Published: 04.12.2021




Data and Audience

Real World Stories

Doubling Down on Digital — Acquiring New Customers With Targeted Media

In our Anatomy of a Solution series, we take a look at some direct challenges and disruptive solutions that Amsive has driven for clients. This week, we talk digital media and account acquisition for a mid-tier regional financial client during COVID.

The Basics

A longtime regional financial institution client in the mid-tier size range, with over one dozen affiliate branches, looked to acquire new checking account holders with a campaign that strictly revolved around digitaliDigital marketing is the two-way conversation that takes place between a brand and consumer through online marketing methods including websites, social media, mobile devices, blogs, video and email. Traditional marketing, which might have utilized a billboard or magazine ad, is considered one-way communication since the consumer can’t interact. Digital marketing gives th... Read More media. Amsive was their strategic direct marketing partner, so there was an established and trusted history between us and the client. 

The only catch was, not only did we have to prove how we could use a successful direct mail audience model in a single channel that had been strong for years, but also define how we could adapt, evolve, and expand our models when activating the client’s online-channel audiences. 

It was a big bet, but acquisitioniCustomer acquisition is the act of creating a new customer for a business through a trackable method such as advertising, marketing or sales. Customer acquisition transcends marketing and indicates an action was taken such as a purchase. For example, marketing might get a potential customer to click on a digital ad which creates recognition, but acquisition is the sale whi... Read More campaigns are our bread and butter, and we took the challenge head-on.

The Challenge

What made this particular initiative unique was 2020’s elephant in the room — the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time when the severity and uncertainty of the pandemic was at its peak, many clients backed off, taking a wait-and-see approach. Business leaders were left scrambling because it was impossible to predict what was going to happen next, and the fundamental framework of entire industries and business models were thrown into disarray. Compound that with the bank wanting to see how our services were better than their normal digital agency of record in effectively using their marketing dollars to produce measurable ROIiReturn on investment (ROI) is simply the measure of what was spent on a marketing campaign compared to the sales that were a result of that marketing campaign. More simply put, for every dollar a company spends on marketing, how much money is that effort generating in sales. On a larger scale, ROI is a key metric used to not only determine success of markteing efforts, but... Read More, and we were well aware that we were being put to the test and had to truly step-up.

In particular, we set out to help the bank client at a major crossroads for the financial industry. During the project timeframe, most branches were closed. The client, while not in dire straits, needed comprehensive and measurable results — and quickly.

Instead of giving restrictive recommendations, we saw this as an opportunity to step in and prove how Amsive’s solutions could help the client double down on digital during COVID. 

We primarily set out to help the bank client at a major crossroads for the financial industry.

The Solution

We started off testing of one of the affiliate banks within a relatively small regional market where we utilized past expertise and a modeled audience approach to stimulate new customer growth.

We had three segments of an audience strategyiBy focusing on identifying your ideal audience instead of looking at your entire audience, you can speak to that perfect customer group at the perfect time and generate greater results. A well- researched audience strategy helps arm you to reach the best consumer with your message who is going to have a higher propensity to buy your product, click your link or sign up for ... Read More to maximize prospects, engagement, and conversion of those audiences.

  1. The first involved clustering existing known-audience models that were previously used for optimized targeting and direct mail.
  2. Next was a proprietary lookalikeiA lookalike model is a group of people who, based on digital data, have similar interests and habits as a company or brand's target audience. Lookalike modeling helps identify new prospects that behave a lot like current customers or prospects. By identifying and marketing to this group, engagement and conversion rates can be enhanced. audience defined by digital variables and behaviors that were served personalized, high-impact messages across platforms like Google and Facebook, depending upon expected profitability.
  3. Lastly, we created an audience of potential customers that were competitor-preferred. 

We had the data and insights to track and convert potential customers from awareness to purchase. The journey began with a first-touch and introduction to the client. Then, the funneliThe marketing funnel shows your customer's journey with your business from discovery to purchase. Companies employ marketing funnels so they can understand their customers' needs and ultimately optimize marketing efforts to generate more sales. By paying attention to your marketing funnel, you can better gauge what your company needs to do to influence consumers at variou... Read More narrowed to the lookalike audience with additional media touchpoints like display and mobile featuring a direct call-to-action in the offer. Lastly, we looked to convert and build loyalty with any other retargeting where there were previous touchpoints to drive through the offer without muddying the overall message.

The three-headed modeling strategy led them to achieve 98 percent of their 2020 goal at a time when competitors were pulling back or plateaued.

The Results

The mid-tier regional test went full bore into digital, and the three-headed modeling strategy resulted in achieving 98 percent of the client’s 2020 goal at a time when competitors were pulling back or plateaued. We were able to achieve a $200 cost-per-acquisition compared to a benchmark of $350; a cost-per-click of $2.27, which is 50 percent less than industry average; a 49 percent increase in checking accounts when compared to control groups; and 78 percent higher checking balances when compared to control groupsiIn marketing, a control group is used to measure the impact of a specific marketing campaign, just as a medical study might use a control group to help determine the outcomes of a particular medication. Control groups have long been used in scientific experiments and even medical research to determine efficacy and it is a very similar approach in marketing. A marketing con... Read More.

To succeed during one of the most economically devastating times in modern history was no small feat. We were put to the test, and succeeded as the only vendor to help the client increase their 2020 numbers. This was primarily because we realized there was and is no one-size-fits-all solution for targeting the right people. But our ability to take online and offline audiences and marry them together for measurable omnichannel results is second-to-none.