With Meta’s ad solutions, some of which are driven by artificial intelligence (AI), the bank also taps the social media platforms’ collective reach of 3.9 billion monthly active people to identify and target the most suitable customers for its services, leading to more personalised and cost-effective marketing strategies.
Targeted approach to drive customer acquisition
Meta enables Standard Chartered Bank to not only customise messaging for different customer segments but also target and discover new audiences that the bank may not have otherwise considered.
“This targeted approach ensures that our marketing efforts are more efficient and effective in driving customer interest and ultimately increasing customer acquisition,” says Haymans Fung, MD, Head of marketing CPBB, Hong Kong and Head of Global Partnerships Marketing at Standard Chartered Bank.
“We strategically focus on social media users who align with our comprehensive range of retail banking products, including foreign exchange, credit cards, personal finance, and wealth management.”
Data-driven approach to campaign optimisation
According to Sunny Ko, Head of Industry for Hong Kong & Taiwan at Meta, the bank and Meta have been conducting A/B tests on advertising solutions to enhance the bank’s marketing strategies since the partnership began.
This ongoing partnership allows the bank to continuously evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns, he says.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method used in online advertising to compare two versions of a web page, email, or advertisement to determine which one performs better.
These tests cover a range of formats, including photo ads and link ads in the earlier days. More recently, video ads and Meta Advantage products have also been included in the testing.
Launched in 2022, Meta Advantage is a suite of products that leverage AI and machine learning to optimise campaign results. It enables personalisation of ads by matching them to the right people at the right time, unlocking greater efficiencies for digital marketers and helping them save both time and money.
According to Fung, it is common practice for retail banks to run different campaigns with varying objectives and expected results.
From a digital marketing perspective, various campaigns are often designed with specific goals in mind, which may include increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales.
To achieve these goals, the Hong Kong marketing team of Standard Chartered Bank often utilises a combination of channels, messaging, and tactics tailored to the specific objectives of each campaign.
Generating high-quality leads
When acquiring personal loan and credit card clients, one of the primary goals is to generate high-quality leads with a good conversion rate. In this context, Fung explains that using Meta proves exceptionally effective.
A case in point is the bank’s recent campaign in partnership with Cathay Pacific. This collaboration led to a significant increase in credit card applications, with the bank receiving 3.1 times more applications compared to previous campaigns.
In one successful credit card promotion campaign, the bank experienced a 40% increase in applications. In another targeted loan application campaign, the bank achieved an 8% increase in applications and a 13% reduction in cost per acquisition (CPA).
In addition to adopting always-on lead ads solutions on Meta’s platforms, the bank has also embraced upper-funnel solutions to enhance customer awareness and consideration.
Upper funnel advertising refers to messaging that reaches users before they become aware of the marketer’s brand, product, or service.
On the creative front, the bank has embraced a mobile-first approach, prioritising shorter, bite-sized videos known as Reels. This strategy has consistently delivered excellent performance results while keeping the cost per acquisition (CPA) stable.
In a recent brand-building campaign, the bank featured Cantonese pop star Jay Fung in videos. According to Haymans Fung, Instagram has proven to be a highly effective platform for such campaigns.
She also highlights that text content for Facebook can be more informative and searchable, whereas Instagram tends to cater to visually appealing content for brand-building purposes.
“Besides, we actively use Meta’s lead generation solutions to generate, nurture, and guide leads through the marketing funnel. These include ads, business messaging and retargeting messages.”
Due to different objectives for different campaigns, Ko says that the Meta team is always mindful that given the diversity of the bank’s business, one marketing campaign can be very different from another. “Therefore, we always start by identifying their business problems and goals and strategise from there,” he says.
Maximising marketing ROI with data analytics
Fung also emphasises the importance of learning from each campaign. This includes assessing the effectiveness of content, channel selection, and target audience segmentation.
Addressing this need, Meta’s robust data analysis capabilities provide the bank’s marketing team with a valuable advantage. They can assess the effectiveness of their campaigns and optimise their ad spending.
“Our digital marketing team frequently attends workshops with the Meta team to stay up to date on their latest functions and products. We also have the opportunity to request customised strategies that align with our specific needs and goals,” Fung says.
To gain insights into the short-term and long-term return on investment (ROI) that each marketing channel could bring to the bank’s business, Meta collaborates with the bank to conduct Mixed Marketing Model (MMM) studies.
The results are calibrated and used for marketing budget allocation and annual planning. The MMM study provides a more holistic view of budget planning by utilising data-driven insights to navigate potential imbalances between channels caused by different attribution systems.
Unlock the power of data with AI-driven marketing
In the future, AI is expected to have a significant impact on targeted digital marketing. According to Ko, “AI is a major investment for our business and one of the opportunities we see to provide a discovery engine for individuals and deliver value to businesses on a large scale.”
“We have significantly increased our investment in AI and machine learning across Meta since last year, with a significant portion of this investment allocated to ads.”
Ko says Meta is currently developing a state-of-the-art commerce system to deliver a seamless customer journey through various digital tools such as ads, community tools, messaging, and more.