first direct, a telephone and internet-based retail bank in the United Kingdom, has always been proud to be a different kind of bank. Recently, however, the bank discovered that its brand differentiation had declined and it wanted a new strategy.
Assembling a team from Kantar Media Precis, Millward Brown, Mindshare, JWT London, JWT Cheethambell, and MadeByPi, first direct’s brief was to recruit new customers at a time when consumers had little trust in financial institutions.
Show, Not Tell: Be Truly Transparent by Broadcasting Unedited Comments
Fortunately the team knew that first direct really was different: customers really did love the bank. It was the most recommended bank in the UK. So the new strategy would be to show, not tell. To do this in a credible way first direct had to let its customers share their experiences, both positive and negative. It was decided that comments would be broadcast unedited to the world to create a totally transparent message, one that no other bank would dare to consider...
Real-time Maps and Widgets Transmit Live Customer Feedback
Kantar Media Precis mined forums, blogs, comment threads, and social networks for real-time data on what customers were saying, both positive and negative. In real-time, using natural language programming, comments were categorized as positive, neutral, or negative and attitudes about topics were identified from the words used.
See this widget live at http://www.live.firstdirect.com/
The results were used to create real-time maps of consumer attitudes towards first direct, changing from minute to minute. These maps were shareable as widgets on social networks and used to create a digital out-of-home campaign that would broadcast this unique customer feedback to the world. The maps ran as live digital advertising on the London Underground, in train stations and shopping malls. At the same time first direct asked existing customers for honest feedback to create more credible content. These unedited words of its customers, both favourable and unfavourable, were transmitted live on the campaign website.
1. Using Precis:cubed, data was harvested from the Web for mentions of first direct.
2. Data from 1. was incorporated into the digital out of home campaign and first direct “live” site.
3. Data was also collected from first direct’s “Talking Point” section of the “live” site and fed back into Precis:cubed.
4. Kantar Media Precis then analysed data from 1. and 3. in detail in order to provide insights about consumers’ opinions about the bank.
The campaign went live on 28 September. Since then:
- The message reached 1.8m consumers.
- 68% of first direct’s target audience of medium to upper income 30-44-year-olds saw the message seven times.
- Brand differentiation has increased 10% (source: Mindshare).
- Brand momentum is up 14% (source: Millward Brown).
- first direct reports response rates have increased a staggering 240%.
first direct’s internal communications team is now using findings from the site to help make the bank’s service even more attractive to new customers.