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industry giants: DialDirect case study

We interviewed Simone Frost, Group Digital Marketing Innovations Manager at Upstream (encompassing the Telesure, Dialdirect, First for Women and VirSeker brands) about trends, challenges and solutions she is experiencing within the FinServe space. In conjunction with this interview we conducted a case study on one of the brand’s Simone looks after, DialDirect, to see how we’ve helped them grow their business through digital and social channels. 

why the Dialdirect campaign is a valuable case study

According to Simone Frost, the South African FinServe space is particularly challenging as there is little loyalty amongst insurance consumers, as South Africans are forever chasing the lowest monthly premium, switching providers to save as little as R50. In addition, marketers within the global FinServe space face the challenge of selling a service people are not necessarily enthusiastic to purchase.

Therefore, in order to optimise the success of their Facebook advertising, Dialdirect altered multiple elements in their marketing strategy and utilised Popimedia’s offline optimisation tools; LeadSMART and AudienceSMART. Furthermore, we changed the Key Performance Indicator of their campaigns from a marketing success metric to a business-centric metric to ultimately optimise for bottom-line results. These strategic moves proved to be hugely successful for their Facebook campaign in 2018. Here is a breakdown of each contributing factor:


Previously, Dialdirect used many ad-sets per campaign, targeted at niche audiences. From March onwards the company shifted their targeting to a more broad-based approach. This broader targeting strategy resulted in an increase in overall reach as the optimisation for creative (advert designs/images) occurred on an ad level rather than on an ad-set level. Furthermore, this use of broad targeting allowed Facebook’s well developed AI systems to optimise serving ads to relevant users.


Not only did Dialdirect alter their targeting, but they also utilised less creative variations, focusing on more personalised and relatable imagery, rather than on quantity. The increase in resulting uptake quickly became clear.


Lastly, Dialdirect also altered their optimisation strategy. In previous Facebook campaigns, the company used advertising metrics as the focal metric for success (example engagements and leads) but opted to rather optimize for business metrics in this campaign. This adjustment in end goal resulted in a 38,55% decrease in cost per sale. Optimising the conversion funnel (from engagement with digital advert, to call, quote and actual sale) was made possible with Popimedia’s offline optimisation tools LeadSMART and AudienceSMART; meedee8’s CRM integration solution.

LeadSMART automated the lead generation process, automatically downloading Facebook leads and feeding them through to Dialdirect’s call center data, offering real time leads which ultimately resulted in higher conversion rates. AudienceSMART used offline conversion data to serve different ad-sets to the audience depending on their position within the brand’s product life-cycle, further contributing to the success of the campaign.

the results

In summation, even with less digital advertising budget, significantly more contacts were fed to Dialdirect’s call centre as a result of these Facebook adverts. Not only did the cost per sale decrease dramatically (by 38,55%) for the new clients acquired during this campaign, but all other key metrics also outperformed previous campaigns; number of leads increased significantly as well as overall number of sales.

results of the campaign compared to previous months

key take outs

Perhaps the biggest take out is to constantly test and alter components of your digital campaigns (whether it is strategy, audience targeting or creative) until you notice a certain approach working for your brand. Adopting a curious and agile culture can aid in driving your business forward and reaching your KPIs, especially in highly competitive industries like FinServe. Each industry has its own set of parameters and challenges, and it is important to understand these but also not to be afraid to try something new.

The results from the targeting are intriguing as those in the digital space are frequently told to target more niche audiences and serve different ad-sets to these micro audiences to increase the campaign’s relevance. Dialdirect opted for a more broad-based approach, and it served them well. In addition, we integrated their offline data with meedee8’s AudienceSmart and LeadSmart to augment Facebook’s AI systems by optimising the serving of ad-sets and seamlessly converting online leads to offline sales. Both of these strategy alterations allowed Dialdirect’s campaign to increase leads and sales while decreasing their cost per new client.

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