What we set out to test
Can fully AI-powered Search campaigns help to drive higher ROI and incremental sales for an insurance company?
2022 brought about new challenges for India’s insurance sector. Macroeconomic conditions and stricter regulatory guidelines meant that brands like HDFC ERGO, India’s leading general insurance company, had to find ways to remain competitive while keeping costs low.
One challenge that HDFC ERGO faced was reaching people who were searching for insurance products. The brand found it difficult to show up for a variety of search queries related to its wide range of products, which included health, motor, travel, and home insurance. It also noticed a dip in search queries for its insurance products, which further impacted profitability and increased customer acquisition costs.
HDFC ERGO had always been an early adopter of new marketing strategies, and was keen to explore ways to better connect with its valuable customers. The brand was eager to experiment with Search ad solutions powered by Google AI, which optimize campaigns in real time by displaying highly relevant ads and adjusting bids to achieve specific goals. In particular, HDFC ERGO wanted to test whether AI-powered campaigns could help it drive incremental search volume and ROI for its two wheeler insurance business, one of the brand’s key products.
How we set the experiment up
HDFC ERGO set up a two-phased experiment to measure how well each solution met its objectives.
Phase 1: Smart Bidding
The team set up a search query-based A/B test using the custom experiments tool to test whether Target ROAS bidding performed better at maximizing ROI, compared to HDFC ERGO’s existing strategy of Target CPA bidding.
Phase 2: Keyword matching
Subsequently, HDFC ERGO added broad match keywords (as the only match type) to the test group to determine if it would acquire more valuable customers and maximize online revenue.
Both the control group, which ran Target CPA bidding, and the test group, which ran Target ROAS bidding with broad match keywords, also consistently implemented responsive search ads throughout the experiment to deliver relevant and personalized ads through image extensions, sitelinks, and ad customizers.
The experiment ran in India for a period of nine weeks, with both groups using the same creative assets, audience targeting, bidding strategy, and budgets. For this experiment, a conversion was defined as an enquiry made on the HDFC ERGO website.
Solutions we used
What we learned
HDFC ERGO found that switching to Target ROAS and broad match helped to boost its site traffic and online sales without increasing acquisition costs. Responsive search ads also enabled the brand to maximize campaign performance by ensuring relevant ads were consistently served to its customers.
Within the nine-week test period, the test campaign drove:
In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, brands must evolve their Search ad strategies to improve their performance, reach new audiences, and increase ROI. By running experiments, brands can identify what works for them and apply their learnings at scale for future campaigns.
Following the success of this experiment, HDFC ERGO expanded its use of Google AI-powered ad solutions, and plans to continue scaling them across more marketing campaigns for other insurance products to increase profitability.
This case study is part of the Experiment with Google Ads program.