Episode 1: YouTube works for CommBank Australia
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Episode 1: YouTube works for CommBank AustraliaMay 2023
CommBank Australia: How YouTube has supported CommBank Australia’s audience-first strategic shift to reach audiences of all ages
On a mission to provide banking for all Australians, CommBank Australia was seeking continued connection with their broad audience – but particularly, younger demographics.
In conversation with marketing guru Mark Ritson, CommBank Australia CMO Jo Boundy explains how their strategic shift to an ‘audience-first’ media strategy translated to showing up where their audience is going – and that’s YouTube.
In this episode of ‘The Long and The Short of It,’ Ritson and Boundy take a deep dive into how CommBank Australia’s YouTube strategy not only supported them to reach audiences of all ages at scale in the long term, but drove consideration in the short term. Watch how CommBank put YouTube’s multiformat and targeting solutions to the test – and proved that breaking channel tradition can lead to big brand growth.
Mark Ritson: The long, and the short. Performance, and brand. Top of funnel, bottom of funnel. My name is Mark Ritson and this is YouTube Works, ‘The Long and Short of It’.
In this series, we'll look at how three great brands, Tourism Australia, CommBank Australia, and Les Mills have followed the audience as the audience moves to YouTube.
There are few bigger brands in Australia than Commonwealth Bank. That's partly because it is just such a huge and incredibly strong brand. But also because, within financial services, Commonwealth Bank is widely seen as the leading institution in the country.
Today I'm joined by Jo Boundy, the Chief Marketing Officer. She's taking the bank on a journey to be more audience centric and she's using YouTube at the very heart of that strategy.
Jo, as CMO at Commonwealth Bank, you've been on a strategic journey for the last few years. Tell us more about that journey.
Jo Boundy: Thanks Mark, and it's a pleasure to be here. So, Commonwealth Bank is Australia's largest bank, and it's also one of Australia's most trusted brands. If you think about it, we’re everything from startups to scaleups, we’re your first job, we’re your first car, your first home, retirees, micro-businesses, right up to Australia's largest businesses.
Our brand purpose is about banking for all Australians, and so our marketing is all about making sure we can get as much reach and engage with as many Australians as we can.
Mark Ritson: So if we try and translate that purpose of reaching all Australians, what does it look like with respect to marketing and media? How do you approach that challenge?
Jo Boundy: We have mass marketing. We look at a whole range of different marketing channels, media and mix. But particularly in the last few years, we've really evolved to be audience-first. So we've been really looking at where audiences are that we want to communicate with.
Now the interesting thing about that is you actually really need to know how the media landscape is changing. What are consumers doing, where are they engaging with content, and essentially, where do we as the Commonwealth Bank need to show up in order to actually engage those audiences?
And that's where we started doing a lot more with YouTube. Obviously, we know a lot of Australians are on YouTube – and particularly the under 44s. So when we're trying to particularly talk to a younger demographic, YouTube has actually played a really big role for us in that audience-first strategy.
Mark Ritson: We should be clear, we often talk about this younger demographic and you imagine sort of 16 year olds in their bedrooms, it is that cut off of under 44? I think it's ubiquity that talks about that increasing decline in linear TV viewership that YouTube nicely supplements.
Let's take the long of it. Let's take building the Commonwealth brand. How have you used YouTube in that challenge to reach that under 44 market?
Jo Boundy: It's a great question, and I think it's one where we actually really enjoyed working with YouTube because we get both the long term objectives and the short term objectives.
So if I talk to the long term objectives, a recent campaign we did was for our business part of the organisation, and it was a business brand campaign. We had two different objectives that we wanted to meet.
We really wanted to work with business decision makers and communicate directly to them. But, in parallel, we wanted to actually educate the nation about the role the Commonwealth Bank plays in supporting local businesses. So we had to get this balance right between scale and reach, and then also quite specific messaging for our business customers.
So we looked at a range of different formats, that's one of the great things about YouTube. There are a range of different formats that you can use. For our real scale, we actually did 15-second TrueView where we actually went across two to three different YouTube categories and affinity audiences.
Then we wanted really high impact. So we did YouTube mastheads across Connected TV.
Then we really wanted to make sure our brand messages were getting across. So we did 6-second bumper rolls, which were really short and sharp messaging to make sure that we were getting that really pithy brand messaging to cut through.
And then finally, to make sure that we were quite targeted, we really wanted to go to those high-intent audiences, so we used YouTube Searches to make sure that we were really getting the message across to the business customers as well.
So you can see even in that one really simple example how we were actually able to go from our big scale and brand messaging but actually still be quite targeted throughout the funnel as well.
And we had really great results. So we saw a 6% uplift in brand consideration, particularly in that 35- to 44-year-old category, which was really great results for us.
Mark Ritson: We should pause because it's easy to go “6% doesn’t sound like a lot”. You have to work in financial services and in marketing to appreciate 6% is very, very tasty.
Jo Boundy: It’s very compelling, yeah!
Mark Ritson: Let's talk more about the short of it. Financial services maybe, once upon a time, was just the Big Four and a bank for life. It's not like that anymore. We have all kinds of fragmentation, all kinds of new products. How are you answering that challenge of producing new products and marketing them to different segments?
Jo Boundy: Yeah, it's really important that we not only drive brand awareness, but also consideration of new products and services when we launch them to market.
A good example is in 2021 when we launched StepPay, which is Commonwealth Bank's buy now pay later product. And whilst people are aware of it, we really needed to make sure we were driving consideration, and also with the younger demographics.
So we actually got quite creative. We worked with YouTube with the product Director Mix. And, essentially, what we did was look at essentially looking at moments, interests and occasions, doing really personalised creative variants based on those moments, interests, and occasions and serving them up at points in time that were relevant for each specific audience.
We were actually able to reach 1.7 million Australians in that younger demographic that we were targeting, and the campaign drove a view-through rate that was 35% higher than the category average.
Mark Ritson: It's very interesting, Jo, you've got this mix, haven't you, still, of essentially a mass marketing objective for the CBA brand, but at the same time for some of these different products, you're zooming in quite specifically to a relatively small group. YouTube's giving you that flexibility, it seems.
Jo Boundy: Yeah, that's correct. For us, scale, reach, engagement at a mass level is very important and those long term objectives will not go away. But, we are able to get quite targeted and specific on YouTube.
So although our strategies evolved, our key objectives and our measurement criteria remains the same. Brand consistency continues to be critical for us. But, when we are in the YouTube format, there are some particular YouTube metrics that we pay close attention to.
So they are ad recall, viewability, and also view-through rates as a proxy for attention. And we look at those and we can also optimise and measure in real time, which makes sure we're ultimately driving efficiency and making sure we're meeting both those long term and short term objectives that we have as a brand.
Mark Ritson: Thanks for coming in Jo, and it's been wonderful to learn about your audience-centred approach and the successes you're having on YouTube.
Jo Boundy: Thanks Mark, it’s been an absolute pleasure to be here today!
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