In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
The online financial services sector is increasingly competitive, putting pressure on providers to boost efficiency and streamline processes in order to drive customer acquisition.
Speaking at the ADMA Global Forum 2016 in Sydney, online financial product comparison company RateCity’s commercial manager, Brett Karney, revealed how the company leveraged programmatic to better support its commercial partners, while strengthening customer acquisition in the retail banking space.
Launched in 2006 as a joint venture between Mi9 and private company LAAP, RateCity provides comparison rates for the financial services sector, including home loans, credit cards and term deposits.
“For consumers, it’s the place to go to when you’re interested in a financial product,” he told attendees. “To our financial partners, we help them find customers that are looking for their products.”
But the company had challenges around efficiency, buying media, leveraging data effectively and being able to centralise performance measures.
“This is what led us to our journey towards programmatic,” he said.
Karney said its display advertising strategy started out as quite a simple activity, but as the company grew, it became increasingly more complicated to manage the ever-growing number of partners.
“There were a lot of relationships we had to manage and we needed to be more efficient,” he said.
On top of this, the company needed to raise its return on media spend.
“We are a performance business, but we had a ton of valuable data that we just weren’t using," he said. "And as consumers were interacting with our site, they were telling us exactly what type of product they were looking for. But we weren’t using any of that data to optimise our ad campaigns. And we knew that if we could, then we’d get much better results.”
The programmatic solution
In order to get a single view of performance across all its publishers, and to leverage its data more efficiently, RateCity partnered with programmatic provider, MediaMath.
“As a result, we’re now bidding across hundreds of publishers and can move across them fluidly,” Karney said. “It saves us hundreds of hours a month. We’ve also worked closely with MediaMath to target high value segments on our site and start delivering the right ads to the right customers. That’s driven significant improvements in our ROI of all our activities.”
Moving from a traditional model, RateCity also wanted to push towards greater transparency and portability, Karney said.
“And we knew that ultimately, we wanted to bring programmatic in-house,” he added. “So we needed a vendor that could easily take what we were working on in the past 6-12 months and bring it in-house. And MediaMath allowed us to do that.”