NEW YORK: Visa, the financial services brand, is allocating more than half of its US media budget to digital channels, including mobile and social, according to a leading executive.

But Lara Balazs, head of marketing in North America, said television would remain an important medium.

"The reality for us is, television and digital are often more powerful when paired together, especially when my KPIs range from driving awareness and understanding to acquisition," she told Ad Exchanger.

"If I have those three KPIs, I'm going to marry television to digital to accomplish all three – television is still a very key part of our media mix, but in and of itself is not the only thing."

The shift was already well under way last year, when 30%-40% of the brand's global spending was earmarked for digital, depending on the particular market.

"We start with 'consumer-first' and, often, the consumer is digital-first," Balazs explained.

She also outlined the brand's ongoing trials with YouTube's new Trueview for Shopping ad format, where it has partnered with Williams-Sonoma, a kitchenware retailer, to ease the path to purchase.

"As you're watching the video, there's a prompt you can click on and go right to the Williams-Sonoma website and check out quickly and safely using Visa Checkout," Balazs said. "It's bringing a new way to pay online and marrying that up with mobile video ads."

Customers using the Visa Checkout service to prepopulate their billing information and address have been shown to be 66% more likely to complete a purchase than those who hadn't.

"We're very supportive of test and learn," said Balazs. "We always work with a merchant to say, 'What are your opportunity areas? What are your challenges? Is it new customer acquisition or keeping consumers in your pipeline?'"

Data sourced from Ad Exchanger; additional content by Warc staff