TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards: TVNZ Innovation, BNZ YouMoney

The challenge 

While BNZ is a strong brand with over 35-year-olds, it languishes in ‘old fashioned and boring’ territory with those under 35, AKA the Starting Out segment. In fact, research showed things couldn’t get much worse: BNZ had poor market share, poor brand preference, limited differentiation and minimal loyalty. The brand was deemed irrelevant, untrustworthy and boring. And all that combined to make BNZ the least preferred bank among that demographic.

The bank obviously wants to change this, so part of its strategy was to lead with technological advances that resonate with a younger audience, fit with the bank’s innovative internal culture and back up its brand promise to help New Zealand ‘Be Good with Money’. Enter YouMoney. 

Technologically, there’s nothing bigger for a bank in terms of dealing with customers than internet banking, but it has changed little over the past ten years in anything other than cosmetic look and feel. Research showed that technological development that put customers in control of their finances would have a strong impact on consideration because customers in the age bracket interact with their bank predominantly through digital channels. More broadly, this segment is more involved with technology than all others and this formed the basis of both the product and marketing effort. 

In media, BNZ’s share of market was disproportionately lower than its share of voice. In other words, it’s not just about having ad presence, it’s what you’re saying, where you’re saying it and how engaged the audience is with the message. So BNZ needed to significantly change the way internet banking worked—and it had to do it quickly—starting from the way its customers thought and subsequently building a product that was more visual, intuitive and less ‘bank-focused’. 

The Response

The objective was to release a ‘minimum viable product’, or in layman’s terms, develop a product that delivered the maximum impact with the minimum amount of effort so that time to market could be reduced. Therefore, BNZ initially chose three core products to be developed within this internet banking interface: a transaction, savings and credit card account. 

A multi-discipline working party, involving functions from across the bank (technology, distribution, retail, risk, legal, marketing, product and partnerships) was established. And a dedicated communications manager formed a link between the agency, media agency and cross-functional team at the BNZ. The agency worked directly with the legal and online teams to speed up decision making, keeping the comms manager apprised but not responsible for every decision being made.

The YouMoney product was developed to be highly visual. Rather than a standard table-based internet banking screen where an account is a single entity, the interface enabled customers to create up to 25 ‘accounts’, effectively sub-divisions of the total bank account. Each of these were customisable by the user, with both names and pictorial icons, to personalise each bucket of money. And to move money around, it was as simple as dragging and dropping from one account to the other. Customers were able to set savings goals on particular accounts and change names, icons and details for each account by clicking on the icons,  

For the target audience, the proposition became ‘Banking that works like your brain does’, so, for example, the ‘Friday night drinks’ account was able to changed in a few seconds to the ‘broken table’ account if things got a bit messy. 

​Research showed that marketing shouldn’t get in the way of the product, and while initially it had considered other marketing strategies, it changed tack mid-stream and chose to visually demonstrate the product through TV, online, and cinema. There were essentially two creative executions. On TV and in cinema it demonstrated the YouMoney interface with four stories about customers. Each story was told using only the product interface itself. For example, Tom’s story was about his angry landlord, who hadn’t been paid. Tom scans his accounts (surf trip, vinyl, necessities and weekend) and takes drastic action, dragging funds over to his landlord’s account.

In digital media, it employed the behavioural economics principle of loss aversion by running a money drop competition using interactive banners to demonstrate the ‘drag and drop’ functionality of YouMoney. For two weeks, cash was spread around in digital banners for people to find and if someone did, they registered this ‘cash’ in their game account on the YouMoney campaign site. Each piece of cash would expire 72 hours after grabbing it. This meant people needed to keep coming back to the site to find clues as to where further denominations ($5, $10, $20 and $50) were being hidden and could top up their game accounts to a maximum of $100. Cash was only claimed by people who ‘cashed up’ by opening a YouMoney account. The degree of difficulty in this part of the project was high and the bank was constantly trying to achieve a balance between creating a game and managing the security risk (with over 152 million banner impressions in two weeks, the site, database and security had to be monitored to ensure the bank’s risk and IT teams were happy). 

The target audience for the campaign were notoriously cynical of messages from financial institutions, and BNZ in particular, so it needed to be constantly listening and be prepared to change the tone and channel of communications in line with direct feedback. Throughout the product and subsequent marketing campaign development, it constantly checked in to ensure it was on the right track. In fact, not only were customers encouraged to provide feedback when they signed up to YouMoney, the interface included a prominent feedback form. 

BNZ also decided to weave in a strategy for campus activation during Orientation weeks (this work had previously been a separate brief, so kiosks with interactive demos of the YouMoney interface were set up and BNZ staff and promo teams manned the stands. 

The Results

From interface development through to the launch campaign was less than two years, which for an internet banking interface is incredibly fast. And the young audience liked what they saw: 80 percent who saw the YouMoney campaign attributed it to BNZ. And, relative to other comparable ads, it made them feel more positive to BNZ and more likely to consider the bank. 

People who won denominations in the online game were loathe to let them expire, meaning a higher sign up rate to YouMoney than it expected: only 12 percent of denominations that were won expired and 50 percent of customers who found cash moved through to the YouMoney application form.

Since launch the bank has been undertaking up to three releases of feature and functional improvements each month. A direct communications strategy enables it to continue to communicate the improvements through in-channel and relationship marketing channels, with those customers already signed-up and enjoying the product. Subsequently, through engagement with social media channels, the same customers are becoming advocates and signing up others.

BNZ’s results are confidential, but the innovative YouMoney product and the ensuing campaign has performed amazingly well across all measures, with huge increases in customer acquisition among the young’uns, significant revenue generation, improvements in consideration and preference measures, and market share growth. 

Award: TVNZ Innovation

Winner: BNZ ‘YouMoney’

Judge’s comment: “This entry represents an impressive product design and build, well executed for the younger target audience. It is evidence of original thinking for the banking sector and very much for BNZ, plus convergence of IT and marketing that is a growing and challenging trend. The build and campaign were well founded in insight and in line with the new strategy and brand position (which was original for BNZ). BNZ’s agile approach and putting something to market ‘unfinished’ is to be congratulated, especially within the banking/financial sector. Finally, the gamification aspect of the creative support campaign is also innovative and again right for the target audience, which resulted in an impressive sign up result given the time and effort required.”

Partners: Colenso BBDO, Mediacom

Finalists: AA Smartfuel ‘AA Smartfuel Acquisition Strategy’; Frucor Beverages ‘The V Motion Project’; Hallenstein Brothers ‘Playmates/Will.i.am’; Inverno Trading ‘Creation of Global Kitesurfing Brand’; Kiwicare ‘Weed Weapon Product Launch’; Les Mills International ‘Les Mills Smartbar’; Loyalty New Zealand ‘Fly Buys Swipe and Delight Billboard and Adshels’; Mercury Energy ‘GEM’; Mini New Zealand ‘Driving Dogs – SPCA Sponsorship Campaign’; Unitec ‘We Make the People Who Make It’; Z Energy ‘Good in the Hood’. 

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