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The Goals

  • Drive conversions
  • Maximize efficiencies within the team
  • Integrate online and offline efforts

The Approach

  • Tested DoubleClick Search Smart Bidding bid strategies
  • Used a formula column that weighted conversion sources

The Results

  • +25.8% mobile transactions
  • +78% impression share improvement
  • +33.3% improvement in average position
  • +15.4% application to transaction rate


Published May 2018

Headquartered in Toronto, Scotiabank provides a full range of financial products, solutions and advice to retail and commercial customers. The Bank is a leading financial services provider in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Central America, and the Asia-Pacific regions and is dedicated to helping more than 24 million customers with a broad range of advice, products and services. 

Over the past few months, Scotiabank has focused on building a strong online presence. The Bank knew prospective customers were leveraging digital media more than ever before to identify financial services that fit their needs and understood the importance of a strong digital marketing presence—especially in the consideration phase. 

The search for smarter bidding at scale

In its previous digital campaigns, Scotiabank was limited to fewer integrated platforms but this time around they decided to use DoubleClick’s full stack. The team’s goal was to drive better performance with bid strategies and streamline the platforms used to manage accounts. Scotiabank immediately wanted to put the stack to the test after discovering the level at which DoubleClick Search Smart Bidding strategies could leverage its multiple conversion data points and provide the ability to scale. 

The Bank wanted to bid smarter in their credit card application process to optimize the overall number of applications—particularly the ones with a higher propensity to convert into a credit card purchase. To do this, Scotiabank worked with its DoubleClick Search team to design a formula column that took the “application start tag” and the “final credit card application tag” and weighed them according to their value. This custom formula column was then used as a conversion source for the bidding algorithm. The goal was to increase sales without increasing the budget by using a more sophisticated bidding strategy that focused on the strongest applications.

Seamless integration leads to testing and optimization

A key goal for Scotiabank was to become as integrated as possible in its digital and offline media deployment and attribution. DoubleClick Search enabled the company to tie its search data to branch engagement and sales more effectively through its offline conversion tracking feature. Scotiabank also activated the automated bid modifier setting—a DoubleClick Search Smart Bidding feature that enables DoubleClick Search bidders to automatically set the right bid modifier for mobile, remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) and location targets. As the company developed more confidence and trust in the algorithm, the DoubleClick Search account management team kept an eye on the campaign’s performance and provided strategic recommendations to further optimize the bids. 

Using the DoubleClick Search bid management platform means that we’re able to deploy a robust, weighted bid management strategy that more effectively aligns with our goals, while enabling us to confidently scale acquisition performance in a way that exceeds business expectations.

Sam Vandermark, SEM manager at Scotiabank

Saving time, increasing conversions, and looking toward the future

What started as a trial for Scotiabank turned into a company-wide initiative to onboard DoubleClick Search to the rest of the Bank’s business. After only 10 weeks, Scotiabank improved the application to transaction rate for its credit card business by 15.4%. Additionally, the Bank improved its impression-share-lost-due-to-rank by 78%, its average position by 33.3% and increased mobile transactions by 25.8%.

Scotiabank is currently working with DoubleClick Search to capture additional signals, such as real-time application status data that will allow the company to bid even more granularly in its conversion process to find the most valuable prospects. 


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