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DBS Bank Uses Group Buy and Facebook to Acquire Affluent Customers [Case Study]

  |  April 24, 2013   |  Comments   |  

The financial institution demonstrated it could use group buying to engage and attract high net worth individuals through a measurable and cost-effective way.

DBS Bank has rolled out the second wave of its uGoiGo campaign targeting high net worth individuals in Hong Kong for its foreign exchange promotion, which underscores its previous success in leveraging social media and group buying in the financial sector.

The ongoing FX initiative has launched on the back of a wealth management acquisition campaign in January that used minimal digital investment to generate buzz in acquiring customers with a million Hong Kong dollars to sign up as premium members.

Although group-buying websites are often associated with steep discounted deals targeting bargain hunters, DBS Bank has proved that it could be used to engage and attract affluent customers in the city through a measurable and cost-effective way.

DBS is said to be the first financial institution among competitors in Hong Kong to apply the concept of "group buying" for its financial products, which caught the attention of its Singapore-based headquarters.

UGoiGo has now been trademarked and adapted across the region such as Singapore, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

Here's how the original social media group buy campaign was conceptualized.

Challenge:

DBS Bank needs to acquire affluent individuals to sign up for its DBS Treasures accounts and stand out from competitors using limited marketing budget.

While digital media buys could provide a measurable and cost-effective way to drive sales leads, banks are continually finding it difficult to stand out from the clutter by simply placing ads on premium or financial news portals that also have similar offerings from other financial institutions.

Since most of the ads are usually promotional, it lacks a feedback mechanism as well as engagement with target audience.

Strategy:

The Hong Kong operations decided to create a small-scale acquisition campaign to attract new funding for deposits without any use of traditional media such as TV, outdoor, or having booths in shopping malls/bank branches. Instead, it used minimal digital and social investments to generate a viral effect.

DBS coined it uGoiGo (readers might find it sounds similar to local startup uBuyiBuy that was being acquired by Groupon) to leverage peer influence and time sensitivity by allowing limited availability of the offer with the goal to acquire new DBS Treasure customers within one month.

The program was developed in conjunction with its agency iProspect last December to offer a group-buying interest rate promotion for a six-month Hong Kong dollar time deposit.

Execution:

A mobile-friendly microsite similar to a deals platform was built to track the number of buyers with corresponding interest rates and time remaining displayed on the site.

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Interest rate increased as the number of participants that opted in to the program grew.

A Facebook sharing button was implemented to enhance the viral effect and generated further buzz.

Once a user joined the deal, she could either print the coupon or send it to her mobile to redeem at physical branches.

The redemption process provided a direct measure of the number of new accounts and cost per acquisition from the group-buying initiative.

Social marketing: Developing a content plan on current Facebook pages

DBS also leveraged Facebook through its existing Hong Kong (more than 16,000 fans) and Black Card (over 37,200 fans with 7,628 talking about this) pages to spread campaign information.

It developed a detailed content plan to drive consumer interest and engagement during the campaign.

For instance, on its DBS Black Card page, the bank gave away additional 5,000 miles for Black Cardholders that created even more conversations apart from the offer and complemented with the acquisition of both products.

The Facebook execution included buying Facebook page post ads and Sponsored Story page post ads, which the financial institution said was "minimal media investment" to help create buzz on the social network.

The use of social media in DBS's case dispelled the myth and conventional wisdom that social media could only be used to drive free trials or sell CPG products.

Results:

  • Acquisition of new DBS Treasures customers acquired increased 147 times compared with organic growth, using a much smaller media investment.
  • Total new deposits exceeded original goal by 80 percent and 80 percent of them were new to bank customers.
  • 1,075 coupons were downloaded.
  • The DBS uGoiGo microsite generated 18,239 unique visits during the campaign period.
  • Facebook fans were highly engaged with more than 1,000 likes and comments about the offer.
  • The buzz effect extended beyond Facebook posts, which generated an organic forum discussion on Baby Kingdom. DBS said it did not use any seeding for the earned media generated on the site.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adaline Lau

Adaline Lau, ClickZ Asia editor, oversees day-to-day editorial operations covering digital marketing from search to social media, mobile to analytics in the region. Before ClickZ, she was senior reporter at Marketing Magazine and has worked as a journalist for The Singapore Marketer and Asia Pacific Broadcasting. Connect with her @adalinelau or Google+.

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