Data & Technology Led Marketing brings Citi Closer to Customers

We recently broke down Citi’s #TravelBigWithCiti campaign into small segments to share key takeaways and lessons with budding brand managers. It has been one of the most successful and engaging travel campaigns in recent times by a Financial Services brand.

The key factor which contributed to the success of this campaign, is the data driven targeting that Citi was able to do, ensuring that only relevant users were targeted, thus making it all the more contextual & personalized.

  1. One such noteworthy intervention was executed on Facebook wherein the bank paired custom audience with Facebook’s IP level targeting to identify own customers who were traveling to Russia to watch the FIFA World Cup, or were in international locations where Citi was running active offers and experiences. These customers were then served Citi credit card offers for that specific country, via engaging carousels, and were eventually led to Citi World Privileges platform with detailed and exhaustive list of offers for that country. This allowed the brand to communicate their card offers just in time to relevant customers, enabling customers to travel big.


  2. To reach clients on digital media, another very interesting tech use case was identified as part of the Travel campaign which enabled Citi to direct consumers from offline to online platforms. To target users who had an active interest in the FIFA World Cup, TV-to-Mobile technology was deployed. Keeping in mind the insight that the average attention a user pays to the TV screen during commercial break has reduced, Citi used the very cause of this distraction i.e. smartphones, to capture their wandering attention!

In partnership with the ad network, Citi used frequency-mapping and audio fingerprinting to identify all the World Cup matches being broadcast. Then they matched them with all the devices which had ad-network partner SDKs to discover users while they were watching these matches. To refine the targeting further, this audience was filtered for relevant locations and premium devices to serve real-time digital banners which had Football specific themes and associated Citi offers!

Further, users who were exposed to TV ads of partners associated with the card offers were also targeted on digital, to complement the TV communication for increased recall and user engagement.

Citi’s focus on the use of data and technology for targeting ensured that none of their marketing spends were wasted on a non-potential user, and was the pillar for the success of their #TravelBigWithCiti campaign. Overall, the campaign achieved 2.8% click-through rate on Google (2x the industry standard) and 1% on Facebook (2x the industry standard).  The business numbers weren’t far behind either as the total card spends went up by 6% in Q2 vs Q1, with travel category rising by 9% in the same period.

All we would say is that there’s a lot to learn from these data led executions, and we hope this article will help budding brand managers design their next effective & efficient brand campaign.