Solution At a Glance

Challenge: Effectively communicate content to customers after a sudden financial market downturn.

Solution: Build a dynamic ad with Flite and update it daily with new content to keep the content fresh and the audience engaged.

Benefit: 63% higher CTR; 3X increase in interaction rate; 15% more time spent on unit.

The Challenge

Charles Schwab is a leading provider of financial services that offers a full range of banking, brokerage and investment services and products.

In August 2011, Charles Schwab was in the midst of an ad campaign focused on promoting its mobile app. The campaign was running over 40 million display ad impressions on more than 44 publisher sites. On August 5th, in an unprecedented move, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded its rating of the U.S. debt and caused a chain reaction of unexpected events in the financial markets. Panic ensued among investors, resulting in a 600-point plunge in the Dow Jones and 174-point plunge in the NASDAQ. This significant downturn caught the financial world by surprise.

Charles Schwab’s marketing team suddenly found itself in a difficult situation — its messaging around the mobile app was now irrelevant due to this unforeseen market downturn. From a service perspective, Charles Schwab was prepared for this crisis; it had strong thought leadership viewpoints to share and a lot of content that could provide worried investors with perspective on what was happening in the market. However, there was a challenge on the marketing side: how could they effectively and swiftly communicate this content to their customers?

To communicate their content and thought leadership on the market downturn effectively and swiftly, Charles Schwab turned to Flite.

The Solution

Within three days of Charles Schwab’s initial call, Flite rolled out a new 300 x 250 ad unit that showcased Charles Schwab’s content about the financial landscape. The ad instantly updated to all placements where the ad was already live including Google Finance, AOL, CNN Money, NYTimes, Forbes and many others. The Flite Platform also allowed Charles Schwab’s marketing team to make real-time changes to the ad unit with fresh content updates. Over the following month, as the volatile financial markets fluctuated, Charles Schwab’s marketing team continued to update the commentary in the ad on a daily basis, keeping it relevant and engaging.

The Results

The dynamic ad unit that Charles Schwab built and managed using Flite’s real-time marketing platform had superior performance due to its inclusion of relevant, real-time content that the Charles Schwab team refreshed daily.

Based on Charles Schwab’s benchmarks, the dynamic ad unit had a 63% higher CTR, 3X increase in interaction rate, and 15% more time spent within the ad unit compared to a similar rich media execution that Charles Schwab ran in June and July of 2011.

The ad also outperformed industry benchmarks, yielding 62% higher CTR, 2.7X higher engagement rate and 2.3X more time spent within the ad unit.

Most importantly, Charles Schwab experienced firsthand the importance and value of real-time marketing. Every day, advertisers are faced with new market conditions and memes that could not be predicted six months ago. How can a brand stay relevant if it cannot quickly adjust to unexpected events?

By working with Flite, Charles Schwab was able to embrace real-time display advertising and roll out an extremely relevant and timely display ad unit in a matter of days. The Flite platform enabled the company to effectively respond to unforeseen market conditions, communicating the breadth of their market volatility content and thought leadership to investors quickly, easily, and in real-time.