Swedbank aimed to shift a large part of its customer base to digital channels, so communicating the value and functionalities of its digital offer was a key marketing objective. Meanwhile, Sweden is seeing rapid shifts in media consumption, so traditional media like TV and print were no longer reaching Swedbank’s customer base. To introduce and explain new banking services to consumers, Swedbank created an innovative strategy around YouTube.

Swedbank is the leading retail bank in Sweden with around 4.1 million customers. Swedbank’s legacy originates from the early 1800s, and its longevity rests on a traditional branch network and strong local presence. As consumers move online though, new companies are emerging to compete with Swedbank on all product offerings in the online arena. In response, Swedbank has created new leading solutions for customers, moving simple errands and transactions from branches to digital spaces. The aim is to become the industry’s digital leader and to shift a large part of the customer base to Swedbank’s digital channels.

Communicating the value and functionalities of Swedbank’s digital offer is a key marketing objective. At the same time, Sweden is seeing rapid shifts in media consumption habits. Traditional media such as TV and print no longer reach Swedbank’s total customer base. These changes represent a further challenge in introducing and explaining new Swedbank services to consumers.

Aim digital messaging to increase digital engagement among customers

Swedbank developed a campaign to address these challenges with the goal of increasing mobile app downloads and usage of its mobile app among existing users. “A couple of years ago we would go heavy on TV and in local newspapers to reach out to our customers,” says Johan Bryngelson, Head of Digital at Swedbank. “We would have created a compelling ad for a four- to eight-week campaign. Lately we have seen these campaigns becoming less and less effective as people have moved online. With our huge customer base, we understood that we can no longer use one message for all.”

The Swedbank team recognised YouTube as an easy-to-use platform with great reach and creative opportunities. First, customers were divided into segments depending on their maturity level within the mobile platform: nonusers, existing users and early adopters. The approach was to inform and educate non-users about the mobile platform’s existence and how it could make banking easier for them. For existing users, the focus lay on showing more features and all the possibilities of the mobile platform. Messaging for the early adopter segment focused on the newest cutting-edge features that set Swedbank apart from the rest of the market.

Alongside online versions of the TV commercial, Swedbank created customised how-to videos to provide the three segments with information relevant to them about the value and features of the mobile platform. They then shifted a portion of the budget from traditional media to online video to increase the campaign’s effect and to extend the campaign period without adding to the total media investment. Advanced remarketing on YouTube ensured that the right videos were shown in a relevant order, while the App Promotion feature made it easy for users to download the app in just one click.

The results

The campaign ran for six weeks, followed by eight more weeks always on. Over 1.3 million people saw the ad on YouTube with an additional 200,000 views of the product feature how-to videos. According to market research, the perception of Swedbank as the leading digital bank increased by 14% during the campaign, a large shift in such a short space of time. Most importantly, Swedbank increased usage of its mobile platform by 120% and gained a significant number of new users of the personal finance management tool – 66% over the target.

“We are very happy with the results, Johan says. “In this campaign we have truly started to see the power of the YouTube channel in helping customers understand the benefits of going digital. We are really pleased with the campaign and the possibility that YouTube offers in how we can deepen the relationship with the customer by using data and retargeting. YouTube is and will be an important cornerstone in our marketing mix.”