, much as it has the world of finance. Many of the same principals are being applied.  It is an enabler for marketers who are ready to embrace change and actively learn from their data, and apply that knowledge to short and long-term success.

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