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Lloyds Banking Group

Building trust through relevance

The Challenge

How should brand marketing adapt to today’s customers and context?

The Insight

In today’s landscape, it’s not enough to build awareness — you need to put your customers first and deliver something useful.

The Solution

Lloyds Banking Group is successfully transforming its strategic marketing functions to meet a new era of brand purpose and customer-centric engagement.

Trust in traditional institutions is declining; younger consumers in particular are gravitating toward brands that demonstrate purpose in all aspects of their business, products, and communications.

Amidst this challenging context, UK financial institution Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) is striving to become more relevant to its customers. Since 2015, Blue State has helped the company evaluate, build, and embed the capabilities and culture necessary to put customers first.

Building customer-first capability through digital

We’ve collaborated with LBG’s marketing innovation team to deliver three pillars of strategic activity. The first is audience insights: using a suite of tools to measure audience sentiment, we’ve uncovered actionable insights and learnings about the landscape. Our methods include using social listening, audience panels, research frameworks, and emerging techniques such as AI. The second area is cultivating a testing mindset to reach customers on the topics that matter to them — at the right time and in the right place. Finally, Blue State is helping LBG build trust and future proof. Emergent trends and changing regulations make dealing with the here-and-now complex enough, but LBG knows they need to look beyond the present. We’re supporting their horizon view through deep trend research and audience analysis, to uncover opportunities for innovation.

Transforming both internal culture & customer experience

LBG’s toolkit of insights and testing products lets marketing teams start campaigns from a more informed position when considering how, when, why, and with whom to communicate. We’ve uncovered insights that span audiences and societal topics, such as changing household dynamics, financial needs amongst disabled customers, and financial stress. Through testing, we’ve proved that talking to people about insurance at certain life moments is more useful to them than at any random time in their life. Results also show that people prefer email communications that are personal and relevant to them. Having embedded a digital-first, test-and-learn mindset, the bank is now piloting messages before scaling, moving from a broadcast campaign approach to a more relevance-led model where we use real data to gauge if we’ve earned a place in the conversation.

What I personally love about working with Blue State is that they feel less like an agency and more like a partner — we can bounce ideas off of each other, they understand our business, and they are experts in this field.

Shailen Joshi, Head of Innovation, Group Brands & Marketing, Lloyds Banking Group


  • 25,000+ consumers providing real-time audience insights through ongoing social listening panels

  • 96X effectiveness in using life-stages to drive people to visit Lloyds Bank’s mortgage application page, compared to a prior mortgage campaign

  • 5 artificial intelligence personas created to model audience behaviour and test messages with

Press & Accolades

  • Campaign
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