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Pathmatics Blog

Digital Marketing for Banks: Reaching a Diverse Audience

September 16 2016 by Jordan Kramer


Banks have many unique audiences they’re trying to reach at once, and a variety of products and services they’re trying to sell. From standard banking to loans to investments, banks have their hands in just about everything.

Digital marketing offers a dynamic space for banks to engage each audience, across different distribution channels and targeting options. So how are the big players leveraging digital to connect with prospects and current customers?

In the past year, Citigroup, Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America were the banking industry’s top three spenders across desktop, mobile and video. Let’s use Pathmatics marketing intelligence tool to dissect these top players’ budget allocations from the past year to find out where the money goes.  


Citigroup, Inc. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Bank of America


$30.1 million

$26 million

$18 million


$15.7 million

$18 million

$17 million


$2 million

$3.3 million

$2 million

Data pulled from September 8, 2015 – September 8, 2016.

Over the past year, we’ve seen most of the top-spending banks put their advertising budgets into desktop and mobile. If we break this data down to an individual bank’s spending habits, we then start to see how the industry uses multiple distribution channels to engage with different audiences.

Below, we’ll explore Citigroup’s spend allocation.

How Does Citigroup, Inc. Connect With Audiences?

Desktop Spend: $30.1 million

Desktop is the most-used channel for all three top bank advertisers, and of the three, Citigroup spent the most on desktop advertising. Most of Citigroup’s top creatives touted the AAdvantage Platinum select card, which is the bank’s American Airlines travel card. 


Most of Citigroup’s advertising efforts were direct, at 76 percent of total spend. Ad networks came in at 18 percent, and the other 5 percent went to DSPs.


Citigroup’s desktop advertising efforts used double the spend of their video advertising. ­So which sites does all of this money go to? Yahoo’s homepage took the most spend share to a single site, coming in at 19 percent. Trailing behind at 12 percent was the New York Times, as well as YouTube with 8 percent.


Video: $15.7 million 

Citigroup’s second highest advertising investment went to video, and these efforts appear to be targeting a different audience than on desktop.

The bank’s top video creatives feature the Double Cash Card, which offers 1 percent cash back on purchases, plus 1 percent cash back as you pay your bills. This is compared to the travel card desktop was touting, which offered bonus miles after $1,000 worth of purchases within three months. 


What specific sites did Citigroup’s video spend go to? AOL leads the way at 47 percent. YouTube is next to reap the benefits of Citigroup’s video spend, but only makes up 8 percent of the bank’s total budget.


Mobile: $2 million

While Citigroup only invested $2 million in mobile advertising, the bank used it as an opportunity to target multiple audiences through one channel. Their top creatives range from:

Brand Loyalty Promotion


Samsung Pay Promotion


Credit Card Promotion


Similar to desktop and video advertising, most of the spend (47 percent) was direct. This was followed by spending on ad networks, DSPs and exchanges.


Also comparable to desktop spend, a small majority of Citigroup’s spend share went to the Yahoo homepage. However, this only made up 11 percent of mobile spend share, as opposed to Yahoo’s 19 percent of desktop share.


While the banking industry has the difficult task of pursuing many different audiences at once, digital makes it easier to send targeted messages.

What makes it even simpler is having the kind of intelligent insights you saw above, which allow you to dissect your competitor’s advertising strategies and better reach your target audiences before they do.

Pathmatics’ Q2 Financial Services Digital Advertising Report is packed with data on the industry’s biggest spenders. Download your free report for even more strategic insights.



About Author
Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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