How TescoBank and MediaCom spoke the right language to boost money transfers during Ramadan

MediaCom Edinburgh was highly commended in the ‘Financial services’ category at The DADI Awards 2019 with its ‘Talk to the Heart’ campaign for Tesco Bank. Here, the agency reveals the challenges faced and the strategies used to deliver this successful project.

The challenge

Over one in three Brits use international money transfers to send money overseas. The number one reason people give for sending money is to support their family (with 41% doing this), closely followed by sending money as a gift (38%).

There are many ways to send funds, and lots of firms competing for customers, including banks and building societies; high street money transfer firms; and foreign exchange brokers.

Tesco Bank offers a money transfer service via MoneyGram in hundreds of their stores across the UK. This offers customers a convenient way to send money while doing their everyday shopping. Tesco Bank also incentivise customers to use the service by rewarding Club Card holders with 50 Club Card points when they send £50 or more using the MoneyGram service.

Our research showed that a large proportion of non-UK born nationals are already Tesco shoppers, and that they were receptive to the idea of using MoneyGram, however, awareness of this in-store service was very low.

Tesco wanted to grow their share of the international money transfer market during Ramadan, the most sacred month in the Islamic calendar. For Muslims, Ramadan is a time of fasting and reflection, a time to cherish family, friends, and neighbours and help those in need. It is also a time that sees an increase in people sending money overseas, as during this period it is customary for Muslims to give a fixed percentage of their savings to the poor.

Tesco Bank tasked us with raising awareness of their money transfer service and drive engagement with consumers in order to increase international money transfers through their in-store MoneyGram service.

However, the campaign budget was very small, and Tesco are significantly outspent by their competitors, such as Western Union, so we had to find a way to make our campaign stand out and be noticed by our audience.

The strategy

Thanks to the convergence of smartphones, social media and data analysis, the ability to personalise marketing messages is becoming more and more detailed and we are now able to speak to people in the right place and at the right time like never before.

But what about speaking to them in the right language? Nelson Mandela once said: “Talk to a man in a language he understands it goes to his head, talk to a man in his own language and it goes to his heart”.

Multiple studies have shown the benefits of personalisation and its effect on awareness, loyalty and engagement. The Boston Consulting Group found that brands which offer individualised products, services or experiences were growing 2-3 times faster than brands that didn’t.

Given that we knew English was the second language of our audience, we felt sure that targeting them in Arabic would not only stand out visually but would create a personal connection that would drive a much deeper engagement and take up of the service.

The campaign

With our limited budget, we knew we couldn’t spread the campaign across multiple areas and channels. We needed to focus our attention on finding a format that would allow us to target our audience and be measurable. We identified that the social media platform Facebook could deliver not only a highly targeted campaign using multiple data layers, but also an environment where our audience were already connecting with their loved ones.

Facebook won’t allow advertisers to target people based on religion, so, we had to get creative. Working with Facebook, we were able to build our audience based on key words and phrases used around Ramadan, along with relevant interests, behaviours, and language settings to give us a highly targeted campaign, but with a robust audience size.

Then, in order to test and measure our campaign half of our audience would only see the advert in English, the other half would only see it in Arabic.

The results

Everybody loves being proved right and we couldn’t have been happier, as our theory about using Arabic was proved even more emphatically than we could have believed when the click through rate of the native copy outperformed the English copy by 92%! Our audience engaged with the campaign in a way we had not experienced before for such a niche product.

The campaign delivered over five million impressions and reached over 670,000 people in the UK. We not only raised awareness, but also helped deliver over 10% YoY uplift on money transfers during Ramadan. This campaign was so successful, Tesco have now adopted this strategic approach for all of their International Money Transfer campaigns.

“With our brief for this campaign, we challenged the team at MediaCom to come up with a fresh approach to reach customers with our Ramadan campaign. Their response to our brief surpassed expectations, forging into new territories, and pushing the boundaries of our standard campaign activity. Their innovative targeting models utilised our unique datasets to their full potential, delivering strong results and tangible uplift in sales. MediaCom’s approach was so successful that it now forms a core part of our on-going trade strategies.” - Nigel Hunt, marketing director, Tesco Bank

This project was highly commended at The DADIs 2019. Click here to register your interest in 2020's event.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.