Customer story

How ATB used insights to outmaneuver the big 5 banks and increase traffic +64% YoY.

Have you ever heard of a brand that’s both a big fish in a small pond, AND a small fish in a big pond? Weird right. 

ATB Financial is the trailblazer in Alberta's banking  and financial service landscape, and the originator of a unique approach to local financial solutions that cater specifically to Albertans. While being at the forefront of their regional market offers unparalleled opportunities, it also comes with its set of complexities—specifically when competing with the incumbent brands, the big five banks. For ATB, this means navigating the evolving banking preferences and needs of customers across diverse demographics, innovating with financial products tailored for the Alberta market, and ensuring seamless coordination across their many digital channels, audiences, and value propositions.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Financial Services


Alberta’s Favorite Bank

ATB Financial, a prominent financial institution rooted in Alberta, has left an indelible mark on the Canadian banking landscape. Founded in 1938, ATB Financial has garnered widespread recognition for its tailor-made financial solutions and groundbreaking customer engagement strategies—essentially redefining localized banking for Albertans. 

The brand is characterized by its commitment to understanding the unique needs of Albertans, innovative banking methods, and a dynamic, tech-enabled approach to financial wellness and community involvement. ATB's unparalleled blend of service and Albertan spirit has fostered a steadfast clientele, establishing it as a leader in the Albertan banking sector, with a comprehensive range of products designed to meet diverse financial needs and customer desires.

As a dynamic, caring, and tech-enabled brand, insights are at the heart of ATB’s DNA

but keeping up with the insights needs of a large, multi-audience organization that needs to simultaneously be a regional leader and compete with national brands is a huge challenge.


Small Fish, Big Fish

ATB doesn't merely adapt to the banking sector's shifts; it pioneers them.

Yet, being a digital banking leader in over 15+ areas of finance and community development, all while maintaining a significant footprint in Alberta, is undoubtedly a Herculean effort.

The digital insights team at ATB Financial has the responsibility of supporting digital strategies across all business lines, as well as specific audience & channel teams. And, of course, they directly assist the executive leadership of ATB. To describe their workload as "intense" barely scratches the surface.

In essence, their mission is to bolster every team's strategy with insights that can drive impressive growth in brand recognition, trust, and loyalty throughout Alberta.

Before working with RightMetric, they faced three primary challenges:

There were two key challenges:


Benchmarking against the big 5 banks, but keeping insights in context. After all, ATB isn’t a national bank, their mandate is specific to serving Albertans.


Providing their teams with insights that are clear, actionable, and timely; considering they cater to numerous stakeholders across dozens of teams.


Giving their teams actionable insights about very specific audience segments. For example: How can we find the online influences for the Gen Z investors in Alberta. Talk about niche audiences!

Given the range of customer groups and competition from the big 5 banks, coupled with the ever-evolving financial landscape, ATB Financial's Marketing Insights team turned to RightMetric for a solution that was reliable, customized, on-demand, and capable of scaling with their needs.

That’s a lot of insights to derive. Enter, RightMetric 💪

x 5 National bank competitors
x 50+ Regional banks to compare to
x 10+ Fintechs to learn from
x 5+ Key Business lines
x 4+ Key Audiences

= Thousands of customized insight needs


Audience Insights + Competitor Intel — Custom, Fast, and On-Demand

ATB has been a RightMetric partner for several years. Together, we’ve gone through hundreds of iterations on what an effective insights program should look like at a leading regional financial institution. The partnership has helped RightMetric become what it is today:

Insights Customized to Any Specific Target Audience or Competitive Set:

To adapt to whichever audience niche, team, or business line within the ATB organization needs strategic direction at the moment.

Access to a Holistic, Ever-Evolving Data Set:

To create truly impactful content that drives awareness and consideration, one can’t rely on a single data source alone (ex. Social media). By bringing together dozens of data sources across every digital channel including social, search, web, email, partnerships, podcast, apps, and more; we can derive more accurate insights that get to the heart of what makes our audience tick.

Fast and On-Demand:

Insights are like ingredients in a recipe. High quality ingredients create a great strategy, but they expire if you don’t use them while they’re fresh. The financial industry, and the digital environment surrounding it is changing constantly. So we built our model to provide ATB with insights not on a pre-scheduled basis, but only when they needed them and asked for exactly what was most relevant and urgent at any given time. This kept the insights fresh and actionable, to drive truly impactful digital strategy to reach audiences where they’re at today, not yesterday.

Done For You AND With You:

ATB’s Marketing Insights team is always swamped with requests, so we built our model to take as much work off their plate as possible to allow them to focus on high level management and interpretation of insights, while also offering human support from our team of whip smart strategists and researchers, whenever they need us to flex in.

RightMetric and ATB continue executing and iterating on our successful partnership today, based on these principles.

The window into whitepsace opportunities is superb. To get this level of insight into tactic and content takeaways is invaluable — love it!

Jaime Parsons
ATB Financial

Examples of The Research 

With such a high volume of audience and competitor insights being generated in partnership, it’s hard to choose examples, but here are a few:


Outmaneuvering the big 5 banks, taking inspiration from fintech and challenger banks

In the 4+ years we’ve worked together, ATB’s brand, content, and digital teams have generated results with their strategies that are nothing short of world class. 

ATB is already the regional banking leader in their provincial market, and their web traffic has accelerated to grow at +64% YoY despite that heavy competition from national banks and emerging fintech’s, maintaining the #1 spot in topline awareness + consideration for all key audiences in Alberta.

The window into whitepsace opportunities is superb. To get this level of insight into tactic and content takeaways is invaluable — love it!

Mark Stuart
Senior Social Media Analyst

RightMetric helps us look much deeper into our audiences and channels to give our strategy an insightful edge

Meagan Ellwood
Marketing Insights Manager
Let’s Work Together

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