Malaysian Media Awards Winners Showcase

2021 | |

Hong Leong Bank – Finding Gold Through The Magic Window

Advertiser: Hong Leong Bank
Brand: Hong Leong Bank
Creative Agency: Naga DDB Malaysia
Credits: -


Objective & Challenge
A priceless insight with loans, it’s not just “Who”, but “When”. About 80% of Personal Loan (PL) applications in Malaysia are fruitless for both customer and bank, with an average industry loan approval rate of only 20%. This stringency is driven by the banks’ need to maintain their overall credit health. We needed to help Hong Leong Bank (HLB) to improve these odds. But How? We knew that there was a demand for personal loans but conversions were not happening for HLB. We had to identify how we could do better and target quality applicants, in order to achieve the challenging KPIs set by the client: a) Increase in PL applications by 15% over the previous year (4,344) b) Increase in PL average approval rate to 23% (industry average is 20%, HLB previous year was 19%)

Insight & Strategy
Exploring the “Magic Window” We wanted to help HLB to sift and collect the nuggets of gold the good loan applicants more effectively. To identify we used our proprietary data suite to look into consumer behaviour data and discovered a powerful truth when it came to personal loans: “Timing is everything.” We discovered that HLB’s PL applications were at the highest in the first two weeks of the month. Knowing when was half the battle, we had to know who So we turned to our proprietary data suite to analyse HLB’s 1st party data. This tool not only gave us insights into the behaviour of 18M Malaysians across 23M digital IDs, but also helped us predict recurring and future behaviour. Moreover by incorporating HLB’s 1st party data we could track audience receptivity towards campaigns and content on HLB owned assets like websites, campaign landing pages and buy buttons – in real time. Allowing us to identify applicants that had Personal Loans approved. What we found were two key audiences and sized them to understand the potential for HLB: 1) Employed individuals, motivated by a need to settle bills / other debts before the month end due date. 2) Sole proprietors / small businesses, motivated by a need to settle payments to their business partners, vendors, etc. These were “The Responsible” groups who seek credit facilities but demonstrate healthy repayment behavior. They were the perfect seam from which to mine our gold. To scale our reach, we generated lookalike audiences (discarding the high risk prospects who typically searched for “fast cash”, “no conditions”, etc.) Then we set to work on really reaching these golden prospects.

Smarter Targeting of Smart Borrowers For communications rollout, our earlier analytical work became invaluable. Because the digital behaviour of our target was tracked in real time, we could serve them creative specifically tailored to their interest and Personal Loan motivations So instead of activating a standard PL search campaign that is typically one dimensional with generic messaging focusing only on rates, we used a combination of standard text ads and responsive search ads to minimize the spillover. By harnessing the power Responsive Search Ads, we could zoom into the deeper consumer motivations of the two groups we’d identified. To ensure highest impressions and clicks to our website, we optimized our campaign by increasing our spends during the weekdays to capture people who were dropping lead during working hours. This allowed stake a claim in share of impression at a whopping 91% in the search space. For HLB, 90% of the search budget was allocated to a highly focused pool of top performing keywords that generated 80% of the leads.

Above & Beyond Expectations Instead of spreading our budget across multiple channels and by smartly sharpening HLB search marketing strategy, we achieved the highest PL approval rate in three years. • Achieved an average approval rate of 25% (with a peak of 30%); This was 6% higher than the industry benchmark • Loan Application value went up by 102% (RM259M vs previous year RM128M) • Loan applications went up by 75% (7,613 vs previous year 4,344) • Loan amount disbursed increased by 98% (RM34.7 vs previous year RM17.5) By these metrics, we successfully exceeded the KPIs set at the onset of the campaign showing an insight based, data driven search marketing strategy could lead to a tangible edge in a competitive marketplace.