When it comes to buying paid search advertising, financial institutions should learn a lesson from investors: diversify. That’s according to a study by Yahoo Search Marketing and Compete, which looks into the behavior of searchers in-market for financial services.
The study categorized search terms into three categories: general (“loan” or “banking”), specific (“high-yield savings account” or “mileage credit card”), and brand (“Chase Bank” or “Citibank checking”). Researchers found users seeking financial services are equally likely to start their queries at any of these levels.
Of those searching for banking services, 23 percent began with general searches, 35 percent started with specific searches and 42 percent initially tried brand searches. Those searching for loans tended to start with specific search terms. Forty-five percent of loan searchers start with specific terms, while 30 percent begin with general terms and 25 percent use brand terms initially.
|Click to view full-size chart|
Searchers in the credit card category seemed to show the most brand affinity. Brand searches were the first choice for 78 percent of users, with specific searches (12 percent) and general searches (10 percent) falling far behind.
“The key learning for financial service marketers is that you have to have balance in your portfolio across brand, specific and general terms, or you won’t take advantage of that opportunity,” explains Justin Merickel, director of the finance category at Yahoo Search Marketing.
|Click to view full-size chart|
The report tracked ROI with follow-up surveys to user searches, but researchers found that marketers have trouble tracking offline conversions back to their online origins. It’s an important statistic to track because the study found half of searchers who ended up opening accounts did so offline. Some companies have initiated dedicated 800 numbers for online users, which indicates how they arrived at the offline channel.
The searchers who opened checking and savings accounts were most likely to go to a branch to do so, with 56 percent of checking customers and 38 percent of savings customers going to a storefront. Transacting on a loan was more evenly distributed, with 42 percent of searchers completing their loan application online, 36 percent visiting a branch, and 22 percent making a call.
“[Marketers need to] assess the holistic value of search, not just the narrow online transaction value where the majority of ROI is calculated today,” Merickel told ClickZ.
New Top-Level Domains (TLDs) have become more popular in the last couple of years, so here’s everything you need to know about them.
Amazon Prime was launched in 2005 as an express shipping membership program and more than a decade later it has tens of millions of subscribers who enjoy a lot more than just free, fast shipping on millions of products Amazon sells.
Sure, some apps are doing personalized push notifications, but what happens when your users are in the app?
Since cloud computing first gained mainstream attention around 2009, its popularity has exploded. Promising increased efficiency, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, it was hailed as the ultimate business solution. But are users seeing the benefits?