KCB Group is the largest financial Institution by assets in East Africa, serving over 9.7 million customers across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia. Recognising mobile technology as the future of banking in Africa, KCB launched its app in January 2015, offering a comprehensive mobile banking solution.

KCB Group is the largest financial Institution by assets in East Africa, serving over 9.7 million customers across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia. Recognising mobile technology as the future of banking in Africa, KCB launched its app in January 2015, offering a comprehensive mobile banking solution.

The KCB mobile app allows all consumers – including those who are not part of the formal financial system – to get cheap and quick access to financial services. Non-customers can open an account without the need to travel to a physical branch, and existing customers can transfer cash, manage cards, and apply for loans in an easy and secure way. The app quickly became an effective product selling channel, and promotion of the KCB mobile app was crucial in acquiring new customers and driving long-term loyalty.

To raise awareness and drive downloads of the Android app at scale, KCB Group,their agency Squad Digital and Google specialists partnered together to build a holistic and cost-effective app strategy. The first step was to align around KCB’s goal to generate at least 30,000 downloads at a cost per install of $1.50.

The Google team and Squad Digital conducted a preliminary market analysis to validate the CPI target and agreed on a bi-weekly review meeting. They then came up with a scalable app promotion strategy, focused around in-app display campaigns on the Admob network as well as search ads. They also carried out a detailed ad copy analysis and proposed changes to better highlight KCB Group’s competitive advantages.

The campaign launched in June 2015. KCB took advantage of Conversion Optimizer, Google’s auto-bidding algorithm that helps advertisers get the most downloads for their budget and finds the optimal bid each time the ad is eligible to appear. On the tracking side, the codeless Android install tracking enabled KCB Group to register app downloads on Android resulting from AdWords campaigns without putting any extra code into the app.

After the release of Universal App Campaigns in AdWords, KCB seized the opportunity to run a single campaign across Google Search, Google Play, AdMob and YouTube to further increase its campaign’s effectiveness.

“The spike in downloads we saw once the Google campaign gained momentum was amazing . The frequent tracking, tweaking and review meetings truly contributed to this success,” says Alex Muriu, KCB Groups’s Digital brand manager.

“Our focus in 2016 is in utilizing these tools to increase usage of our mobile banking services by our customers.” KCB’s campaign quickly exceeded the initial targets, in terms of volume and cost. In two months, KCB’s Android app reached more than 100,000 downloads, with 38,577 downloads driven by Google ads, 30% higher than the campaign’s target. What’s more, KCB benefited from a 25% lower cost per install than the initial forecast. The campaign also boosted the app’s organic indexing and visibility, as it reached the tenth place overall in the Kenyan Play store rankings, gaining 116 positions.