The keys to Keybank’s digital marketing success

A lasting partnership for limitless growth

KeyBank is a relationship-focused regional bank with more than 1,000 branches and 18,000 employees who serve individual retail customers as well as small businesses, corporations, and investment clients from Maine to Alaska.

Staying true to their roots while becoming a digital marketing leader

The main challenge that KeyBank faced when they reached out to DEPT® was capitalizing on rapidly evolving paid and organic search trends while also maintaining a small in-house digital marketing team. The company had a goal of hitting 10,000 account applications created every month, which was ambitious considering how crowded the consumer banking marketplace is.

Consistent answers to evolving needs

Leveraging the match types available at the time, we took an innovative approach to SEM to siphon off query-specific keywords for optimal control.

By year two of the partnership, we had expanded our focus to augment KeyBank’s digital marketing efforts across several different areas. This involved:

  • Performing heuristic evaluations of targeted web pages
  • Analyzing competitors’ value propositions
  • Identifying competitors’ offer gaps where KeyBank could quickly dominate
  • Uncovering the ideal places to start various programs and communications campaigns

In addition to paid search support, DEPT® took on multi-touch attribution (MTA), the first major phase of KeyBank’s new three-year digital marketing roadmap. Despite being delayed by the pandemic, MTA was critical to informing KeyBank’s strategies in 2021. We identified a significant uptick in search volume, which the agency attributed to people adjusting to life at home during the pandemic, and decided to focus on three key areas moving forward:

  • Staying abreast of Google’s mainstream ad formats
  • Being highly responsive to mobile devices
  • Promoting KeyBank’s brand in real-time based on an individual’s searches and increasing paid media spend

Always unlocking new audiences and opportunities

DEPT® has already helped KeyBank achieve major gains throughout their five year partnership and as the company continues to sustain significant year-over-year growth, there is no end in sight.

Our paid search efforts in 2016 resulted in KeyBank being able to better dictate which ads they served to certain consumers, while also optimizing the amount that KeyBank would bid on specific keywords. This led to a higher ROI from paid search and more than doubled KeyBank’s paid search volume, helping them break through into new growth areas.

The aforementioned MTA provided additional clarity when measuring KeyBank’s media mix, and they were better positioned to attribute newly opened accounts to the various digital touchpoints they were making with consumers.

KeyBank completed modernizing their online system for customers opening new accounts, and their improved application process made it much easier for those users drawn in by paid search to sign up. Based on this initial success, KeyBank increased their paid search budget even further and saw a 6x increase in new account openings.

There’s really no limit to the traffic DEPT® can drive to KeyBank. With our new system, people who are sent through from landing pages can finally complete and submit applications, getting approved fast.



VP of Growth

Lou Amodeo

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