Advertising 7 Min Read

How Banking Brands Can (and Should) Leverage Audience Targeting

Written by Tim Edmundson

It’s no secret that more and more consumers are managing their finances online. Speaking anecdotally, it’s been quite awhile since the last time I stepped foot in a bank — but I’ve accessed my banking app countless times. And the same goes for many other others, with over 46% of consumers (and 55.4 million millennials) relying on digital channels to manage their finances. Needless to say, banking has gone digital, and if you’re a banking brand, your marketing better do the same. 

The competition is getting fierce in the digital space for banking brands. For example, Capital One Financial spent $831 million in Q4 of 2018 — that’s 81% more than they spent during the same time period in 2017.  That means you need to find a way to give your ads an edge. And one sure fire way of gaining an advantage over the competition is leveraging superior audience targeting tactics.

There’s Power in 3rd Party Data

When you’re looking to get your ads in front of potential banking customers, one of your greatest assets is 3rd party data. SteelHouse has partnered with Oracle and the Oracle Data Cloud to provide advertisers with the ability to do just that. Equipped with the right audience segments, your campaigns will reach consumers who are interested or in-market for your services.

Third party data gets you access to audience segments your first party data can’t. Want to seek out consumers hunting for a car loan? You can. Interested in new homeowners? You can reach them as well. Want to geolocate within certain cities? Go for it. That’s the power of 3rd party data, but it’s one thing to have access to it, and another thing to use it correctly. Let’s dive into some sample audience segments that can help you find your ideal customers.

Target Users Who Fit Your Services

Whether you’re looking to attract borrowers or more checking account signups, 3rd party data can help you find who you’re looking for. If you’re looking to attract new customers, cast a wide net. That means not over-segmenting your audience until its a tiny fraction of what it could be, but rather including many audiences in your targeting pool, and then removing under-performing ones as you optimize your campaign. 

Let’s take a look at some audiences found within the Oracle Data Cloud that have proven to be successful for banking brands. Some of these may not be obvious at first glance, but have proven to be worth your time.

Approach: Rewards Cards

  • Segment Name: Rewards Cards
  • Why You Should Use This: Rewards hunters, or “credit card churners” as they’ve come to call themselves, are always on the hunt for cards with the best rewards programs. These consumers are actively seeking to pick up a new card, so if you have a really good rewards offer, let them know about it.

Approach: In-Market for Loans

  • Segment Names: Loans, Auto Loans, Mortgages, Refinancing, Student Loans
  • Why You Should Use This: If there’s a type of loan, there’s an audience segment for it. By utilizing a segment like “In-Market > Financial Products and Services > Loans > (type of loan)” you get access to a wide range of loan-seekers who would love to see what you have to offer.

Approach: The Bosses

  • Segment Names: Business Owners, Decision Drivers 
  • Why You Should Use This: Loans can be the key to success for small businesses, so make sure these business owners know you’re available to them. Include these users in your targeting to try and snag business loan candidates, mortgages, or other large types of loans.

Approach: Investment Personalities

  • Segment Names: Broker-reliant Delegator, Cautious Investing Novice, Self-Directed Investor
  • Why You Should Use This: These people have an active interest in generating more wealth, which means they’re great candidates for financial services. Each type would most likely align with a particular service, whether it be self-directed or managed.

Approach: Kid’s First Checking Account

  • Segment Name: Personal Savings and Investments + Parents of 12-18 year olds
  • Why You Should Use This: Kids under 18 can have a checking account as long as their parent or legal guardian signs on as a joint owner. By targeting users with an interest in personal savings who also have kids, you can remind these parents that getting their kids started on financial responsibility at an early age is a good idea.

Remember, when choosing target audiences, make adjustments based on what’s working and what’s not. Effective optimizations are key when finding your ideal audience, and keeping an eye on the less-obvious segments can help keep your spend effective. Once you’ve identified segments that are pulling in new customers and eventual conversions, keep it going, but always be open to making adjustments.

Identify Your Banking Audiences, Then Go Get Them

Finding your ideal banking customers gets a lot easier when you’re leveraging 3rd party data like the ones listed above. If you’re expanding outside of the above (and you should), think about key characteristics of your target audiences and try and find their representative audience segment. The “Kid’s First Checking Account” is a good example because it combines two different segments to give you access to a specific type of consumer. Get creative with your audience segments, and better campaign performance will be your reward.