Making insurance advertising smarter by putting data first.

How Legal & General created a single source of truth with Adobe.

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Established

1836

Employees: 8,531
London, UK
www.legalandgeneral.com

Partner Name
Merkle (media agency)
www.merkleinc.com/emea

40%

Decrease in average cost per click across Generic Life Insurance campaigns

Products:

Objectives

Adopt a data-driven approach to media buying

Optimise advertising spend while increasing insurance applications and reducing Cost per Click (CPC)

Deliver a personalised and authentic customer experience across digital channels

Results

A centralised platform that serves as a single source of truth for teams and agencies

Up to 40% decrease in average CPC and 96% increase in click volume across Generic Life Insurance campaigns

Improvement in Cost per Acquisition (CPA) thanks to bidding optimisation

Retaining a personal approach to insurance

For multinational financial services company Legal & General (L&G), improving the lives of its customers has been part of its ethos since its conception inside a London coffee shop in 1836. Today, the brand boasts a vast portfolio of services, including retirement products, mortgages and asset management, along with capital investment and life assurance products.

Until a few years ago, the majority of L&G’s marketing activity involved considerable direct mail campaigns with early digital marketing strategies. But, with the digital revolution shifting customer behaviour and attitudes, the financial services sector has transformed.

To strengthen its digital offering and in a bid to deliver more targeted and personalised content powered by first-party data rather than third-party L&G expanded its relationship with Adobe, specifically Adobe Advertising Cloud and Adobe Analytics within Adobe Experience Cloud.

“Adobe has empowered us with a single source of truth about our digital media, which informs internal teams and external agencies, ensuring that every penny is spent in the right place, at the right time and targeting the right people.”

Gareth Jones

Marketing Transformation Manager, Legal & General

Seamless integration for a single source of truth

Using Adobe Advertising Cloud and Adobe Analytics, L&G's media agency, Merkle, was able to report and optimise towards the same source of truth that L&G's internal teams looked to for the first time removing any chance of reporting discrepancies.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our digital marketing and the effectiveness of our media in order to drive continued growth,” says Gareth Jones, Marketing Transformation Manager at Legal & General. “Adobe has empowered us with a single source of truth about our digital media, which informs internal teams and external agencies, ensuring every penny is spent in the right place, at the right time and targeting the right people.”

Breaking down silos by democratising data

While using their previous advertising platform, L&G couldn’t easily attribute effectiveness across any of its digital media channels. Its first-party data in Adobe Analytics just wasn’t tying up, making it impossible for Merkle to integrate the optimisation of ad spend across different channels.

With Adobe Analytics, L&G and Merkle possess one, centralised platform to work from, enabling more effective media buying decisions, using less resource and effort than before. Working from this single source of truth derived from an integrated and aligned platform, L&G, Merkle and Adobe are constantly talking to one another to form a cohesive, fully optimised approach to advertising.

For example, prior to the strategic shift, Google was L&G’s main conduit for ad spend but, thanks to Adobe Advertising Cloud’s impartiality, Merkle included spend optimisation with Microsoft’s search engine to achieve impressive results. Consequently, the Microsoft Generic Life Insurance campaigns saw up to a 61% decrease in average CPC and an improvement in CPA.

“The shift to Adobe really helps us on the way to achieving our goal of using data much more effectively in our delivery of campaigns, empowering us to optimise everything we do in real time and increasing efficiency of our marketing investment.”

Victoria Gladwin

Digital Campaign Manager, Legal & General

With its 1st party data now flowing freely between Adobe Analytics and Advertising Cloud and spend automatically adjusted in real time L&G has experienced a significant uplift in results across the Generic Life Insurance campaigns (Google & Microsoft combined) including up to a 96% increase in click volume, 40% decrease in average CPC and an improvement in CPA.

“The integration between Adobe Advertising Cloud and Adobe Analytics also means we can constantly test and learn for Legal & General,” said Simone Gayle, Digital Delivery Director at Merkle. “This, combined with regular training and workshops, means that we can collaboratively elevate the solution to drive value for L&G, whilst cementing our relationship as true strategic partners along the way.”

The success of such impressive optimisation is supported by the artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities of Adobe Sensei in Adobe Advertising Cloud Search, which for example, enabled L&G to cut forecasting times in half. Sensei also powers optimisation in the Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP.

Audience segmentation and profitable customers

Another major shift facilitated by Adobe Analytics is that L&G can now be infinitely more targeted and granular in its advertising approach, using weighted objectives across every L&G channel search, display etc. to ensure all activity is contributing towards the same metrics and business goals.

Weighted objectives allow the Merkle team to weight different analytics events by level of importance to customise and improve the automated bidding, powered by Adobe Sensei. This means they can customise L&G’s bidding algorithm based on whether a prospective customer has already visited their site and where they are in the sales funnel. These automated optimisation tools in Advertising Cloud save Merkle time, dramatically reducing manual maintenance time from 45 minutes to 10 minutes per day.

“Using weighted objectives has completely streamlined our reporting, our approach to optimisation and both ours and L&G’s internal way of working,” says Rebecca Tillman, Manager - Paid Search at Merkle. “We’re fully aligned to L&G’s strategic objectives and everyone is focused on and working towards, achieving the same goals.”

More recently, L&G has used Adobe Analytics to align ad placement with changing behaviours brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as increased focus on fitness and health, while simultaneously avoiding the placement of advertising amidst sensitive content relating to the coronavirus.

By aligning its advertising strategy with data insights, L&G is solidifying its presence as a digital-first, data-driven financial services brand that wants to build a better society for the long term through financial well-being for its customers.

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