Our creative search engine marketing led to a surge in quality relationships for Fifth Third Bank and won a MediaPost Creative Media Award.
Switching banks is often triggered by key life events–mainly marriage, moving, and having a baby–making for key impact opportunities for banking advertisers. Once consumers enter the consideration phase for a new account, the window is short, with 60% of Checking Account switchers opening an account within two weeks of beginning research. Additionally, 28% of web-browsing adults who opened a new checking account first heard about their new account online. Reaching consumers during this brief research period means search is a vital tactic.
Fifth Third implements search across Google, Yahoo and Bing to acquire new checking account customers via a combination of online and in-branch applications. The tactic proved to be the highest conversion driver amongst all digital channels but was only reaching fractions of its potential.
For 2018, Empower analyzed 2017 in-market data to establish the point of diminishing return for each digital channel. This uncovered an opportunity to optimize the digital mix to efficiently drive more quality accounts by shifting to a savvy, search-heavy strategy. This shift, deployed in the first half of 2018, resulted in 71% more accounts opened with 38% less spend at a 20% lower cost per acquisition (CPA) versus the same time period in 2017.
We also uncovered that customers who apply in-branch tend to have longer relationships with the bank, signifying these customers as more ‘quality’. So, we tested different calls to action for “Apply Now Online” versus “Download a Coupon and Apply in Branch.” By driving more towards the Download Coupon CTA, customer behavior shifted. In Q1 2017, 34% of applications came in-branch, while Q1 2018 notched 47%. The trend continued in Q2, with 58% in-branch in 2017 compared to 65% in-branch applications in Q2 2018. The increased share of in-branch applications established more customer relationships that will last.