It’s a search off: Financial services companies go head-to-head

Sarah Dutton Posted by Sarah Dutton

In our latest CMO Search Intelligence Report for the US Finance Industry (Q4 2019), we’ve pitted the top 350 Finance companies in the US against one another to see who’s performing best in paid search in this highly-competitive market.

In this blog, we take a closer look at two companies featuring in the Insurance Index to reveal insights and SEM recommendations that CMOs can implement to boost growth, drive digital transformation and improve customer journeys.

How the scoring works

We’ve evaluated the market using our AI-powered technology, comparing each company’s search behavior against other top-performing players, and created Top 10 Leaderboards for Finance, Banking and Insurance. Each company’s overall score is averaged on a scale of 0-100 by analyzing search performance across three categories: Market Leadership, Search Excellence and Brand Ownership, with the market average set at 50.

Search Intelligence Scores – Insurance

On defense – Anthem

With a Search Intelligence Score of 91, health insurance provider, Anthem, easily made it into the Top 3 of our Search Intelligence Leaderboard for Insurance. To maintain this leadership position, the company’s marketers should focus their efforts on improving Brand Ownership in order to fend off competitors who could attack them on their home turf. 

Anthem’s well-above-average Brand Ownership score (85) shows that the company currently has a strong and valuable brand presence in search that is driving good traffic. Its marketers have built good coverage of their brand space and are effectively creating opportunities to transact and gain brand exposure. Consumers are searching for the brand and finding it at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) most of the time, but there is room for improvement. Competitors or affiliates are regularly competing with them for their brand traffic and posing a threat to their brand equity.

Action: 

To improve Brand Ownership, the company’s marketers should ensure strong brand monitoring is in place and devise a brand defense strategy to counter those taking brand clicks away from them. In addition they should focus on making sure they’re always in position 1 on the SERP when people search for their brand. Having a strong, well-protected brand will allow them to focus their strategy on growth around other search terms, rather than defending the conversions they should already be getting.

On offense – Fidelity

Financial services firm, Fidelity, recently raised its profile by becoming the latest firm to cut online trading fees to zero, and its doing very well in the overall finance category with a Search Intelligence score of 89. When it comes to representing its Insurance product however, there is room for improvement in the category (score of 46 on the insurance index). The firm could make the strongest impact on its SEM position in insurance by boosting Market Leadership.

Fidelity’s below-average Market Leadership score on the insurance index (33) indicates it has a lower reach and conversion rate with search than its peers. This shows us that marketers are targeting a comparatively narrow segment of the market and are either not as effective at reaching their audience, or not as effective at getting clicks, as their competitors. 

Action:

To improve Market Leadership and gain mindshare, the firm’s marketers should conduct a strategic opportunity analysis of new market segments, analyze their competitors’ search strategies to find new opportunities, and consider refocusing their SEM budget on areas of lower competition. Focusing on segments where they compete well, they should ensure their messages and landing pages are highly relevant to their customers’ needs, which will help them get higher up on the SERP. Once successful, they can then expand this strategy to cover wider search terms. Improving Market Leadership will differentiate the firm from its competitors, and increase impressions and clicks in the target market.

For more insights and to see the full Top 10 leaderboard for insurance as well as for banking and overall finance, download the full CMO Search Intelligence Report for the US Finance Industry (Q4 2019) on our search intelligence hub page. 

About the author

Sarah Dutton
Sarah Dutton
As Senior Content and Brand Strategist, Sarah drives the content strategy for Adthena and oversees the planning, execution and management of all content and brand assets, ensuring that they’re customer centric and support our business goals. She joined Adthena from WSP, where she led the UK roll-out of the global rebrand, delivered the annual brand advertising campaign, and created audience-centric content for multiple industry marketing campaigns in order to drive business results. Prior to WSP, Sarah held a position at the Design Business Association, where she was responsible for delivering an extensive schedule of marketing and communications to ensure revenue targets were met across events, awards and membership. Sarah’s career has always been rooted in the creative industries - it began with a degree in Fine Art and includes two years experience in TV production at the BBC.