Global Payments Processing Company

Creating $9.24 Million in Opportunity Pipeline With $97K In Paid Advertising


A leading payment solutions provider came to Vital in 2021 after years of working with multiple agencies, each administering different services for different internal teams. They wanted to consolidate their digital marketing efforts with a single full-service agency able to maximize their return on investment (ROI) by leveraging cross-platform data and intelligence.

Vital worked closely with their internal marketing teams to develop a strong foundation for digital marketing and a holistic strategy that drives consistent growth across key areas of their business. Our proven approach to pay-per-click (PPC) marketing played a key role in that strategy

PPC Goals

The client wanted to focus their PPC investment on two main goals:

Generate more quality early-stage leads
& boost brand awareness

Because this client is well-known within the fintech market, they were already capturing a large share of late-stage, sales-ready leads. But, without an effective strategy to increase brand awareness and drive leads at the top and middle of the sales funnel, their potential for growth was stagnating. Along the way, we cut our client’s cost-per-lead (CPL) by more than 59%.

Challenges of PPC in Fintech

To run successful PPC campaigns in the payment processing technology space, we knew we would have to overcome three core challenges:

  1. Competition for ideal customers. Our client’s target audience for PPC includes C-suite decision makers at banks, credit card companies, and other high-value financial organizations. Guess what? Every other payment processing technology provider in the world is targeting the same audience.
  2. Low search volume. Typical keywords for B2B payment processing technology tend to have monthly search volumes in the tens and hundreds, rather than thousands. And, of course, the higher the search volume, the hotter the competition. When you’re targeting a keyword with a search volume of 90, you need to work harder to get the most value out of each click.
  3. Long sales cycles. Landing a big account in this market can take up to two years from first point of contact. With sales cycles of that length, it’s difficult to prove the value of PPC as a first touchpoint without an extremely sophisticated approach to tracking and data analytics. It also requires an understanding of a complex buyer’s journey, including multiple influencers and opportunities that are easy to overlook.

An Unconventional Approach to PPC for Fintech

With the client’s goals and challenges in mind, we crafted a strategy that would keep us out of the shark-infested waters where PPC budgets get eaten alive — in other words, forget about targeting the CTO of Visa with a sales-ready, “buy now” campaign.

Instead, we collaborated with our client on a three-pronged approach designed to establish a robust sales pipeline that would support sustainable, long-term growth. Here’s how:

  1. Build the foundation. Anyone can throw money at a PPC agency and get “results” — aka clicks — but without a strong foundation, those clicks aren’t going to pay you back. We overhauled our client’s website and worked with them to make sure they had the technical and human resources necessary to collect data, track campaign performance, and (most importantly) nurture and engage leads at every stage in the funnel, across multiple touchpoints.
  2. Create real value. A typical PPC campaign for a client like ours might drive searchers to a landing page that communicates the value of the brand’s solutions for their ideal customers, with a call to action (CTA) to contact sales. We knew we’d be doing plenty of that once prospects got to the “consideration” phase of the buyer’s journey, but to get them in the pipeline earlier, we took a “show, don’t tell” approach. In other words, we focus less on communicating our client’s value and more on creating content our client’s audience will find valuable — before they even start searching for solutions.For example, our client uses their proprietary data and intelligence to create a report that provides unique insights into the status of payments worldwide. It’s not a sales tool. Instead, it’s a resource for someone who might soon be in the market for payment processing technology. Run a PPC campaign promoting that resource, drive searchers to a landing page with a simple, low-friction form to download the report, and you’ve captured both a new marketing-qualified lead (MQL) and some prime real estate in the mind of a potential future customer.
  3. Drive continuous improvement. A “set it and forget it” mindset means death in a competitive PPC market. With our foundation solidly in place, and our content strategy on point, we continually obsess over the data — not only from PPC but from all our client’s marketing channels, including SEO and email — and apply fanatical discipline to creating and following a digital marketing calendar based on results.

Speaking of Results…

The PPC world is littered with so-called “vanity metrics” — data that might make you feel good about your spend, but that definitely doesn’t pay the bills. (Click rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, etc.)

We focus on two things: How much did we spend, and how much revenue opportunity was generated as a result of that spend?

The spend:

in Google Search Ads

The results:

$9.24 million in
opportunity pipeline creation

Some of the companies represented in the lead count are pretty impressive, too.

…and many, many more. Hot Dang.

The work, as they say, is never done. We enjoy collaborating with this fintech client to ensure that their digital marketing foundation is strong and up-to-date, strategize new opportunities to create content that their audience loves, and keep those leads coming in through organic and paid channels.

Ready to write your own success story?

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