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NatWest and the Pitfalls of Siloed Marketing

13 June 2013 BY

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There is no doubt about it, marketing is changing. Over the last couple of years the ‘digital’ part of Digital Marketing is becoming ever more silent, to the extent that soon we won’t need to differentiate the two – digital marketing will just be known as ‘marketing’ – that’s how ingrained online has become to the marketing sphere.

As marketing is changing so too are marketing teams. The crossover and blend between disciplines is spreading as the need for greater collaboration between teams becomes more of an imperative. This change is being driven by our customers. Customers expect our marketing to be seamless and no matter which channel they interact with us as brands – the message and experience should be effortlessly consistent.

That consistency across search, social, email, mobile, banner advertising, TV and offline advertising is not easy to achieve – particularly when teams work in silos to deliver their part of the marketing strategy – but it is what the customer expects and it is how brands are having to evolve in order to meet the needs of the savvy consumer.

The penalty for not having a consistent cross-channel approach where teams collaborate and talk to each other can be very costly. A recent example of this is with NatWest and their latest NatYes mortgages campaign.

The NatYes campaign


The NatWest campaign is brilliantly simple – the bank want to emphasise that they say YES to 9 out of 10 mortgage applications and so they created  a brand new search term ‘natyes’ as the keyword for the entire campaign.

This has two main benefits from a marketing perspective: (1) it’s simple and easy to remember and (2) it’s a made up word and therefore not competitive to bid on for PPC or to start ranking in organic search. Given the uncompetitive nature of this term NatWest confidently put in the TV advert “Search NatYes” happy in the knowledge that this would drive customers to the relevant landing page.

Except if you search in Google for the term ‘natyes’ NatWest don’t feature in any of the organic listings.

NatYes SERPs in Google

In addition the only relevant link in the search results is NatWest’s own paid listing, which means the bank are having to pay for each and every click on a search term they themselves created.

This is a huge shame because the campaign is a great idea,  poorly executed in all likelihood because of siloed marketing teams who  probably didn’t talk to each other. Given the campaign hung on the fact that people would be searching for ‘natyes’ the SEO team should have been all over that keyword, building content and landing pages that would rank organically in the SERPs. However, without the communication and consistency across channels the result is a huge disconnect and a poor customer experience.

It has never been more important to communicate and collaborate across marketing functions. Our customers expect it – it’s time brands started living up to those expectations.

Until next month.

Featured image source

AUTHORED BY:
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James Murray is the Digital Insight Manager for Experian Marketing Services. In this role, he communicates the value of Experian data and insight through PR, thought leadership and speaking opportunities which help to drive customers’ multi-channel marketing strategies.
  • http://www.koozai.com Mike Essex

    Hi James. I’ve always hated “search for” adverts because ultimately this always seems to happen and realistically what’s wrong with a website URL anyway?

    Even more surprising is that RBS are also running a similar campaign with “search for rbyes” which prompts a google suggestion “did you mean rabies.” Not very well planned at all.

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