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Media marketing campaigns by retail FX brokerages are often extensive and wide-reaching, and are the product of a marketing budget that is usually large due to the constant need for companies within the FX industry to source new clients and retain existing ones, largely via media marketing campaigns which involve the purchasing of space on websites on which to place banners.
The cost of acquisition for a retail FX broker is currently between $800 to $1,000, which includes components such as IB remuneration, the cost of operating a sales department to convert leads, and, just as importantly, extensive efforts to generate leads.
Lead generation for retail FX firms can be ineffective, in that large scale banner advertising campaigns can produce between 1% to 10% conversion, thus adding to the cost of conversion.
LeapRate today spoke to Nicole Augustowski, Director of DR Advertisers at Revizer in order to take a comprehensive look at what happens if the entire digital marketing process is conducted completely the opposite way around.
Revizer is a digital marketing company which operates campaigns across a variety of business sectors, with the retail FX sector accounting for approximately 15% of the firm’s business.
Nicole, whose industry experience in retail FX is substantial, explained to LeapRate that the preferable means of ensuring that brokerages reach the most relevant clients is to target the actual internet user and monitor the behavior of that user, rather than to provide banner campaigns that reach a generic audience.
“In the case of Revizer, our method of generating customer response is different to others, as we work with end users” explained Nicole. “Revizer looks at client needs, and profiles the client. Our system is able to see what the internet user is doing, and what news channels and websites they are searching for and viewing.”
“We make extensive use of big data to collect information on clients” she continued. “If a potential retail client wants to enter, for example, any investment or stock market website, and is then viewing the site, and is searching for investment opportunities, I can give him a FX campaign. When he opens a related site, I can provide a pop up of a forex company campaign which matches the searches he is doing on particular sites” said Nicole.
She continued to explain that “Many digital marketing companies go directly to the FX broker, without conducting any research on the potential clients, whereas Revizer profiles and finds the specific clients, looks at their behavior, web activity, potential spend, profession and lifestyle. This way, Revizer can provide specific targeted clients to FX firms in all regions globally.”
Nicole explained that Revizer’s method is real time, therefore providing FX firm information and advertising material directly on a real time basis to those who are looking for related services online at any specific time. A sales team of an FX firm can then contact that prospective client whilst the prospective client is looking to trade FX, making the conversion rate potentially much higher than otherwise.
Keen to make the distinction between this method and the traditional banner advertising campaigns that have become de rigeur in retail FX over recent years, Nicole explained that banner campaigns will always have their place. “All companies want to generate more brand awareness” she said.
“They can take websites that are relevant for FX investment. The differences is that we operate from within in the browser, not from banners on generic websites. This is an important difference. Website advertisements are more for branding than acquisition, therefore our method is more targeted toward an exact audience, and therefore generates leads which are more likely to convert.”
“Our target is on cost per lead (CPL). By conducting marketing this way, FX firms get less leads, but the leads that they get are much more relevant and likely to result in the gain of more clients than via the traditional means.”
“As I previously mentioned, there will always be a need for more media, and media buying for branding is still highly valuable, the retail FX sector is so competitive and companies are all vying for business in targeted regions, so therefore they still need to be in all of the forex websites, to gain presence, but that should be viewed as a branding exercise, whereas our method is one which provides acquisition of clients and conversion o leads as an effective means of generating such conversions” said Nicole, clearly making the distinction between advertising for branding purposes, as opposed to branding for client acquisition purposes.
In terms of relationships with companies, this should be a long-term business model” said Nicole. “I see that companies start with us, then they pause, then they get a big dipost from one of our users that we monitored, so they come back. We have to build relationships, and then if a campaign is paused, the client can come back after two or three months once they notice that the targeted clients are a good audience.”
“The best facet of our business mdoel is that we know if the client is searching, on a real time basis, for something relevant, and entering FX websites. This is highly valuable as brokers can act on it immediately.”
“I can always see from our data if a client is looking for investment, to work from home, for extra monthly earnings, therefore this can be an immediate prospective client for an FX firm” enthused Nicole.
“Clearly if an individual is conducting research relating to trading, viewing websites that are FX related and entering details, the client is making a decision to trade, therefore capturing this user, whilst viewing such sites, generates a hot lead. This is not like leads generated from banner campagins, there is no need to convince the client, he is already looking for this type of investment” she said.
Our method carries a higher CPL than general media buying, because it is specific. If a firm looks for branding by buying media on generic sites, it is cheaper, but targeting specific clients is more expensive, yet generates less wasted leads and keeps company costs down by ensuring that the leads generated are relevant clients who are looking at that particular time to invest” Nicole explained.
When a prospective trader is looking at the net for investments, a lead is generated at the same time, and therefore an FX firm can call immediately and convert the lead whilst the client is ready to invest.
We can further tailor this system to the needs of brokerages by keeping campaigns live when the broker’s sales team is in the office, which involves working across several time zones as we have brokers as clients from the United States, Cyprus, Australia and the United Kingdom.”
“Most firms do not want to close the campaigns at night or at weekends as they can get good leads, but most clients want campaigns fully operational at optimum hours” she said.
Revizer’s business has increased significantly recently, the firm having 100 employees, and being the subject of a $20 million investment from Pitango Group.
In conclusion, Nicole stated that the need to cut waste and optimize is ever important in online business such as retail FX, thus innovative customer acquisition methods are paramount.