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Suncorp Bank - Home Loans that Deliver

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Insight 

There was huge opportunity in Sydney for Suncorp– but even bigger challenges. Suncorp Bank’s heritage is as a Queensland brand and is relatively unknown outside its home state. It had extremely low Sydney awareness, little rate differentiation, and a media budget that was less than a quarter of the major banks. Adding to the challenge was its limited ‘real world’ presence in Sydney – a mere 3% share of actual bricks-n-mortar branches, a huge disadvantage with branches the dominant channel for home loans.  

Home loans are, unsurprisingly, the financial product with the highest customer involvement. A home loan decision is one that will last for the major part of a lifetime (on average, 30 years) and owning one's home remains the Great Australian Dream. Whilst more and more customers are banking online or making cashless transactions, a home loan discussion is one that predominantly takes place in branch. 

Suncorp Bank may not have a huge Sydney branch network, but it could still enable face to face service – it has a team of five Mobile Lenders unrestricted by bank hours or locations. To differentiate from its competitors it needed to break banking “Branch Mentality” and harness its team of mobile lenders, promoting their services at scale. This would demonstrate that Suncorp Bank is always on call – and prompt an immediate response during customer hours, rather than bank hours. The problem was, it never knew where the Lenders were going to be – so couldn’t guarantee a Suncorp on call response… could it?! 

Strategy 

How could Suncorp crack Sydney as the “genuine alternative” to the Big 4 Banks when Sydneysiders barely knew who it was? The Home Loans category fights for market share by cutting rates. Without a differentiating rate incentive, it needed to create a service offering so compelling, it outsmarted the rates war. What was the one thing more precious to the people of Sydney than price? TIME.    

Australian families are working harder than anyone in the world – requiring two incomes to keep up with the high cost of living, especially in Sydney where median house prices had reached $1m (surpassing London). Hardworking Sydney-siders would be most receptive to service and advice on their terms - at home, after work hours when they could focus on their personal needs. To get customers to consider a bank they didn’t currently have a relationship with would require Suncorp to show them it put the needs of the customer first – even if it meant Suncorp Home Lenders working around the clock.  

The brand reversed category conventions – rather than reaching people on the way to work to prompt branch visitation during bank hours, it targeted workers outside banking and working hours – prompting action on their evening commute home, during their own hours. Rather than relying on customers coming to Suncorp, it went to them. In a category where local branches are established channels to access a local property market, it created hyper local presence in all Sydney suburbs without branches, armed with a mere team of five. 

The on call solution was brilliantly simple. Suncorp’s Mobile Lenders were always trackable thanks to the power of Location Services on their mobile phones. Using this data, it created a bespoke on call solution. 

Execution 

Agency SMG developed a custom built “Home Loans on Call” app that was downloaded by the five Lenders, allowing it to leverage the GPS location of each smartphone. The app pushed this data to a dashboard which collated the locations of all five lenders. It then broadcast these Mobile Lender locations live to thousands of Sydney commuters, with real time heat maps on every digital OOH panel in Sydney’s rail network. 

By broadcasting location services every day during commute hours across the three month campaign, customers became accustomed to referring to the panels and identify when a lender was in their area. When a Mobile Lender was in their suburb, they could then book an appointment with them for their arrival home!   

By overlaying the GPS data with Google maps on each billboard it demonstrated how far and wide the Mobile Lender service extended across Sydney. It had harnessed its humble team of five mobile lenders, and given them scale in a true media first – fusing real world staff locations, individual data and out of home impact, live! Most importantly, it proved that Suncorp Bank alone puts the needs of its customers first – and that this tailored service is above and beyond that of the Big Four banks. 

Results 

The campaign delivered to the door. It drove a huge increase in Sydney Home Loan lodgements achieving +234% increase YoY– more than seven times the +30% target. It also smashed benchmarks online, achieving Mobile Lender Lead Generation of +171% YoY - more than six times the goal of +25%. Suncorp Bank had never experienced results like this in Sydney before.  

For the first time, Suncorp’s Sydney awareness and consideration climbed. The key brand metric “I’d prefer to speak to a Mobile Lender” rose across the campaign period with online enquiries rising to +317% over this time. Consumers had resonated with the service message and it had prompted them to think beyond rate for finance needs.  

Following the campaign, consumers were able to recall that Suncorp Bank Mobile Lenders covered all of Sydney, all of the time. It had taught the people of Sydney to expect more when it comes to service and they had responded.

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Brand:
Suncorp Bank
Category:
Financial
Region:
Australia
date:
May - July 2015
Agency:
Starcom Mediavest
Media Channel:
Mobile,Out-of-Home
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