RAMS sticks to his knitting as Raymond gets to work

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Raymond the ram to change some perceptions of the dyed-in-the-wool mortgage.

In the very crowded home loan market, carving out a niche is always a major challenge. So when RAMS marketer Christian Johansson discovered that consumers recognized his famous mascot but not what it represented, he knew he had a problem.

Studies have shown that people are well aware of the company’s four-legged woolly mascot, Raymond, but are less clear on what the company actually offers. As the head of marketing and digital at the Westpac-owned company, Mr. Johansson knew it was time to change strategy.

Christian Johansson.  Photo by Chris Pavlich / The Photo Pitch
Christian Johansson. Photo by Chris Pavlich / The Photo Pitch

“Our research told us we had a friendly and approachable personality, thanks to our mascot Raymond the Aries, but at the same time, a lot of people weren’t clear on RAMS’s proposal. In other words, people knew us, but they didn’t really know us, ”said Johansson.

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Research has shown consumers want help and support along the complicated mortgage journey and as a niche provider that has steered clear of mainstream banking products, the team at RAMS decided to delete their posts and focus on a new, simpler brand story.

“The truth was beautiful in its simplicity. Specializing in something indicates expertise, and for consumers who entrust us with one of life’s big decisions, specialization has resonated, ”said Johansson.

Working with her advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, it was time to cut the jargon, get back to basics, and tell consumers what exactly she does: home loans. In May, RAMS launched its brand campaign “Home loans are what we do” through linear video on demand and broadcast on TV, radio, Spotify, digital and dynamic signage, social media. , SEM and a content partnership with the REA group.

The content partnership with realestate.com.au was an opportunity for RAMS mortgage specialists to feature in an editorial demonstrating their expertise. In addition to an on-site RAMS hub on the real estate site, integrated advertising accompanied the editorial.

The new creation highlights the seemingly obvious statement “home loans are what we do” and features Raymond strutting cheeky and confident spelling it out clearly.

“We are in a really competitive category. We needed a proposal that cuts the noise, inspires confidence in our offering and clearly generates the familiarity and confidence consumers expect. Our campaign had to strike above its weight, ”added Johansson.

RAMS generally has a permanent media mix, of which 44% is dominated by screens and 27% by search engine marketing. Next comes audio, social media on Facebook and Instagram, followed by a tie-up in spending on digital signage and outside the home.

Convinced of difference and distinction, Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi, owned by Publicis Groupe, Toby Aldred, said Raymond works extremely hard as a separate brand asset, but needs to work on “ different”.

Toby Aldred, Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Australia
Toby Aldred, Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Australia

Mr Aldred said that while mascots won’t work for everyone, in very crowded and relatively undifferentiated categories brands need to be distinctive to create mental shortcuts that will help them stand out and create salience.

“A true brand asset is not a superficial gimmick – they help build memory structures and provide meaning to strengthen brand attribution,” Aldred explained. “We believe that effective communication requires both magic and reason to work together, which means brands should be distinct and different. We call this “the power of and”. Raymond has always brought magic and stood out for the brand, we had to find what makes us different and bring expertise in mortgage lending to life.

Just four months into the new long-term strategy, it appears to be paying off, with Johansson noting a “significant increase” in key metrics including brand health and business performance. Independent research findings include 10 point increase in home loan review, 20% increase in consideration among those who saw activity, # 1 home loan review among six competitors that it tracks monthly and customer requests are up 10%. cent from its annual target.

There was also an increase in consideration in our key segments of first-time home buyers (18 percent) and the self-employed (15 percent).

“These early results were achieved without an increase in media spending, so it is encouraging to see that the creative work and the proposition of the brand new work have broken through and are meaningful to home loan seekers – giving them more reason to consider RAMS for a home loan, ”Mr. Johansson said.

YouTube brand lift studies also show a significant increase in the impact on consideration with organic research around “RAMS home loans” up 1,400%.

“The 10% increase in customer lead submissions is directly attributed to the brand’s new work, as there was no other activity to stimulate this increase in the survey,” added Johansson.

Natalie Sareff, associate director of strategy at media agency RAMS Spark Foundry, said the benefits of the client having both creative thinking and media in the same group were found to be critical, the efficiency and effectiveness of the media solution being essential to the success of RAMS.

Kaylene Tunney, Spark Foundry
Kaylene Tunney, Spark Foundry

“Knowing that we had new, very distinctive designs to work with, our work was quite simple in ambition, but complex in execution,” she said. “We had to deliver the compelling new message to the right people at the right time. Strong data analysis was therefore at the heart of RAMS ‘media strategy. “

Spark Foundry used tools to locate audiences who needed additional help accessing property. By identifying key digital signals throughout the home buying journey, he was able to provide these consumers with messages that resonated every step of the way.

“RAMS has gained a disproportionate advantage over its competitors by using this approach in a very competitive mortgage market,” said Ms. Sareff.

A multi-screen and digital approach to media ensured agility when it came to audience movements and messaging. Ms Sareff said this distribution framework meant he could support the new brand campaign nationwide, as well as provide highly targeted support to the franchise network and reduce the performance of the funnel.

“Balancing branding and acquisition for business growth is something we are continually working on with RAMS and Saatchis, using analytics and research. The fluidity of these discussions led to the results we are currently seeing. “

Mr Johansson said he found that the balance between his brand and his product campaigns allowed him to convey a strong and complementary overall message with an alignment between creation giving him a ‘punch’ – an impact. positive on consideration and creating salience.

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