Islamic Bank of Britain achieves unprecedented success for 2013 digital marketing programme

04 February 2014

Islamic Bank of Britain plc (IBB), the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank, has achieved unprecedented success for its 2013 digital programme.  Led by the Bank’s Head of Marketing & Online Channels, Tim Sinclair, activities reached an important milestone this month with the launch of a new mobile-enabled website, www.islamic-bank.com.

The overall objective of the programme was to develop IBB’s digital presence in order to:

  • Improve the online accessibility of the Bank’s products and services
  • Increase the number of sales and leads generated via the online channel
  • Enable IBB to engage interactively with its target audience
  • Raise awareness of IBB’s Sharia compliant, ethical offering

Importantly, with a range of market-leading products on offer, IBB was also keen to improve its reach amongst British non-Muslim consumers, which prefer to access the Bank’s products via its website and UK –based call centre.   Finally, IBB is widely considered a pioneer of British Islamic retail banking and its digital presence needed to reflect this. 

The programme was initiated by IBB in January 2013 with the appointment of a digital marketing manager.  This was quickly followed by a refresh of the company’s existing website, which had become tired and outdated.   

Soon after, a range of digital marketing techniques were implemented by IBB, including:

  • Search engine optimisation
  • Pay per click campaigns on Google, Facebook and Bing
  • The launch of official IBB pages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn
  • Online advertising campaigns, including ads via the Google Display Network and Google Adwords remarketing
  • The launch of a Facebook sales app
  • Partnerships with online comparison aggregators
  • Conversion optimisation of the online customer acquisition process

The most recent aspect of the programme has been the launch of a new website, representing a significant improvement for IBB’s online presence.  The Bank has focused on improving accessibility, adding new content, including animations and videos, and enhanced functionality.  It has also fully enabled the website for mobile web access.  This is a response to the 158% increase in the number of users visiting the IBB website via their mobile devices, during the 12 months since November 2012.  Looking ahead, the next step is to improve the online banking experience, including the launch of a mobile banking app.

With the first year of the digital programme now complete, IBB has seen the following improvements.  This is for the period, 1st January - 1st December 2013 and compares to the equivalent period in 2012:

  • A 70% increase in website visitors
  • An 80% increase in sales leads received via the online channel
  • More than double the number of sales completed online
  • An increase in IBB’s reach to over 8 million consumers through online advertising

Furthermore, following the implementation of a social media strategy in May 2013, the Bank has reached an additional 6.5 million consumers.  This has been the result of both organic and paid content on Facebook.  The Bank also estimates that for the period 1st December 2012 – 1st December 2013, 87% of applications for its Fixed Term Deposit Accounts were from non-Muslim customers.

Finally, engagement metrics, compared over a three week period, pre-launch and post-launch, revealed the following:

  • 22% improvement in the average number of pages per visit.
  • 23% improvement in the average time on site
  • 53% improvement in page download speed
  • 14% reduction in overall bounce rate

Commenting on its success, Tim Sinclair, Head of Marketing and Online Channels at IBB said, “The achievements resulting from IBB’s 2013 digital marketing programme are unprecedented for the Bank.  Previously IBB’s use of digital techniques consisted of a relatively poor website, limited use of Search Engine Optimisation and some online advertising.  One year on, and the results speak for themselves; they show that IBB has leapt ahead in terms of its online offering.  Recognising this, IBB has placed digital at the heart of its growth strategy and 2014 looks set to deliver an even greater boost to the Bank’s sales and brand awareness activities.”

The following info graphic illustrates the programme’s main achievements over the course of 2013:  

Untitled -1

IBB’s digital marketing success comes as the British government reaches an important milestone in its campaign to promote London as a centre for Islamic finance. At the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) on 29 October 2013, David Cameron announced several plans which aim to position the UK as the “unrivalled Western centre for Islamic finance”.

Islamic finance offers consumers a different approach to banking, which IBB has dubbed ‘Banking you can believe in’. It operates entirely without the main instruments of the conventional finance sector, including interest and speculative products such as short-selling, futures and options contracts and derivatives.

Islamic finance is founded on trading principles contained in Islamic Commercial Law, underpinned by principles of partnership and risk/reward sharing. These are applied in a specific way according to the product and its overall objective e.g. generating a profit for savings or purchasing a property.  The customer and the Islamic bank work together as partners towards a mutually profitable end. The whole premise of Islamic finance is to provide a way for society to conduct its finances in a fair, ethical and socially responsible manner.

IBB was formed in 2004 based on this approach and to date has attracted over 50,000 customers.  IBB has been recognised as an ethical alternative to conventional banks by the Move Your Money campaign and Ethical Consumer magazine, which has rated it amongst the top ten providers of ethical current accounts http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/money/bankingcurrentaccounts.aspx

ENDS

About Islamic Bank of Britain

Islamic Bank of Britain plc (the Bank, IBB) has pioneered Sharia compliant retail banking in the UK and now offers the largest range of Sharia compliant retail financial products in the UK. These include Sharia compliant mortgage alternatives, the Home Purchase Plan (HPP) and Buy to Let Purchase Plan (BTLPP), current accounts and savings accounts. The Bank was also the first to introduce Sharia compliant business banking to the UK, and now offers a wide range of institutional and business banking products and services, including Commercial Property Finance. Several of the Bank’s products remain unique in the UK retail financial market.

The Bank is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority and is a member of Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Sharia compliant banking operates without the use of interest and is founded on Islamic finance principles derived from trade, entrepreneurship and risk-sharing. IBB has a dedicated Sharia Compliance Officer (SCO) and a panel of respected Sharia Scholars, called the Sharia Supervisory Committee (SSC), which acts as an independent body to ensure that IBB’s products and activities are Sharia compliant.   As a Sharia compliant bank, the source of IBB’s funding, profits and business investments must be ethical.  They cannot be from businesses that are considered unlawful under Sharia law, i.e. companies that deal in interest, alcohol, gambling, pornography, speculation, tobacco, arms and other commodities contrary to Islamic values.

Whilst IBB offers products and services that are designed in accordance with Sharia principles, it is an inclusive, ethical organisation and welcomes customers of all faiths looking for a bank with a transparent, prudent and community-focused approach.

Notes to editors:

Interviews with Islamic Bank of Britain are available on request. The bank should only be referred to as “Islamic Bank of Britain”. If abbreviated please use “IBB”.

ENDS

Issued by Islamic Bank of Britain Plc, Edgbaston House, 3 Duchess Place, Birmingham B16 8NH

Go Back