Robert Vorel is president of Crest Communications Inc, a full service Branding/Promotional Ad Agency. It provides market positioning implementation utilizing newly defined “real-time marketing” approaches.
For many brands and agencies that have long favored such traditional media as print newspapers, radio and television to carry their advertising messages, navigating the complexity of advertising in the fragmented digital landscape is a daunting proposition.
But these advertising agencies and brands are recognizing they can reach new customer bases, especially young consumers, through digital media – from Facebook, Twitter and MTV.com to local online sites that attract a younger audience. That’s why more and more brands are asking their advertising agencies to help them embrace digital media in order to reach their specific target consumer.
To become more efficient at navigating this digital space, and build even stronger plans, ad agencies are increasingly seeking out talented third-parties that can help them deliver bottom-line success. They’re linking with media buying firms that can offer teams of specialists whose expertise lie within knowing what specific new media can best serve a client in the digital media space.
Illustrating this growing trend is Old Second Bank, a community bank based in Aurora, Ill., and our Chicago-based advertising agency, Crest Communications Inc.
Targeting College Students
Old Second Bank, a subsidiary of Old Second Bankcorp (Nasdaq: OBSC), recently identified a ripe new market – college students – and developed a special offer specifically for them. Crest Communications knew this effort would require a highly creative and impactful message delivered through digital placement in order to engage the college crowd’s interest in Old Second’s new offerings.
Once the new target consumer had been thoroughly identified, Old Second Bank partnered with Crest Communications to create a digital display campaign that would achieve at least a 10 percent monthly lift in total sales volume.
From the outset, the digital campaign was an exciting opportunity for Old Second to explore new media. Crest Communications tapped Patrick Condron at Centro, a Chicago-based media logistics services company, as a partner in helping funnel the ad message to make the strongest impact directly on their key target audience.
In its 11 years – and in a rapidly changing media environment – Centro has developed technology, systems and employed digital specialists that, together, have generated a growing number of successes in executing ad campaigns through the right digital media. With over 475 agencies and brands nationwide, we were very eager to work with them.
Focusing on Chicago’s Western Suburbs
In planning this type of campaign, giant commercial banks would have concentrated on huge digital sites, such as Yahoo!, possibly losing out on the opportunity to reach the exact right audiences across such general-interest properties.
But Old Second, whose banking market in west suburban Chicago includes several colleges, wanted to use specific digital sites that would reach students at nearby institutions, such as Waubonsee Community College in Aurora, Aurora University, and Joliet Junior College, among others.
After Crest developed a highly engaging creative message for Old Second, Centro helped plan, and then executed, a three month-long, highly targeted display campaign in the western suburbs. Centro helped negotiate top placements, rates, and developed strategic publisher recommendations that would drive the most engagement. The campaigns featured premium inventory such as Facebook and college-targeted endemic sites such as MTV, The Onion, and Metromix, Chicago’s local entertainment guide.
Centro’s campaign analysts continually reviewed performance, optimized sites, and kept Crest Communications up-to-date on top-line metrics and insights. Centro’s media logistics experts continuously monitored our campaign, and made adjustments accordingly with an incredibly rapid turnaround time.
Results Exceeded Expectations
Centro’s media logistics along with Crest’s strategy and creative messaging proved successful. The digital campaign created an engagement environment that tripled Old Second Bank’s overall level of online account openings and lifted its sales by 15-18 percent.
Soon after, Old Second expanded its initial efforts to include a broader target segment of adults with ages 25-plus. For that audience, Crest Communications and Centro expanded their digital media plan to include those reached by the Centro Brand Exchange, a premium invitation-only exchange. This broader campaign triggered a 15 percent-plus lift in monthly sales, allowing the bank to exceed its six-month goal of 3,500 new accounts.
Impressed by what digital ad campaigns can do to lift business, Old Second is now targeting another large customer base: the commercial sector, specifically small business owners. In due time, Old Second Bank will include digital campaigns in its full-year, four-quarter marketing calendar. The correct strategy, highly engaging creative, and our partnership with Centro will continue to meet or exceed Old Second Banks KPI’s.