The Business Challenge
As Malaysia gradually returned to post-pandemic life, consumer spending habits saw a positive return to pre-pandemic levels, indicated by a significant increase in credit card usage and the 41.51% increase in credit card-related keywords in 2022. In the second half of the year, a leading local bank recorded a 40% surge in search demand, outperforming the two largest banks in the country.
However, the consumer landscape had already changed significantly.
Although consumer spending was on a rebound, it manifested in new and different ways. To begin with, digital adoption had increased, and with it came increased demand on digital channels–like search–for core banking products. This growth also led to aggressive and dynamic competition; the Finance and Banking industry (FSI) sector was one of only two industries (alongside retail) to see increased ad spends in the previous year, with spends rising by 28% between Q1 2021 and Q2 2022.
Secondly, Malaysian search habits had also evolved. Google Finance observed a 700% increase in searches for “how to save money fast on low income”, and a 321% increase in “savings bank account”, but also noted large increases in searches for travel and travel-related products. This painted a complex picture of the Malaysian consumer landscape, where grim economic concerns existed side-by-side with rebound demand for opportunities lost to the pandemic.
In mid-2022, the bank found itself 60% below their lead target in mid-2022, with major platforms showing diminishing returns and creative fatigue.
To reverse the trend, the bank needed to increase the consideration of the targeted audience by appearing in every customer journey touchpoints, identifying and targeting high-intent audiences at a low CPL, and ultimately, generating as much as possible quality website leads from their credit card landing page.
We started by defining our audience. Our analysis uncovered three pivotal moments that reinforce customers’ drive to own a credit card – shopping, travel, and essential purchases. We centered our messaging and targeting among the audience that fall under these interests and have interest in banking products.
With a refined target audience, the following strategies were laid out:
To achieve our business objectives, we defined our platform based on two goals: