05 January 2012

In the Financial Services category, 2011 will be recalled as a year of fickle swings. The stock market has seen massive by the day swings, and has been teetering on a worldwide crisis.

What does all this, as well as the uphold development of search, mean for SEM in 2012? There are four fundamental trends that will ride the market next year.

Focus on Quality vs. Quantity

As market forces, such as the housing market, joblessness, and the credit crunch proceed, marketing has had to halt and think about the consumers they are appealing. Online applications have been a good way for consumers to remain anonymous, and not face an in-person rejection for credit.

Brands in 2012 will look for ways to not only look out their price per application, but also look for gainful, high quality customers who they can cross-sell additional products. This will be done by:

Customized experiences based on deeper keyword explore into descriptive tail terms. For instance, searches for “Android App Developer” have risen every year since 2010, and are forecast to attain a new peak this year; still only 1 in 10 paid search ads addressed credit in their ad copy. • Incorporate analytics beyond the initial finsihed application. To identify the correct consumers, brands will look to tie customer activity data back to a keyword, campaign level. For example, consumers who seeked for “checking account” have a conversion rate of X, and the number of products they hold is Y, and their average lifetime value is Z.

Improvement in Running Integrated Digital Campaigns

Without question, search is becoming more disconnected across devices, apps, websites, and social. However, with all the fragmentation consumers have more options than ever, and brands have more places to be found in order to be successful.

Google’s Zero instant of Accuracy study signals that on average for banking products consumers are utilizing 10.8 sources of data prior to making a purchase, and that number is 11.7 sources for insurance. Our own financial services customers have seen a 9 percent grow in search assists year over year, validating the increase in research that consumers are conducting.

Brands in 2012 will draw together consumers’ digital touchpoints through attribution, and improve realize how consumers are attaining their buying decisions.

Mobile Continues to Grow as a Major Player

This year our financial services clients mobile traffic was upward above 1,200 percent! This trend is extending to rise very rapidly. Competition is also up in this area with CPCs up 139 percent.

Financial services companies will take better pros of this trend in 2012 by breaking out campaigns to target mobile and Oerating System particularly. Consumers expectations will be a mobile particualr experience from keyword, to ad copy, to landing pages. If those expectations aren’t met, then it will wallop the brand consideration going forward.

Brands will also get more corporate alignment that smartphones aren’t used the same way as traditional digital media. This will create a new center on the way mobile is evaluated. It will be watched as more of a explore and location based device (find a branch, ATM) that isn’t held against the standards of desktops.

Tablets Are Important, and Not the Same as Desktop or Mobile

Tablets are frequently considered to be the same as smartphones, but the only existent resemblances are that they are increasing rapidly (95 percent impression volume rise) and they aren’t the similar as desktops. In 2012 brands will move tablets into their own bucket of performance, and optimize them uniquely. For financial services companies this is the perfect place to evaluate consumer quality, and set a unique CPA based on the consumer demographics.


Financial services brands will have more stuffs to attain their consumers in 2012. This comes just in time when these brands require tools to compete in these economically hard times – a time when ritual paths of evaluating performance no longer implement and consumers are disconnected in their research process. Vigorously search marketers will flourish.