The combination of sky-high marketing costs and low quality and control over leads is a fundamental challenge to every player in the financial vertical – so also for BlueStep Bank. Based on these prerequisites, we aimed to find an innovative approach that would enhance control over lead quality and provide insights into the efficiency of individual channels with regards to customer acquisition. Such a solution would give BlueStep a clear competitive advantage and enable efficient marketing at scale moving forward.

Thus, the project aimed to unveil insights into what marketing channels drive quality customers for Bluestep. The scope was to establish tracking for a full lead journey from online lead to offline payout and activate the data across the marketing channels and with search as a major channel it could provide real value to the business.

As a second step, with this new information collected, we aimed to conduct data-driven attribution based on users that are identified as qualified leads by loan operators, combined with Marketing Mix Modeling study to understand how to optimise their future marketing investments fully. This would help to make sure we invested much smarter within not only search but all channels.

Target audience & strategy

To solve the problem of limited insights around their current lead quality, we scoped and initiated a measurement project, aiming at capturing the full lead journey by connecting the CRM data with the online loan application form. By doing so, we would understand what leads are considered high quality and, further, which of these lead to payout.

The strategy was geared towards understanding lead value, as a first step, and then to proceed and activate these signals in our search efforts. With more accurate audiences based on insights derived from the analysis step we would be able to target more high value audience buckets.

An essential part of the measurement implementation was the upgrade to Google Analytics 360, together with the integration with Google BigQuery. In this new setup, when an application is submitted online, the “source / medium”, campaign parameters (such as gclid) and clientId were stored in Bluestep Bank’s back-end systems. This enables us to send all status changes, happening offline, of a lead back to Google Analytics utilising the Measurement Protocol API.

With this new data captured in Google Analytics 360 and the integration with Google BigQuery, our data-driven attribution solution was automatically scheduled to analyse qualified leads. The architecture was hosted on Google Cloud Platform. 

A Campaign Manager/DV360 integration was utilised to get combined click/impression paths from upper-funnel channels in order to improve the data-driven attribution analysis further. This allowed for the output to be enriched with the incremental value of an impression in each path.

Furthermore, we were able to make full use of the data within all relevant marketing platforms, by utilising more intelligent bidding based on qualified leads, creating high value audience buckets, identifying similar audiences and excluding users that previously had been declined for a loan due to unsuccessful creditworthiness assessment and completely shut down campaigns that did not drive any qualified leads. ‘

The last part of the model was to combine the data-driven attribution solution with our Marketing Mix Modeling software. This allowed us to understand the effect of offline media investments, reducing the risk of bias towards online channels in the data-driven attribution model, as well as budget optimisation for future periods.

Results & evaluation

By excluding declined users and shifting budget and set a correct target based on qualified leads we managed to:

  • Increase Qualified leads by 50%
  • Lower cost per qualified lead by 23%
  • Increase Call and web conversions by 15%

Qualified leads are what drives the business, and by not spending money on purchasing the wrong users we saw tremendous results, as shown above. With a business like BlueStep’s, the revenue yielded from a single conversion can be very high, which makes it very important to target the right audience rather than (very expensive) keywords in general.

This case won the category “Best Finance & Professional Services” at the Drum Digital Advertising Award Europe 2020.

Precis Digital