In recent years the financial sector has proved to be open to digital disruption. New, innovative business models such as Atom Bank, money transfer services including Transferwise and peer-to-peer lending platforms like Zopa are changing the way customers view finance.

The next step for established institutions is to harness what they know about their customers to market personalised financial products and services. However, the financial sector is yet to take advantage of the opportunity offered by data-driven advertising.

The IAB UK predicts that the financial sector already accounts for 13% of total ad spend this year and new research by Quantcast reveals that 36% of large European financial companies say they will move 20-40% of their offline budget to digital in the next two years, though the figures for programmatic are less encouraging.

The Quantcast Real-Time Advertising: Financial Sector report, looks at how finance marketers are embracing digital advertising and is based on both an independently commissioned survey and data from Quantcast’s proprietary Quantcast Measure data set. We created this report because we wanted to unearth digital advertising opportunity available to finance marketers.

With the UK Competition and Markets Authority pushing banks to make it easier for customers to switch providers, its has also made a call for banks to advertise the seven-day switching service more enthusiastically. Consumer bank account research is taking place online now more than ever before. Quantcast’s research has found that  80% of marketers in large financial organisations state branding is either important or very important when prioritising their advertising budget, yet 41% of these marketers only spend up to 20% of their digital display budget programmatically.

Programmatic advertising has evolved from its initial use, a direct response tool. Today, brand marketers are leveraging programmatic to deliver branding campaigns as well as direct response.

It’s also now possible to create an audience model around specific search terms and use this model as a basis for identifying similar (anonymous) users before they have begun searching for a particular financial product. Harnessing the power of insights derived from search intent data and using it to prospect for new customers, is data-driven and targeted – an important move away from simply buying a chunk of inventory on a publisher site.

Data-driven branding can also reveal valuable and actionable audience insights. Based on proprietary Quantcast data, we reveal the online habits of the finance consumer in the infographic below:

Quantcast US Finance Infographic

To learn more about online advertising in the financial sector you can download our ‘Real-Time Advertising: Financial Sector’ white paper for free here. This report provides finance marketers best practice and guidance on how to maximise the digital advertising opportunity. It also looks at how finance marketers can use programmatic technology to gain and retain customers across the purchase funnel.