Report: Agile Customer Experience Significantly Contributes to Digital Marketing Success for Finance Companies


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Adthena’s Q4 2019 CMO Search Intelligence Report evaluates the state of the finance search landscape to help CMOs optimize performance

Austin, Texas (December 4, 2019) — With digital transformation of the finance sector continuing to take form, consumer demand for more intuitive, highly-customized online experiences is at an all-time high. Finance Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) have invested millions of dollars in optimizing customer experience, but as competition from digital-first companies continues to increase across the industry, the way in which consumers search for and interact with financial brands online is constantly evolving. To shine a light on how the finance search landscape is shifting, and how CMOs are adapting their strategies to keep pace, Adthena, the leader in AI-powered search intelligence, today announced the findings of its Q4 2019 CMO Search Intelligence Report

The report analyzes the search engine marketing (SEM) performance of 350 companies across the U.S. finance market, and within the banking and insurance subsets, to provide insight into the strategies of the leading finance companies and opportunities for CMOs to optimize their performance. The report revealed that digitally native companies are seeing an advantage in their SEM performance with the ability to understand and adapt experiences to meet customers’ evolving needs online. Meanwhile, legacy finance companies are spending more money to achieve the same results as their cyber counterparts, signaling an inefficiency in their customer journey.

“Brand recognition and high-dollar campaigns are no longer enough to break through to today’s consumers,” said Ashley Fletcher, Vice President of Marketing at Adthena. “A brand could have the most innovative offering on the market but if they aren’t able to reach the right consumer at the right time with the right message and experience, they will fail to see results.”

Key takeaways from the Q4 2019 CMO Search Intelligence Report: U.S. Finance Industry

  • PayPal’s Grand Entrance: On a recent surge in growth, the payments giant is doubling down on its SEM strategy and currently leading the finance search market, tied with Chase.
  • Top Dogs Tumble: Credit Karma, Wells Fargo, and Experian dropped from the top 10 list, after leading the finance search market in Q3 2019. 
  • Capitalizing on a Defined Customer Base: Membership-based organizations like USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union are finding SEM success with a personalized understanding of their audience.
  • USAA Sweeps the Boards: With its digital-first business model and narrowly-defined audience, USAA is the only company to appear in the top 10 for banking, insurance, and the overall finance search market in Q4 2019.

With 2020 quickly approaching, priorities for CMOs are set to shift from customer experience alone to bottom-line results. This means that not only will the marketing function be tasked with delivering relevant, personalized experiences, but also ensuring these activities are contributing to overall business growth. To meet these rising expectations, CMOs must continuously fine-tune their SEM strategies to ensure they’re staying on top of changing consumer preferences, market opportunities and, most importantly, driving measurable results.

To download the full CMO Search Intelligence Report: U.S. Finance Industry, visit Companies interested in an in-depth analysis of performance in the context of their specific industry and competition can request a personalized Search Intelligence Scorecard here:

Search Intelligence Index Methodology

Adthena’s Search Intelligence Index benchmarks advertisers in a specific search market against their peers. The Search Intelligence Scores are calculated by averaging three dimensions of SEM success – Market Leadership, Search Excellence, and Brand Ownership. The composite score, along with its three dimension scores, fall between 0-100, with 50 being the average score across all competitors in a search market. Each dimension of the score is determined by underlying metrics that most directly benchmark companies against each other. The score analyzes more than 600 thousand generic and brand terms across the Google search landscape to provide the most in-depth assessment of search performance in the finance market.

Within finance, specific search categories include banking, credit cards, insurance, accounting and auditing, ATM sales and processing, business finance, business news and media, financial planning and management, grant, scholarship and financial aid, investing, money transfer and wire services.

Data for this report was pulled in October 2019.

Search Intelligence Score Metrics

Market Leadership

– Search Term Coverage – How many search terms a company’s ads appear on

– Share of Impressions – How many times a company’s ads are seen, relative to other advertisers

– Share of Clicks – The number of clicks a company gets, of the total clicks in the market, relative to other advertisers

Search Excellence

– Click-Through Rate – How often ads are clicked, on average

– Cost Per Click – How much is paid for each click, on average

– Average Position -Where ads appear on the page, on average

Brand Ownership

– Brand Coverage – How many brand and brand generic terms a company is advertising on 

– Brand Bidding Defense – How well a company protects its brand from competitive bidding

– Position 1 on Brand Terms – How often a company appears at the top of the page for brand searches

About the Search Intelligence Index

Adthena’s Search Intelligence Index is a global measure of SEM success. The index reveals how leading players and up-and-coming challengers are performing in SEM, giving CMOs and other marketing leaders a benchmark for their own success. Each company in the index receives a Search Intelligence Score calculated using a proprietary methodology that evaluates its Market Leadership, Search Excellence, and Brand Ownership in SEM. The score considers factors such as a company’s advertising effectiveness, search spend optimization, and search market share. Adthena produces each score using its patented, AI-driven data model, Whole Market View, which delivers the most comprehensive view of a company’s entire search landscape. By analyzing more than 200 million keywords and processing 10 terabytes of new organic and paid search data every day, Adthena helps companies assess challenges and opportunities across their market.

About Adthena

Founded in 2012, Adthena is the world’s most advanced competitive intelligence platform for paid search advertising, processing over 10 terabytes of new data, while indexing 500 million advertisements and 200 million keywords in 15 different languages every day. Powered by its AI-driven Whole Market View data set, Adthena’s carefully designed solutions of Market Entry, Campaign Optimization, Strategic Advantage and Brand Protection help marketers target and reach consumers that matter the most to their business according to their business objectives. Globally, Adthena works with more than 250 clients across 18 different business sectors, including finance, education, gaming, automotive and technology. Brand customers include Autotrader, Air New Zealand, Atlassian, Citibank, Burberry, Toyota, and Volvo. Agency customers include media specialists like GroupM and channel-specific paid search experts like iProspect. In addition, Adthena is the winner of several leading industry awards — including the Search Engine Land Awards, Stevie® Award for Customer Service, and European Search Awards, among others.

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