PNC Uses Big Data to Find Virtual Wallet Prospects

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PNC Bank has launched a new video commercial series designed to entice Gen X and Y consumers to take out Virtual Wallet accounts.

The campaign, which is called Be the Boss, will include 10 short videos that showcase characters who act out money-related inner doubts that the bank hopes will resonate with the targeted tech-savvy audience. (A recent college graduate worries about paying pay for an unexpected expense in one, for example, while a 30-something woman deals with mortgage payments in another.) The videos, which run as commercials on sites like Hulu and YouTube, tout products from PNC intended to help the consumer segments tackle their financial concerns. Actors in the videos come from the Manhattan-based improv group Upright Citizens Brigade, and the videos are meant to be humorous.

"The number of people watching video online has shown exponential growth in the last year. We understand the value of offering snackable video pre-roll to our target audience [Gen X/Y and young families] before they consume their favorite TV show on Hulu or YouTube," says Brian Lantz, senior vice president of digital direct marketing. "This strategy offers PNC the opportunity to be a part of the conversation without being interruptive."

The Pittsburgh bank mines so-called big data to better serve up a video ad tailored to a specific demographic that's likely website hopping. That requires some different marketing strategies.

"Cutting through the clutter on TV is different than cutting through the clutter on YouTube," says Tom Kunz, senior vice president of digital at PNC.

To determine where to find more desired demographics to spend media ad dollars on, the bank runs an audience management platform on its website to track visitor data and identify segments. It then marries such internal data with several external sources, including subscriber data supplied by media giant Hearst. All collected data - external and internal -- is non-personally identifiable information. Once it combines data about online shopping habits from various sources with financial information like investments, PNC says it creates a so-called demand management capability that helps it decide where to place the ads.

Once a prospect clicks through a video ad, he will be sent to an awareness-oriented landing page where he will see a series of messages that will continue to narrate how Virtual Wallet helps him "be the boss" of his money. As he navigates the site, the content will shift from awareness messaging to customer recruitment efforts.

PNC also promotes the Be the Boss videos on Twitter, Facebook, and other digital destinations.

The campaign's broad idea, of course, is to help make sure an ad for a digital product is relevant to a young audience. Beyond seeking to gain the bank new customers, PNC will also monitor metrics for the campaign including video completion rates, interactions with landing pages and social components such as sharing an ad.

"It all starts with what you know about the customer… to try to find more people," says Kunz. "We're trying to message and hit prospects in the streams of their [online] lifestyles. This turns marketing on its ear."


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Good for PNC! It appears that they are actually trying to help their customers build a fatter wallet unlike a few of those well known banks that provide credit at 100-200% interest to help shrink wallets. Good luck with this.
Posted by frankarauscher | Monday, December 02 2013 at 10:17AM ET
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