​The Power of Search & Programmatic: When Two Become One

World First enables individuals and businesses to transfer money internationally at rates far better than what the traditional banks can offer. World First has been on a massive growth path for the last ten years and Search has always played a strong part in this expansion.


2014 saw ambitious growth targets and we knew that Search alone could not deliver the volume, so we looked to implement a UK Programmatic strategy, our key objective being to utilise programmatic display to enhance our online presence whilst employing Search to support and qualify the anticipated increase in volume.

We could argue that we wanted the world to know about World First, but actually, we wanted the right people in the world to know about World First - so our first objective was to identify the correct audience segments to target our prospecting efforts. Once we'd established this our core objectives were to:

  • Grow traffic
  • Increase conversion volume through both Programmatic & Search at a commercially efficient rate


Adopting an integrated strategy is the ability to align all channel efforts, utilising each for their individual qualities to enhance the digital experience and ultimately achieve business goals.

At Periscopix our Programmatic and Search teams work hand in hand to achieve this for our clients, over and above any individual platform targets. The challenge we faced was to avoid diminishing returns. We wanted to ensure that every extra Search penny spent came with an increased propensity to convert. We therefore developed a wide reach Programmatic campaign so that Search acted as a reinforcing channel to an already established Brand dialogue.

Programmatic Prospecting
A long Search history meant that we already had the background knowledge, so we immediately set about creating placement specific and contextually targeted ads, our key focus being web content regarding currency exchange services, serving ads only on reputable publishers and hard-hitting editorial content. We overlaid our contextual targeting with behaviour targets to ensure our ads were in the right place, at the right time, and in front of the right people. By overlaying our targeting, we ensured tightly refined audiences and secured high impact inventory.

From the beginning Programmatic was always placed at the top of the funnel. We knew that we needed a strong presence at each touch point to secure a positive return so looked to upscale Search presence.

We anticipated an influx in both Brand and Generic traffic, so we ring-fenced key impact keywords to ensure we maximised coverage where we considered traffic to be prequalified and of high intent. Brand bids were immediately increased as we wanted to dominate this space entirely, and were again increased in Q4 2014 once we were confident that we had achieved substantial momentum with our Display activity.

Generic was a little bit trickier as we wanted to ensure we were attracting the right type of client to safeguard commercial efficiency, so we deployed a stringent refinement process. Digging deep into historic performance we isolated direct-response keywords and implemented rules automatically increase bids where traffic increased by a certain amount week on week. This meant reaction was real-time and allowed us to dominate the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

We experienced impression uplift, but only on keywords we had identified as driving direct response and high value conversions. To add another layer to our refinement process we introduced hard hitting ad copy, pushing £1K minimum transfers:

Programmatic display fed us the traffic we needed but Search was integral in turning positive sentiment into direct and high value action.

Without activity across both channels, we would not have been able to deliver the results we did. We knew that each user interaction could influence the conversion cycle so deployed an always on, multi touch point eco system to intensify dialogue with our target market and this approach really paid off!


At Periscopix we could see the improvements to campaign reach and efficiency, but what we really wanted to know was how our efforts had effected World First business objectives. Due to the very nature of World First's business model, we have always worked to a 12 month look-back window before a registration becomes profitable. All top line metrics have seen significant improvements.

  • 125% increase in in-month profit
  • 22% increase in accumulative profit
  • 81% increase in registrations
  • 12% decrease in CPA

  • The growth alone met our core objective and the heightened brand awareness generated and improvements to efficiency have further resulted in a reduced breakeven point on ROI from 12 months to 9 months and increased the lifetime ROI value of our PPC efforts.

    Quote from the client

    "We're delighted with the advanced knowledge Periscopix was able to bring to this cutting-edge digital campaign. We really feel we've stolen a march on some of our competitors by having this programmatic campaign in place and the significant jump in registrations, and revenue, which we attribute to this activity. What's more, given our relatively long ROI cycle we're excited what the results from this work will continue to bring over the course of 2015."

    Martin Pezet, Search Manager, World First

    Award-Winning Campaign | Drum Search Awards 2015

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