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Why Asia’s MoneySmart is placing its trust in DMPs to boost its marketing efforts


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

June 19, 2018 | 5 min read

MoneySmart is increasingly focusing on building out strong marketing capabilities and strategic ways to scale its marketing model across multiple markets, as it seeks to reduce the overall cost of customer acquisitions.

While this is a category challenge that price comparison websites like MoneySmart face within the Asia Pacific region, it believes it can introduce a change in direction to drive the growth and cost-effective scale of marketing and focusing more on brand development to ensure its products and experiences continue to connect with customers.

At the same time, it is also pushing innovation across its key markets in Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

“This involves plans to focus on building customer loyalty and retention – we are beginning to leverage the role of data and technology to drive cost-efficient product leads and high-value consumer content, along with deep personalisation for each customer,” David Harling, chief marketing officer of MoneySmart tells The Drum.

“Personal and more contextual targeted communications will be embraced to complement our existing approach to customer acquisition, to ensure we match our users with the best financial products for their needs and that they continue to save money with MoneySmart.”

MoneySmart will also turn to adtech to boost its marketing efforts, as Harling reveals the platform is ‘moments away’ from announcing a three-year data management platform partnership, which will allow its performance marketing model to become more sophisticated and leverage the use of technology and data, driving a more efficient performance marketing model at scale.

“MoneySmart will pivot quickly to a first party data driven model that pushes the use cases of DMPs beyond best practice. Our aim will be to build out our marketing tech stack and digital media operational capabilities. I am most excited about this as our primary focus and next step,” explains Harling.

Harling, who was previously the director of digital marketing at Moneysupermarket and is MoneySmart’s first CMO, is under no illusion that personal finance is a topic that is highly relevant throughout all life stages for everyone, which makes the price comparison scene a very popular, compelling and competitive space in Singapore and APAC.

However, the Englishman believes he can draw on his past experiences at Moneysupermarket, to understand what the best user experience looks like, how to drive customer loyalty and engagement, to accelerate MoneySmart’s ambitions quickly.

“We identified that the amount and complexity of information needed to make the right financial decisions has made it difficult for consumers to make sense of and understand. With that in mind, we have made it our mission to simplify personal finance decisions for our users,” explains Harling.

He also points out that MoneySmart differentiates from its competitors by empowering its customers to make the right financial decisions, so they gain or increase their confidence to borrow, earn, grow, and save to ultimately live the life they desire, adding that the platform works with customers to make their life goals happen by showing them what’s out there, recommending what’s best for them and helping them to save money.

“Through our easily digested content, we make personal finance an interesting and approachable topic for all our users and help them navigate and find the best products for their needs. We will continue to grow our best in market approach to content to complement our shop and comparison tool,” says Harling.

Like Moneysupermarket and many other similar websites, MoneySmart has a blog which dishes out advice and opinions on how customers can find the best travel insurance, the credit cards that offers the best cashback and the best savings account.

For MoneySmart, content is one of its unique identifiers, says Harling, as it delivers strong, engaging content to a high-volume audience through a content platform that allows the website to add value to consumers through research, discovery and education. He also shares that MoneySmart invest significantly into consumer content as a publisher and have an in-house content team in each market, which positions it well to help its users get access and consume relevant content on demand.

This is necessary because by separating the content platform from the comparison business, MoneySmart can better connect to consumers, which Harling feels, will make its content is more ‘actionable’.

For example, if MoneySmart’s customers are looking for the best credit card available for their needs, they know where to go to apply, but there is never a hard sell. “By simplifying personal finance and streamlining the huge amount of information available, our content helps customers cut through the complexity and where needed, act on the information by applying through our website as well,” Harling explains.

While mobile applications are on the rise in the APAC region, Harling says there are no plans for MoneySmart to launch a mobile app to host its content as he places his trust in the growing strength of progressive web applications.

“Our core strength has been in banking products and the associated user experience, but General Insurance, Life Insurance and Investments are areas of natural interest for us as we look for new ways to help our customers make confident financial decisions,” explains Harling. “We compete for acquisition primarily in a high-intent search environment which lends itself more naturally to web application.”

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