ANZ conversation wordcloud

Social Sales, ANZ and Apple Pay – Seizing The Moment

When ANZ Bank took the other local banks by surprise and launched Apple Pay last Thursday social media exploded, and it was not good news for the other banks with ANZ resourced and ready to poach disenchanted customers from the others.

A carefully planned launch on social

The launch of Apple Pay was an event carefully planned and resourced in social media by ANZ, even to the point of the CEO being filmed using Apple Pay for Twitter and the issue of a Twitter recap on Friday.

The impact of the announcement was immediate, peaking at over 5,000 tweets on the day after the announcement.

ANZ Apple Pay Launch Twitter

Over the few days after the announcement the tweets rose sharply and then fell only a little less sharply, and with twice as many men as women harassing the banks about getting with Apple Pay like the ANZ.

ANZ Apple Pay Tweets

Half the tweets were from Australia, which means about 5,000 tweets from Australia burst out on the topic in the 3 days of and following the announcement.

Themes strong and on ANZ message

The main themes of the tweets were loud and clear – and it was bimodal. On one hand people were excited that ANZ had launched Apple Pay, and on the other non-ANZ customers were unhappy that their bank did not offer Apple Pay.

ANZ achieved a PR coup and they were ready and prepared for it, whereas the other banks and their PR and social media teams were taken by surprise and had a couple of bad hair days.

ANZ Wordcloud Apple Pay Twitter

ANZ scores twenty-times the volume

It’s fair to say that the social media screens of the other banks would have been lit up with negative comments about lack of Apple Pay for 2 days. In fact we know the volumes, they are as shown below with ANZ receiving 20 times the mentions of the other banks.

ANZ Apple Pay Compare CBA NAB Westpac Tweets

Coping with the fallout

Not only were the other banks crushed by the PR value of the ANZ announcement but the tweets they did receive were mostly complaints about their lack of innovation and from customers advising that they were moving to the ANZ.

Apple Pay ANZ NAB Westpac

Apple Pay CBA Commbank

At the same time as the other banks were taken by surprise, with SMS’s cascading out of the phones of their PR and marketing managers, the ANZ was supremely prepared and ready to go into ‘social selling” mode to poach customers.

ANZ Social Selling Twitter Apple Pay

Sentiment around the issue of ANZ and Apple Pay was interesting, the chart below comparing sentiment and showing a low 1-percentage point negative sentiment for the ANZ about Apple Pay.

Sentiment killed CBA’s “innovation” marketing investment

According to the analysis CBA was the most unliked bank on the issue (although long-time Apple Pay partner Amex also registered high negativity for reasons unknown), and although NAB recorded the same negative sentiment as Westpac, NAB’s positive sentiment was nearly double Westpac’s.

On the basis of sentiment it seems that CBA was the biggest loser on the day. After CBA spending years slowing etching “innovation” into the minds of the public ANZ all but blew those years away by a simple well executed marketing initiative that was open to CBA (and all the other banks).

ANZ Apple Pay Sentiment Twitter NAB CBA Westpac

Conclusion – job well done ANZ!

All in all ANZ ran a masterful PR coup with their Apple Pay launch.

Not only did it catch the other banks flat-footed in social media but it left them on the defensive for a couple of days while at the same time the ANZ social media team had happy days poaching (“social selling”) the others’ disgruntled customers.

ANZ responded directly to about 300 people on Twitter from our rough analysis, if they converted 100 directly then that was a great win. Ultimately, given the volume of activity and the sentiment they may well gain 1000s of new customers from this Apple Pay initiative.

What might ANZ have done differently in social media to improve further their campaign? Here are a few thoughts:

  1. By launching late in the week ANZ allowed the interest to die off starting Friday night and the weekend. Perhaps with a Sunday night launch the interest and social media volume could have been actively maintained for a week, giving the other banks not only a bad hair day but a bad hair week!
  2. On the other hand perhaps launching on the Thursday could have had more impact by manning the social media stations during the weekend when the other banks are all but shut down, and seeing if the campaign could have been carried forward at a higher pace over the weekend in the absence of the other banks? Perhaps live examples of people on the street using Apple Pay?
  3. And finally, the addition of some “behind the scenes” informal videos via Vine and Instagram and Snapchat might have added a lot more interest and even doubled the impressions. It’s all very well to have the “above the line” officially-filtered messages but the real behind the scenes stuff creates a lot of authenticity and excitement – after all, even GE do this stuff on Snapchat !!


Walter Adamson
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