How Full-Funnel Ad Tech Can Drive Digital Sales

by | 16 Oct 2020 | Advertising & Promotion, Commerce & Sales


$10.11 billion. That’s how much financial services firms will spend on digital advertising in 2017, according to eMarketer’s “US Financial Services Industry StatPack 2017.” It’s a hefty sum being fuelled by social media and digital video, which, alongside tried-and true marketing channels like search, are gaining ground fast. And TV ads aren’t going away anytime soon, either — they accounted for $7.7 billion spent in 2016. To make the most of these dollars, you need to go full-funnel, driving greater efficiency and better return on ad spend from brand to campaign.

Right now, your customer quality and digital sales volumes may not be optimal. It’s great if hundreds of prospects accept your offer to open an account online — not so great if accounts suffer from low initial deposits and infrequent transactions. You may also wonder how you’re going to hit digital sales goals when they’re expected to increase significantly over the next three years. Your struggle is real, but so is the possibility of reaching your acquisition and conversion targets.

To attract and engage high-quality prospects, the experience you offer needs to be relevant, personalized, and connected across every digital channel, and on TV as well. The key is to be able to identify your customer’s journey stage and keep your message consistent and coherent as different channels work together. You also need to track investment and performance across advertising touch points — because moving your customers toward purchase is a cumulative experience.

Overcoming too much of everything

Today’s emphasis on experience, personalization, and journey management requires connections across data sources, technology platforms, and teams to be much stronger than ever. But the same old pain points remain, compounded by too much of everything.

Untapped data

The legacy systems at most financial services firms produce plenty of data — scads of siloed data that doesn’t give you a complete audience picture, or let you share customer segments or KPIs. Without a data management platform, you can’t achieve a collective understanding of prospects and customers, or segment and reach them with the right strategy across channels.

Unaligned teams and technology

As with data, you need to connect teams with technology. But many firms struggle with efficient management of ad tech and can’t make dollar-to-dollar comparisons. 40 percent of advertisers work with three or more media-buying and media-planning platforms, leading to messy deduplication and cobbled-together reporting.

Unknown performance

You’re on the hook to improve ROAS, but without a unified approach across channels, you’ll end up stealing conversions from each other. Even with a glut of performance metrics, you’ll struggle to manage audience reach and determine frequency of ad views.

Unexploited integration

You’re focused on integrating your marketing technology, from data to segments to cross-channel analytics. But the real payoff comes when you combine that with advertising technology.

Acquiring and converting customers while slashing costs

A national insurance provider used Adobe Advertising Cloud to gain better visibility, greater efficiency, and faster reaction times on display campaigns. The firm’s display advertising served two goals: 1) consideration in mid-funnel to stay top of mind for customers who are ready to shop, in a new life stage, or in third-party audience segments; and 2) direct response in the lower funnel, when customers plan to make a decision soon. The firm also retargeted customers who visited key pages to get a quote or compare prices.

After an initial campaign, the overall cost per action (CPA) was 39 percent below benchmark, and the consideration and direct response campaigns were both 34 percent below. But the real impact came from creating look-alike (LAL) segments. Increasing investment in LAL segments from zero to 15 percent over the course of a three-month test corresponded with a 78 percent drop in overall CPA — and a LAL CPA significantly lower than the overall campaigns.

Christopher Young, Adobe
Christopher Young is the director of industry strategy and marketing for Adobe’s Digital Marketing Business. In this role, he leads a team of industry specialists who work with Adobe’s Financial Services clients to help them develop best-in-class digital marketing strategies.

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