How to Achieve Multi-Touch Attribution in a Changing Financial Marketing Landscape
Since the beginning of the digital age, the financial industry has gone through a shake-up, and it is now estimated financial services make up 14% of spend is invested in online marketing channels. However, attributing the success of these channels throughout the customer journey, whether online or offline, is proving to be a common challenge […]
Since the beginning of the digital age, the financial industry has gone through a shake-up, and it is now estimated financial services make up 14% of spend is invested in online marketing channels. However, attributing the success of these channels throughout the customer journey, whether online or offline, is proving to be a common challenge within this sector.
According a study by Experian, 51% of financial businesses are relying on simplistic, inaccurate forms of marketing attribution, while some are using none at all, meaning they have no clear, data-driven insights into which channels are driving the most conversions and ultimately the highest return on investment (ROI). Furthermore, considering it takes six to eight touchpoints before a sale, determining the success of each channel should form the foundation for allocating marketing budget to avoid wastage.
To achieve this level of understanding, the financial sector needs to start introducing multi-touch attribution (allocating credit to every conversion (a completed call-to action such as filling a contact form, accessing a live chat or picking up the phone within the customer journey) to evaluate their marketing success. However, getting to grips with this can be tricky.
Here’s exactly why multi-touch attribution is key to shaping the future of marketing for the finance sector.
Out of all the marketing platforms available, paid search is appearing as one of the most successful within the financial sector. According to research by Growthpoint, the finance industry has one of the highest paid search conversion rates at 7.19%; indicating that many consumers are using paid search throughout their journey. However, they also have the third most expensive average cost-per-click (CPC) at $3.72.
When looking into the most popular keywords for financial advisers in Google Keyword Planner (see above), it’s clear the average CPC increases substantially, with ’independent financial adviser’, ’financial adviser near me’ and ’financial advice’ appearing as the top three most expensive keywords. Considering that high cost paid search expense seems inevitable for those in this sector, staying ahead of the game and determining how much ROI paid search is driving for your business is crucial.
Instead of blindly throwing money at the most obvious keywords, the smart financial marketer needs to be thinking of how they can optimise their other keywords to reduce the cost of customer acquisition, whilst maintaining click and conversion rates. To do this they need to attribute how effective particular keywords are throughout the customer journey.
For example, although the digital presence of the finance industry has grown rapidly in recent years, it doesn’t mean that consumers are no longer converting offline, for example by picking up the phone. In fact, a recent survey found that consumers are 2.8 times likelier to call from a paid search ad for financial services than other industries when researching their options.
Let’s say you’re a mortgage adviser who is bidding on the term ’best fixed rate mortgage rate’. How exactly can you attribute the number of phone calls this keyword has driven throughout a customer’s journey?
Call tracking attribution software from Mediahawk, allows you to connect them all, and the activity that generated the call, together, enabling you to analyse the impact phone calls have during the customer journey to determine campaign success. It can also show the full value of the mortgages generated from this specific keyword enabling you to attribute your full ROI from paid search.
Price Comparison Sites
As we’ve already stated, digital marketing is proving to be a popular, yet expensive choice for the finance sector. However, the prospect of high-value conversions means being competitive in this market doesn’t come cheap and these channels include price comparison sites.
When it comes to finance, no consumer wants to feel like they’ve overpaid for a policy for instance, or a mortgage or loan; which is why 60% of consumers are ’very likely’ to use a price comparison site when researching or buying a financial product.
Considering that they’re playing such a crucial role in the customer journey, financial services should certainly advertise on price comparison sites to drive desired results and profits. But this is a rather saturated market and future growth can depend on any changes that might occur to the comparison sites themselves. Therefore, the most successful financial marketers will be those who can hold their position on price comparison sites whilst optimising other channels to achieve growth.
By optimising other channels, such as social media, remarketing and PPC (pay-per-click) whilst maintaining efficient price comparison site coverage, financial businesses can prevent themselves from becoming too reliant on a singular advertising outlet, compensate the costs created from the comparison sites and continue to drive traffic through less costly methods. Determining the success of these campaigns can be a difficult task when financial businesses are using their current marketing tools. With the extensive digital competition that financial marketers are facing, an effective marketing measurement solution is essential for staying ahead, which is where multi-touch attribution comes in.
By making a correlation between actions and revenue, multi-touch attribution can paint the full picture of marketing effectiveness and highlight opportunities to optimise campaigns further. This is essential for finding an even balance between advertising on price comparison sites and external marketing activities.
Paid Social Media
Although it might not appear as an obvious choice, social media is becoming a popular marketing platform for the financial services industry with more and more companies using various platforms for consumer retention. According to research conducted by Community Rising on social media within the financial sector, 87% of respondents said their business uses Facebook, while 52% are using Twitter and 47% are using LinkedIn. The advantages of paid social media are clear and, although it won’t drive as many last-click conversions, it plays a crucial role in portraying a positive image of your company and building brand identity.
In a world where competition is significantly fiercer for financial services, and where it is considerably more expensive to obtain new customers than keep existing ones on board, paid social media is providing a clever, new way for financial businesses to market themselves. However, it isn’t without its issues. Typically, social media platforms play a more nurturing role within the customer journey and lack any real influence at the beginning or end of path to purchases. This means that when it comes to measuring effectiveness, both first and last-click attribution models have become obsolete.
To really understand the vital role paid social media platforms play in financial marketing, a data-driven multi-touch attribution model is essential. By incorporating, into your reporting, exactly how often social media is used during the customer journey you can obtain real insights to aid decision-making over strategy and spend. Furthermore, you can home in on specific channels to maximise your optimisation efforts.