Case Study of the Month | October 2023 | Editor’s pick

“LeasePlan Bank stood out for me because, with the various changes underway that are restricting the use of third-party cookies, it demonstrated how well contextual targeting can be used to effectively target its audience. The use of AI in detecting what factors were influencing customer behaviour to optimise the brand’s advertising achieved a very impressive increase in account openings, while also reducing costs.”

— Lynette Saunders, Senior Analyst, Econsultancy


LeasePlan Bank, an online savings platform, wanted to grow its customer base in Germany but did not have a sophisticated marketing strategy, resulting in a high cost per opened account (CPOA). Working with digital agency Traffic Builders, LeasePlan developed a multichannel digital campaign that was optimised for each stage of the customer journey, making use of AI and contextual targeting. The strategy helped the brand exceed its targets for account both account openings and CPOA.

Objectives and aims

LeasePlan wanted to increase its number of opened accounts by 115% from Q4 2022 to Q1 2023. While doing this, it aimed to improve its marketing efficiency, cutting its CPOA by 23%. To achieve this, it also needed to achieve a cost per quote of €20.

Implementation, execution and tactics

LeasePlan needed to reach German consumers that were actively researching their financial options. It chose to use a contextual targeting strategy, rather than use demographic variables such as age, to reach people interested in topics such as investing, saving, stocks and property.

The brand needed a strategy that would drive awareness, engagement and, finally, activation. To achieve the first aim, it targeted mobile users, making use of Google Discovery Ads for Android, along with native advertising partner Outbrain and contextual targeting partner Seedtag. This allowed LeasePlan to test the effectiveness of contextual targeting, on pages with content related to saving and investment, against the use of interest-based audiences across a broader range of websites. The initial results found contextual targeting to be especially effective, so it was given a greater role.

LeasePlan followed this with a desktop display campaign, using Quantcast to combine various data points, including the results of an analysis of its website behaviour, conversion rate, customer experience and drop-off rates. It used AI to detect factors influencing customer behaviour that could not be observed by human analysis, and used the findings to map the typical customer journey from the first brand interaction to opening an account.

By understanding the impact on consumers of each type of advertising, LeasePlan was able to optimise its campaign to achieve a CPOA lower than its target figure, and to increase its account openings in Q1 2023 to more than three times the previous quarter’s figure.


  • 205% increase in account openings quarter-on-quarter
  • 53% reduction in cost per opened account
  • Cost per opened account 39% below target
  • Cost per quote 83% below the target