Investment Marketing Newsletter – 1Q09

The Investment Marketing Business

Banks have not had it easy these last couple of quarters. All financial service companies are struggling with positioning themselves as a source of investment stability since some of the most trusted names in the industry have gone under. Interpreting current customer needs may mean going beyond the traditional banking services that has many customers worried. The last quarter of 2008 saw an increase in financial messaging highlighting safety, security, stability, and strength. Industry trends in the first quarter of 2009 also showed that banks understand the need to differentiate within the lasting bear market. Major institutions have embarked on campaigns that highlight topical messages such as family, the need for an understanding financial partner, discounted services, and offering help spending wisely. Campaigns such as these are important indicators to consumers that the financial industry can be innovative and forward-looking despite the economic downturn, potentially offering a much-needed boost to consumer confidence levels.

Watch List

During the quarter, MBC assisted one of the nation’s largest asset managers and mutual fund companies with the development of a detailed historical analysis on their asset allocation program. The project consisted of analyzing and synthesizing over 10 years of data and performance and positioning the product and its investment process into a white paper for use with financial advisors. The paper highlighted the active asset allocation approach and analyzed how and where the managers were able to add alpha through asset class selection on a year-by-year basis.

Marketing Consultant’s Corner

Brokers and investors across financial services and real estate live in frustrating times: prices are low, yet low perceived (and real) financial security can limit buying and investing activity significantly, exacerbating the problems for businesses offering financial products and services. After what seemed like total silence in the fourth quarter, the recession-based messaging that has begun to hit the airwaves may help to get investors active once again. The stock market has shown signs of life, rising over 20% off its lows and closing the quarter about 15% above its March 9th close—even moves like this can have a tremendous impact on confidence and could help awaken investors. It is important to keep marketing throughout the downturns, as touching your customers and clients will help to reassure them and keep you top of mind when things turn around.

The Ticker

A leading national provider of comprehensive outsourced corporate real estate services contacted MBC to revamp its online communications platform. The package includes a soft re-brand and web-update as well as an outbound e-marketing campaign promoting the business. The project emphasized the articulation of the company’s complex, multipart services with precise language and delineation. In addition, the team was charged with making the site much more logical to navigate and developing an updated visual vocabulary to ensure consistency throughout a user’s experience. The site launched in March, with the ensuing campaign released throughout the first and second quarters.