Cumberland Building Society

Established in 1850, The Cumberland is one of the UK’s largest building societies. With headquarters in Cumbria, its branches cover parts of England and Scotland, offering a wide range of financial services and specialises in hospitality and commercial lending. The company prides itself on its exceptional customer service.

Hero IPad Cumberland

The Brief

What we did

The Cumberland team came to us with one key goal in mind – to dramatically increase their leads.

They specifically wanted us to grow their holiday let side of the business. To do this, we’d need to generate two types of leads:

Local To encourage users to visit local branches.

National To increase general enquiries to the site.

They also wanted us to target a range of customers – first time buyers, home movers, and people interested in holiday lets, remortgaging, and later life remortgaging.   With all this in mind, we focused on delivering our effective pay per click (PPC) management services to achieve these goals.

The Challenge

There were many key challenges we’d need to overcome during this project:

  • Standing OutIn a competitive market, The Cumberland needed to overshadow the competition.
  • The Strict RegulationsAll companies in the finance sector must adhere to strict rules and regulations.
  • Careful SpendingPPC is pricey and competitive spaces often come with escalating costs per click.
  • Targeted DemographicsGenerating local and national leads requires specific, tailored techniques.

The Research

Utilising our team’s expertise, we executed in-depth high-level research to understand how well The Cumberland’s PPC currently worked and how effectively it was used across the industry. This involved:

Extensive keyword research

Striking a balance between high search volume and competitive terms, we determined the best-performing keywords that would deliver maximum results within our budget.

Performance analysis

To determine how effective current search and display adverts were - how users responded to them, engaged with them, and how successfully they converted.

Competitor analysis

Analysing the activity of rival businesses to build a picture of the digital strategies they used and check what techniques did and didn’t work.

To learn more about the impressive analysis techniques we use to completely understand your rivals – and deliver results that can knock them out of the park – visit our competitor and market research page

Slashing PPC costs

Cost-effective search ad locations

We wanted to achieve the best quality score from Google with our effective search marketing ads. The better the score, the cheaper that ad costs per click (CPC). Low CPC is also determined by a mixture of the quality score and ad ranking. 

Our skilled PPC team worked hard to optimise the account, which led to dramatically reducing the costs per lead. While many contributing factors helped achieve this, one method involved finding and targeting cost-effective locations to bid on and focus our keywords; we prioritised the locations that were achieving the best results. By optimising the budget via geographical targeting we were able to generate more leads at a lower cost.   Have you got a problem with your PPC – poor leads and escalating costs? Get in touch with our PPC management experts to finally start seeing some profitable results. 

Expanding the Audience


Our research revealed those people interested in holiday letting, who we wanted to capture, searched on Airbnb. So we used top-performing keywords to target and attract those site users. As a result, we opened up The Cumberland to a much larger audience, which helped us to find and retain more users who had shown intent. This also added more potential customers to the remarketing funnel – strengthening it with a larger audience of high-quality leads.


Impactful Ads that Convert

Cumberland Google Ad Mobile Mockup

We created three types of engaging digital adverts to promote The Cumberland’s services and offers. The ads were published on popular sites, which the target audience frequently used. They were:

Search marketing ads   By creating engaging ad copy that included top-performing keywords and adhered to Google’s best practices in PPC, we ensured these ads were in the optimal spot on search engine results pages (SERPs), so our audience converted – and at the best rates.

Display ads   These image-led ads were placed alongside popular, relevant content for national newspapers, like The Daily Mail.

Social media ads   We designed these ads to appear on social media channels, such as Facebook’s news feed. 

You can learn more about the innovative techniques and platforms we use, which keep us ahead in digital advertising, on our PPC management service page

Animated ads to Impress & Inspire

Designing engaging display ads

When creating the display ads, our design and content teams used clever and inspiring messaging, alongside engaging and aspirational imagery. This aimed to stand out on a web page, resonate with potential customers, draw them in and encourage them to click.

Our designers also chose a mix of recognisable colours and modern styles that reflected those of the brand, while helping to inject new life into it.. As well as producing static adverts, we also created animated ads.   Animated ads involve a series of images that change from one to another. These were a first for Cumberland – a form of digital advertising that they hadn’t previously used. So our teams went the extra mile to create a series of ads that would not only impress and inspire the target audience,but the company team as well.   To learn more about our imaginative processes for brand and design, visit our branding and creative design services page.

Cumberland - ads

The Right Network is Key

What our work demonstrated

Display ads are widely used in PPC marketing today, so they need to stand out from the crowd. To ensure your ads capture and engage your audience, you must target the right network. Utilising years of experience we were able to quickly identify the right placements across the Google Display Network, to create exceptional growth in high intent traffic. 

Our work also demonstrated the display network’s key role in the marketing funnel. If your targeting and content accurately fits a desired persona, this will create a great number of high-quality leads.    Want to make sure your digital ads stand out from the crowd to fully capture and engage your audience? Get in touch with our award-winning team to find out how we can help.

Cumberland Results

The Results

Cumberland Results


We achieved some incredible results for this project – surpassing The Cumberland team’s targets by millions.

Find Out What We Can Do For You

If you’re inspired by the work we’ve done for The Cumberland and would like to see what results we can create for your business, you can arrange an appointment with the Soap Media team today

What We Could Do For You
If you'd like help with your digital marketing and our work on this project has inspired you, why not get in touch with us to discuss your plans:
Our Other Experience
We've also completed big projects for companies across a wide variety of sectors that you might want to take a look at.