Financial Services Ad Spending 2014: Google Sees Digital Blurring Direct Response, Branding - eMarketer
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Financial Services Ad Spending 2014: Google Sees Digital Blurring Direct Response, Branding

May 23, 2014 | Media Buying | Financial Services

Jerry Canning
Director of Financial Services

Digital advertising has primarily been used to support direct-response objectives among financial marketers. As measurement and attribution have matured and newer digital channels like mobile and video have proliferated, some firms are eschewing conventional wisdom and using whatever tactics and formats drive the most effective results. Jerry Canning, director of financial services at Google, spoke with eMarketer’s Tobi Elkin about how digital is blurring the lines between performance and branding.

eMarketer: How do financial services companies compare with other industry sectors in adopting digital advertising?

Jerry Canning: There are always going to be front-runners and some who are going to be behind, but what we’re seeing is everybody’s moving forward. For example, when you look at the mobile platform and how quickly firms have invested in the mobile opportunity, they are ahead of the curve in terms of creating a mobile experience that the consumer can navigate seamlessly across screens from desktop to mobile.

In subsegments, we’ve seen progress across banking and credit cards. We also see pretty wide adoption with brokerage. The mortgage side probably has the greatest opportunity for growth. Mortgage and lending is a traditional, offline, face-to-face engagement vertical with high consideration, so that’s an area that we’ve probably seen the least progress in. Even so, some companies have made investments on the mortgage side that are demonstrating they recognize the value of digital.

eMarketer: As the use of digital among financial marketers matures, how are ad objectives evolving?

Canning: We see firms measuring things in search brand lift, even though search has clearly been labeled as a direct-response platform. Then there are direct-response folks who are using video—traditionally a brand platform—and measuring acquisition on the back end of video through retargeting and tracking mechanisms. I would say that more and more marketers are trying to measure both sides of the equation.

“Programmatic is the linchpin for what’s going to drive change in the way the marketplace evolves in the next 12 to 24 months.”

Brand marketers and direct-response marketers have traditionally worked in different silos. I wouldn’t say we’re seeing a complete merging of the groups, but we’re starting to see interaction and engagement across the two groups among some of our biggest clients. They’re essentially trying to figure out how they can play in the same sandbox and work together to bring more value to each other’s campaigns.

eMarketer: What will be some key digital ad tactics and formats for financial services firms in 2014 and beyond?

Canning: Programmatic buying is an area in which we’re seeing significant growth. We’re convinced, and we’ve placed pretty big bets, that programmatic is going to be the de facto approach to the marketplace in the future—it’s going to drive everything.

Right now the focus is on the performance end, but we see that extending across platforms as well as into brand initiatives, and ultimately driving the video buying process as well. Programmatic is the linchpin for what’s going to drive change in the way the marketplace evolves in the next 12 to 24 months.

Search is the platform where there is a natural extension of taking campaigns that are working on desktop and extending them to mobile. Mobile and the idea of cross-screen coverage bring functionality that isn’t offered in desktop, like being geoaware and other targeting capabilities.

I also see video as an area that will continue to make big strides going forward. We’re seeing up to 40% of YouTube views viewed on the mobile platform. If mobile is becoming the de facto platform for engaging and consuming video, marketers recognize the need for navigating that platform. Marketers that are going to win in this space are the ones that recognize they need to engage with the consumer via the platform or screen on which the consumer is accessing content.

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