To tide SMEs through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malaysian government initiated an SME grant to help small and medium businesses digitise their operations. With the grant, SMEs that purchase any products or services to digitise their businesses are eligible to claim up to RM 5,000. To generate 450 qualified SME leads, UOB worked with RinggitPlus.com to launch a digital and mobile campaign for the UOB SmartBusiness SME Digitalisation Grant Initiative. The campaign was a huge success and generated leads exceeding the campaign target, resulting in the team clinching silver for Best Mobile Growth Strategy at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE 's Mob-Ex Awards 2021.
With an existing partnership with a vendor providing HR and payroll software services, UOB wanted to provide digital assistance to its existing and new SME business banking customers by empowering them to digitise, especially with the pandemic taking a toll on traditional brick and mortar businesses. However, with the grant being dispersed through all banks in Malaysia, UOB faced fierce competition to become the bank of choice for SMEs to claim the grant. UOB needed to launch their campaign quickly to capture market share.
Targeting SME business owners or senior management of SME businesses who were the key decision-makers regarding any investments necessary for digitisation was also challenging for UOB. UOB’s previous conventional digital and mobile targeting solutions via proxy data had been unsuccessful and had either attracted low relevant leads or reached irrelevant audiences, resulting in no lead conversion.
To address the key challenges for this campaign, two strategies were executed namely:
1. Focus on the digital channel via mobile marketing to reach the right audience fast and get them to sign up for more information, directly via their mobile phones. The sales journey can then proceed as per UOB’s standard procedures, where the sales team will contact the leads to assist them with their applications. This will ensure an excellent speed-to-market to push the campaign out in the shortest time possible to compete with the other banks.
2. Leverage the first-party data of the largest financial aggregator in the market to ensure only the right target audience is reached. This was to minimise any potential wastage in the ad budget and generate genuine SME leads efficiently with the budget available.
As RinggitPlus.com is the largest financial aggregator in Malaysia with financial data of more than one million Malaysians, UOB could leverage this data to specifically target Malaysians who are "self-employed" and/or "have company directorship" based on their credit reports procured by RinggitPlus when the individuals were applying for any financial products through RinggitPlus in the past.
This ensures that when the ads are launched, they will only be visible to actual SME business owners or at the very least the senior management of these SME businesses with about 90% accuracy, thus minimising wastage of ad budget on unintended audiences.
With the two strategies above, it became clear that in order to launch a successful campaign for the UOB SmartBusiness SME Digitalisation Grant Initiative, focusing on the digital and mobile channels for speed (and real-time campaign performance data for optimisation) and leveraging financial data targeting via RinggitPlus’ first-party data will enable UOB to launch a highly targeted campaign, giving them a competitive edge against their competitors, by reaching the target audience first to seize the market.
To ensure that UOB could launch the campaign quickly to generate highly relevant SME leads before competitors had a chance to launch similar campaigns targeting the same audience segment, the team repurposed existing creative assets for the product, minimising both the creative production costs and the time required to launch the campaign. This allowed UOB to create the necessary campaign creative materials, obtain approval and officially launch the campaign within a week, successfully addressing the key challenges with ease while competing aggressively with other Malaysian banks.
UOB and RinggitPlus launched the UOB SmartBusiness SME Digitalisation Initiative Grant Campaign on Facebook with two creative ad visuals for A/B testing to see which will convert better for the campaign, measured by cost per lead (CPL). The target audiences browsing Facebook will see either ad A or ad B, as shown below:
When clicked, the target audience were then taken to UOB’s webpage for this product, where they could learn more about the programme and sign up (lead gen) for more information. From there, they could then expect to be contacted by UOB within three working days. This was when the optimisation of the campaign truly began. Within the first week of the campaign, the team discovered two crucial campaign performance data which helped them to optimise the campaign tremendously.
Firstly, when measuring the effectiveness of ad A (human image) and ad B (non-human image), it was clear that ad B was performing significantly better at converting a click to an actual lead, as compared to ad A, measured by CPL between the two ad creative versions.
Secondly, UOB observed that based on the nature of the campaign offer (grant), the average webpage conversion rate with the existing journey was rather low, resulting in a CPL that UOB believed could be further optimised. Hence, the team needed to find a solution to further improve the conversion journey.
Within two days, UOB launched a new campaign journey where they collected the leads directly on Facebook, utilising one of Facebook’s Ad Unit called Facebook Lead Ad. Based on the target audience’s experience, the ad will appear on their Facebook feed, looking identical to the initial ad. When clicked, a Facebook form would appear directly on Facebook for the target audience to fill in their contact and business details. They could then fill in and ‘submit’ their details, completing the lead drop journey without leaving Facebook and continuing browsing on the social media site.
This new journey worked very well and was continuously optimised throughout the campaign period. This was done through a weekly campaign review between UOB and RinggitPlus, analysing the latest campaign performance metrics and tweaking the ad campaign settings on Facebook.
UOB’s constant analysis of performance data to discover conversion insights to bring down the CPL to drive maximum SME leads led to great campaign success. The campaign generated a total of 1,721 SME leads within seven weeks. This result exceeded the KPI of 450 leads by 382%.
Fully leveraging on RinggitPlus’ first-party data resulted in 90% of the leads generated from the campaign being valid SME leads. This enabled UOB to address the challenge of low relevancy of digital SME leads with zero conversions to actual sales as experienced in past campaigns.
By launching the campaign within a week, collecting initially campaign performance data and improvising the campaign journey within two days also resulted in a huge performance uplift. This successfully addressed the challenge of staying ahead of competing banks by marketing the grant before they did. Ultimately, the campaign has demonstrated how using data, insights and analytics could result in outstanding campaign achievements that UOB hopes to replicate in future lead generation campaigns.