Success Story

Bendigo Bank reaches new home loan audiences

A changing housing market, a changing mortgage market

The Australian dream of owning your own home is still alive and well, despite soaring houses prices across the country.

This unprecedented housing price boom, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, has reconfigured the landscape when it comes to the mortgage market. With dwindling confidence, a new generation of first home buyers look to banks and financial institutions for more than just ‘money,’ seeking a ‘road map’ to realising their dream of home ownership in a challenging climate. This has opened the door for banks and financial institutions to build more intimate, partner-like relationships with their customers, offering a powerful point of difference to the more transactional liaisons offered by mortgage brokers.

Buoyed by extremely high customer satisfaction, Bendigo Bank has been uniquely placed to build its first home buyer mortgage business in this evolving landscape. According to Roy Morgan, over the last 12 consecutive months (to May 2018), Bendigo Bank has had the highest level of customer satisfaction when compared to the top ten largest banks. The task at hand was to convert this strong reputation and customer goodwill into new mortgage customers, specifically first home buyers.

Taking on the role of educator to reach new audiences

As part of its strategy to build its mortgage business, Bendigo Bank took on the role of ‘educator’ to help aspiring home owners make sense of unprecedented changes to incentives for first home buyers unveiled by the Victorian government in 2017.

Bendigo wanted to educate potential customers about the changes and open up the market to leverage first home buyers, and make a significant improvement in the metro market as well as the regional market. Bendigo viewed the changes as an opportunity to engage new audiences for the bank.

Reaching new customers in metropolitan Melbourne

While strong in the regional market, Bendigo Bank was looking specifically to build its mortgage business in metro areas of Melbourne. The objective was to increase first home applications by more than 30% as well as make significant improvements in the metro Melbourne area.

To realise this, they decided they needed a clearer and more nuanced view of the first home buyer market.

Bendigo Bank partnered with Roy Morgan to use Helix Personas, a unique and powerful psychographic consumer segmentation and data integration tool that combines sophisticated psychographic and behavioural data to classify the Australian population into 56 Personas and 7 Communities.

Using Helix Personas, Bendigo Bank was able to:

  • Uncover a granular understanding of the sub-groups that exist within the first home buyer’s market
  • Refine its creative messaging approach for each group to ensure it resonated with those potential customers
  • Target those specific groups online via programmatic

Beyond demographics: using psychographics to understand first home buyers  

In the past it has been possible to identify target audiences by key demographics such as birthplace, age and income gender. With an increasing level of education, income and social mobility comes an increasing degree of individualisation, requiring marketers to ‘up their game’ when it comes to who their customers are, what drives them and how to reach them.

Demographic analysis alone can only answer the WHO is doing WHAT. Psychographic analysis can unlock the elusive   WHY individuals behaving in a certain way shedding light on the drivers and motivations behind their choices.

Roy Morgan Helix Personas first enabled the Bendigo team to understand who their past ‘first home’ loan customers were by coding up their database to reveal which Personas their customers were likely to be. This painted a vivid picture of Bendigo Bank customers, revealing the different ‘types’ of first home buyers well beyond demographics to illuminate the things that actually drive their behaviour: mindset, values and motivation.

New Approach

Bendigo Bank also used Roy Morgan’s First Home Buyer data and banking data to understand:

  1. Where new opportunities were within the broader market,
  2. Whether they were ‘open’ to Bendigo Bank (over indexed)

Using a combination of Roy Morgan data on First Home Buyers and detailed banking data they were able to target those Helix Personas precisely.

Unlocking three first home buyer target segments

Through this analysis of the top Helix Personas, the team created and targeted three overarching segments.

  1. Young, single, socially aware and live in the inner city (Lily Lee)
  2. Family focussed and live further out in the suburbs (Pari & Arjun)
  3. Regional Victorian families (John & Kylie)

Each of the overarching segments contained six Helix Personas. The three distinct segments had fundamentally different Values Segment1 profiles which helped Bendigo with creative design and communications.

Meet the first home buyer ‘mindset’ segments

Lily Lee

This group are young, single, socially aware and live in the inner city. Lily wants to get serious about her finances and enter the property market. But she worries about how a mortgage will affect her lifestyle, particularly her passion for regular overseas travel.

When communicating to this segment it was important to understand their Values Segments. This groups main Values Segment is Socially Aware, so the information search and knowing as much as possible as she goes through the process was critical. Lily was looking to Bendigo to be the ‘experts’ and guide her through the process, while also appealing to her active lifestyle.

Pari & Arjun

Typical of this slightly older and more family-focused segment, Pari & Arjun are further along the lifecycle than their counterpart Lily. They live further out in the suburbs and many have a baby on the way, which has triggered them into looking to get out of the rental cycle and own a home of their own to raise their family.

Their main Values Segment is Conventional Family Life, so when it came to creative and messaging approach we emphasised financial security and building security and even wealth for their family.

John & Kylie

John and Kylie represent a segment likely to be found in Regional Victoria. John and Kylie already have a couple of kids and are looking to exit the rental cycle to build security for their family and ‘move up’ in life.

Their main Values Segment is Something Better, so the creative and messaging approach for this segment needed to be aspirational – ‘you can afford to buy your dream home including a pool for the kids to play in.’

As well as using the Roy Morgan Survey data to identify the segments, Bendigo Bank created three sets of creative and messaging and validated their decisions by monitoring interest and engagement of the three segments in terms of their creative appeal. Bendigo utilised Live Audience Evaluation which provided an understanding of which Helix Personas were showing interest in their home loan offer on their website during the lead up to the campaign period. This level of insight allows you to understand and evaluate the engagement of your audience so you can reach more customers on and offline during the campaign.

Media Placement – Reaching target audiences more efficiently

Helix Personas provide the ability to more efficiently plan and buy media against target audiences, optimise catchment areas and develop highly relevant, tailored marketing and consumer communication strategies across all forms of media; digital, direct, broadcast, print and ambient.

Bendigo optimised media channels through media agencies, as well as the creative strategy involved for the three segments.

The Helix Personas were used to target each segment through the media they consumed. The following media was used in the campaign.

  • Online premium placement
  • Outdoor
  • Programmatic – three specific mechanisms were trialed and optimized in near real time – Key Helix Personas; First Home Buyer Intention and 22-39 Year Olds. When reviewing the programmatic advertising the Key Helix Personas and First Home Intention were the most successful. Not surprisingly targeting 22-39 year olds was too broad an audience (too must wastage).

The Results

The campaign was a fantastic success. By gaining a more nuanced understanding of their potential customers – particularly their mindset, drivers and values – the Bendigo Bank team were able to create highly relevant messaging for each of the three over-arching segments, which spurred them on to engage with the brand.

Engagement across all key measures was outstanding:

  • 4 times increase in click-through-rates during the first home buyer campaign, based on previous campaigns without the specific targeting to Helix Personas
  • 8 times increase in metro Melbourne traffic to Bendigo’s first home buyers website
  • Greater than 30% increase in first home loan applications
  • Managed to meet the goals with roughly half the media spend of previous years.

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