NetBank, an Internet bank with no brick-and-mortar retail branches, needed to raise its visibility and brand awareness; and also to acquire new accounts. This was made harder by the fact that the online banking industry is intensely competitive. Regional retail banks, banking industry mega mergers, and online brokers moving into banking, all compete in this space.
In order to compete NetBank decided to ally itself with a large, well-respected destination site for consumers interested in financial services. After extensive research NetBank chose to join MSN's MoneyCentral Total Reach 2000 Package.
Unlike regular banner buys, the Total Reach Package is a comprehensive program of banners, buttons and content modules that allow NetBank to present their own editorial messages to motivated visitors. MSN allows the partner institutions to wholly control all content so that it is free from compromise from a third-party, including MSN. One example of this is MSNís declining to frame the content provided by its partners; instead, users are hyperlinked to that providerís site.
Yet with a total of three banks available as selections on MoneyCentral (the others are Citibank and WingspanBank.com), how could NetBank ensure that it would have a fighting chance to promote itself?
Unlike other portal marketing arrangements of its type, MoneyCentral does not force the content partner into a strict plot of real estate on the site. Until the user registers and customizes the content on the interface, the content provided by the financial institution, including links to different product offerings, are rotated dynamically. As such, NetBank competes on equal footing with both Citibank and WingspanBank.com, all competing with each other fairly on the strengths of their products and services (and MoneyCentral implicitly staying away from unjustly playing an advisor role to the user.)
To ensure conversions, NetBank offered a $50 incentive to get users to open new accounts.
Ad effectiveness research was conducted by e-valuations.com before and after the campaign began. Within one month of implementing MoneyCentralís Total Reach Package, NetBankís brand awareness had doubled.
NOTES: According to statistics gathered in October 2000 from Jupiter Media Metrix, MSN is the 3rd most visited site on the Internet, with 46 million visitors, with MoneyCentral alone claiming 3.7 million.
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