Excellence in Purpose Driven Marketing Strategy 2022

Seeing that many Kiwis were at risk of falling into a cycle of debt due to unarranged overdrafts, ASB set out to deliver some ‘behavioural nudges’ with marketing automation.

Helping Kiwis get financially well

With 38 percent of ASB’s customers experiencing multiple payment problems in 2021, causing them to incur late payment fees, ASB wanted to do something to change this.

ASB’s Financial Wellbeing score indicated that payment problems such as these make up 20 percent of a customer’s total financial wellbeing, so getting on top of them could make a big difference.

But prompting this sort of behaviour change wasn’t going to be easy for several reasons.

Firstly it required habitual spending behaviour change, unchartered territory for direct marketing. Combine this with a culture of Kiwis not liking to talk openly about money, and a declining trust in banks, as reported by RMM Retail Market Monitor, people were even less likely to speak to their banks about money problems. Something had to be done.

To tackle this, ASB launched head first into behaviour change research and delivered a campaign to repeat users of the unarranged overdraft.

By combining behavioural science with data driven personalisation, this campaign set out to help customers change their habits with money.

Recognising that Covid and the rising cost of living has effected Kiwis trust in banks, ASB knew this approach would need to be hyper-targeted, discretely choosing digital channels with no human interaction and clear actions that customers could take on their own.

The targeting and timing of communications were vital in this campaign, which increased the complexity of its design, and required collaboration between ASB’s Financial Wellbeing, Business Intelligence, direct marketing, data and analytics, digital production and reporting teams.

It also needed to identify the customers who were in unarranged overdraft and identify the fees and interest associated specifically with the unarranged overdrafts.

These data points were then fed into marketing data mart to enable the campaign to target those it was relevant to.

The strategy directly delivered to ASB’s purpose of ‘Accelerating financial progress for all New Zealanders’ and the Connected Customer Conversation (CCC) vision of ‘Simplifying money management in moments that matter, so that Kiwis can get one step ahead.’

The campaign also used real time nudges to communicate balances and bill payments to customers such as notifications like “Your scheduled payment of… may not be made due to insufficient funds in your rent and bills account” to help customers move money around and avoid the unarranged overdraft fee.

In July 2021 the campaign went live, targeting 15,000 customers who met the qualifying criteria. As an automated campaign, it continues to identify and communicate to new customers everyday who are repeatedly going into unarranged overdraft.

By the end of May 2022 the campaign had been sent to 29,467 customers and 20,289 of these have not gone into an unarranged overdraft after engaging with the communications. This has saved them $145,000 in fees and suggests that this approach is effective in helping customers improve their financial wellbeing.

As ASB’s Direct Marketing teams first behavioural science experiment, the results of this short, action-oriented ‘nudge’ approach, have been very compelling and have transformed how the CCC team approach communication design – inspiring a more curious approach.  

Excellence in Purpose Driven Marketing Strategy


Marketing Initiative
Nudging Customers Towards Improved Financial Wellbeing 

Marketing Partner
WiTH Collective

Judges’ Comments
“Delivering on a purpose that is central to their business by bringing that purpose to life in an insightful, intelligent and humble way. Focused on real experiences and outcomes with thorough and persuasive analysis of numbers involved.” 

ACC; ANZ; Contact Energy; Jaguar New Zealand; Lion; Māia; Trade Me

Enter the 2023 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards

Got a marketing strategy worthy of this award? Enter it into 2023 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards today. Entries close at 5pm on April 28, 2023.

Excellence in Purpose Driven Marketing Strategy

The judges are looking for the entry that can best demonstrate how a company’s corporate social responsibility programme has been brought to life through its marketing activities. This can include a focus on sustainable growth, brands or campaigns built around a social or environmental issue, or any other purpose-driven marketing activity that has helped improve commercial performance, brand health and broader society. 


This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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