How Top U.S. Lenders Are Wasting $4B A Year On Advertising

In the age of “Big Data,” mortgage lenders are realizing that their own data on customers and leads is their most valuable source of marketing insight. Yet knowing is only half the battle—and as it turns out, many lenders are failing to activate their so-called “first-party” data to drive new business.

According to a recent report from Experian, 91 percent of C-level executives believe that preparing data for analysis costs their businesses time and resources. Those same executives estimate that nearly one-third of their organizations’ customer and lead data is inaccurate. As a result, many companies waste a significant chunk of their advertising budget on the wrong strategies and channels—and with financial institutions spending a combined $10.11 billion on advertising in 2017, the cost of bad audience data management is especially high for lenders.

With that in mind, NestReady surveyed the top 500 mortgage lenders in the U.S. about their use of technology. In particular, NestReady sought to find out which solutions lenders are using to manage their first-party customer data. Read on to learn how the most successful financial institutions and mortgage brokers are using data management platforms to study their audiences and implement data-driven marketing campaigns.

What Is an Audience Data Management Platform (DMP)?

An audience data management platform, or DMP for short, is a technology platform that helps businesses manage data they’ve collected from their websites, apps, and other online properties about their audiences. This is known as first-party data, and may include everything from CRM data, to website activity, to subscription information. By comparing and analyzing this data, companies can learn about their audiences in order to increase traffic, engagement, and ROI.

DMPs can simplify a variety of labor-intensive marketing activities. For instance, lenders can use their DMP solution to easily divide their audiences into more segments, which they can then use to target specific kinds of clients in online advertising campaigns. Some DMPs can help organize and monetize data in real-time bidding systems for online ads, while others use Big Data and artificial intelligence algorithms to quickly process large data sets about users from multiple sources.

How Top Lenders Are Using DMPs

Interest in DMP solutions has grown steadily over the last decade or so:

audience data platforms trends- chart

Lenders, in particular, are starting to embrace DMPs to organize and leverage valuable data on their leads and clients.

According to our survey, 60 percent of the top 500 mortgage lenders in the U.S. are using audience data management platforms. By contrast, lenders outside of top 500 list have far lower rates of DMP adoption, and are therefore missing out on opportunities to identify and target clusters of potentially good customers in real time.

audience data trends and platforms: chart

While lenders cited 28 different tools and platforms for audience data analysis and audience targeting, just four platforms account for 46 percent of usage in this category: Adobe DMP, Bizo, Rapleaf, and Lotame. These selections are especially interesting when compared to other kinds of companies globally.

For instance, while Adobe DMP is the top choice among top U.S. lenders, it ranks fourth among other kinds of companies, according to a report by Datanyze. Conversely, LiveRamp, the most popular solution globally, takes the sixth spot for lenders in our study, with just 21 of 500 companies using the tool.


As lenders continue to explore and expand their use of DMP solutions, we expect their choices to fall more closely in line with users in other industries.

First-party data is one of the most important assets that a modern company has — in fact, it’s nearly as valuable as the product or service you’re providing. Lenders who don’t collect and activate first-party data from their properties end up missing out on revenue and paying more for customer acquisition. With 40 percent of top-500 lenders neglecting to include DMPs in their technology stack, it’s clear that today’s banks and brokers have a long way to go in unlocking the true potential of their data.

Get the Full “Top 500” Report

To learn more about how top mortgage lenders are using DMPs and other technologies, be sure to download NestReady’s complete report. It offers valuable insights on hundreds of solutions across 11 different technology categories, including web analytics, marketing automation, social media, video, and more. Click here to get your copy of the report.

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