Westpac CMO: Latest marketing campaign has been developed from the customer-in

Westpac’s latest ‘Help’ campaign is a part of a wider business strategy

Westpac’s latest ‘Help’ campaign is a part of an ongoing business strategy to demonstrate how the financial provider helps in the moments that matter, borne out of putting the customer at the beginning of marketing and business processes, its CMO says.

Drawing on its promise to help Australians when they need it, Westpac launched the next phase of its Help campaign in June, with a focus on providing support for small business owners across Australia. It builds on the campaign focusing on divorce and separation launched earlier in the year.

The new campaign coincides with the launch of Westpac’s ‘help when it matters’ logo, cementing the brand’s ongoing commitment to providing tangible help to customers when and where it matters to them. 

Westpac Group’s chief digital and marketing officer, Martine Jager, said the campaign started as a part of the broader business strategy, where Westpac asked itself who it is and what it stands for.

“We’ve been here for 200 years, and we are here to help customers through every moment of their lives. So it was a matter of how do we communicate that and make sure customers feel an emotional connection with us," she told CMO. “We wanted to be human, because the core of our brand and what we do is to help other human beings. That was the business strategy, which led to the creative execution.

“The thing I’m most proud of, however, is that it’s not just a TV ad. This is our business strategy and it started from a customer point of view."

Getting this point meant taking a good look at processes, policies and procedures to ensure they are still relevant. "We asked if we needed to change them, as they were built a while ago," Jager continued.

"We needed to rethink community expectations in today’s world. So we’ve spent time looking at the customer journey and changing the policies, processes, and procedures, before we went to the storytelling of the campaign.

“We spent time at a high emotional level in the campaign, but we’ll continue to a more rational layer as well, and bring out great proof points or product propositions as we move forward.”

Jager, who was second on last year’s CMO50 list, said the marketing team looked at the benefits of both long and short-term brand building to ensure it was delivering on both. The highly emotive campaign is important for consumer connection, and so far, it has been highly successful.

“This is having a real impact on our brand. Of course, we have to let many Australians see it as possible, and then let it breathe for a while to ensure consumers really understanding. But for future marketing, we do have ideas in the pipeline," Jager said. 

“It’s important to have a vision and strategy, and we need to be confident it’s the right one, then look at the data to give it enough time to breathe. So far, what we’re seeing customers are saying they are more likely to consider Westpac."

Following the previous 'Separation' campaign, for example, the banking group saw a 41 per cent uplift in people saying they are more likely to consider Westpac. It also experienced a 42 per cent increase in call volumes to the priority assist team, 22 per cent of those a result of separation and divorce.

As for channels, TV is still the best way for Westpac to reach a mass audience, with social and digital also in the mix. Metrics  play a big role, but Jager is quick to point out, they are not selling anything, and the organisation is sure to live the story from the inside out.

“We know many people are going through these life moments, and put off having the financial conversation because they are fearful of the response, or don’t know who to talk to. We provide a checklist and a toolkit to help; we’re not trying to sell anything, this is not about not a product or a service, what we’re saying is we understand and we’re trying to help,” she said.

“For the storytelling, TV plays a really big role for us, in terms of reaching a mass audience, with digital and social as well. To target more specific customers, we may look at different channels.

“We’ve got over thousand econometric models we are looking at for all our brands and products, these give us an anchor and helps us prioritise media spend with a relatively high degree of confidence and precision – of course nothing is perfect. We look at brand and product consideration, active product consideration, call volumes, complaint volumes, and many other metrics. We look at customer engagement as well."

Whatever the metrics approach, things definitely start from the customer-in, Jager said. "It’s reflective of society and real life, and we are finding ways to emotionally tell that story of what humans go through every day,” she added. 

Set to the soundtrack of The Masters Apprentices classic Because I Love You remade by Amy Shark, the latest Help campaign tells the story of a couple who have emigrated to Australia and open a small business, Bakers of Beirut, out of necessity. They grow to treasure it for the life and opportunity it gives their family.

Westpac has also developed a new online hub with a range of support to help Australians start, grow and maintain a small business, from practical tools and resources for employment and cash flow needs, to products and services that help businesses and staff get paid faster. 

The campaign launched nationally across TV, radio, digital, out-of-home and social, from 2 June .

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia. 

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