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TMI and Refinitiv find niche finance audiences

  Article , Financial Services , Success stories

B2B brand uses LinkedIn data and Audience Ads to promote products

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Selling finance software to niche audiences

Financial services company Refinitiv is a global provider of financial market data and infrastructure. Founded in 2018, the company was acquired by the London Stock Exchange Group in August 2019 and since expanded its B2B software services to over 190 countries. Supported by digital marketing agency The Media Image (TMI), Refinitiv used the Microsoft Audience Network to promote its products and services to niche audiences in the financial industry.

When TMI started working with Refinitiv, Account Director Alistair Kerr and his team spent the first six months restructuring the Refinitiv account before expanding its search presence in new markets across multiple languages.

“This is an interesting account to work on,” commented Alistair, “Refinitiv has a large portfolio of software products that they sell as a service to some niche audiences that are hard to reach online. These include wealth managers, investment bankers, traders and financial risk assessors.”

To reach these niche audiences Refinitiv wanted to change its marketing approach. Josh Mendelowitz, Senior Search Manager at Refinitiv added: "Internally, we adopted a more persona-driven approach to marketing as we took a step back to look at our total addressable market and began to target our messaging around how our products support specific use cases, industries and company types.”

On top of the niche audiences to contend with, Refinitiv also has a wide buying cycle across its product portfolio, ranging from two weeks to twelve months. Getting a consistent view of performance of search campaigns is incredibly taxing as what works for one campaign selling a short-cycle product might be completely wrong for a longer buying cycle product.

We found that the quality of leads was so much better and led to more sales for the client. That meant that our overall ROAS was much stronger with Microsoft Advertising.

— Alistair Kerr, Account Director, TMI

Microsoft Audience Network and LinkedIn targeting

“When we explained the Microsoft Advertising opportunity to Refinitiv they were immediately excited,” recounted Aaron Stegvilas, Account Manager at TMI. “When we told them that they could target specific industries and job titles based on the LinkedIn data they were eager to try it.”

“Explaining the intricacies of specific digital marketing tactics to internal stakeholders can be a challenge,” explained Josh. “But the Microsoft Audience Network was easy for everyone to wrap their head around. Our sales teams were especially excited about the possibilities of leveraging LinkedIn data across new channels to improve our targeting.”

The Microsoft Audience Network had the additional benefit of being flexible to meet Refinitiv’s needs for both acquisition campaigns and high-level brand awareness campaigns. When the company was acquired in 2019 by the London Stock Exchange Group, TMI needed a platform that could get the message out broadly to the industry.

“The reach of the platform really helped meet that need,” said Alistair, “but then when it came to targeting the niche audiences we wanted to sell specialised products to, we were so impressed with the granularity of options available. We could also scale the campaigns quickly so it didn’t matter whether the product was a short or long buy cycle, we could tailor the campaign to meet the objectives.”

Although Refinitiv also advertise on the Google Display Network (GDN) they opted not to use the Google Import functionality but decided to create brand new campaigns for MSAN. “We import our campaigns daily for Search,” explained Aaron, “but for these campaigns we were creating bespoke ad copy that fit the audiences we wanted to target, audiences we couldn’t reach on Google, so it made sense to take our time and build the campaigns from scratch. MSAN also gave us more flexibility with using subtext in the ads so we wanted to create the best campaign we could using the available functionality.”

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LinkedIn Profile targeting data allowed TMI to target potential customers based on the job function, industry, or company that they worked for. This unique opportunity gave Refinitiv the ability to create customised content which spoke to the benefits of its niche products safe in the knowledge that it would not alienate an audience the ad wasn’t intended for.

“The brand safety aspect was also really important for the client,” recalled Alistair. “The premium placements and brand safe environment of MSAN was a huge plus.”

Compelling results

After running Microsoft Audience Network campaigns for a year, the platform has proved highly effective for meeting Refinitiv’s goals. In the period May 2021 to October 2021 overall conversions increased by 533%, compared to the previous 6 months. The cost-per-lead (CPL) was also 51% more efficient.

“The results speak for themselves and the Microsoft Audience Network is now a powerful tool that we have embedded into our digital marketing toolkit,” said Josh. “We found that the quality of leads was so much better and led to more sales for the client,” added Alistair. “That meant that our overall ROAS was much stronger with Microsoft Advertising.”

“The targeting capability provided by LinkedIn data is exceptionally powerful, especially for the B2B audience we want to go after,” concluded Aaron.

The results speak for themselves and the Microsoft Audience Network is now a powerful tool that we have embedded into our digital marketing toolkit.

— Josh Mendelowitz, Senior Search Manager, Refinitiv

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