While equities are where most people are focused, the world of fixed income is a very large opportunity. And it had just gone through a monumental shift. Morningstar, one of the premier resources for financial research, had just split the largest category of bond funds into two. That came out looking rosy for us. But we had an awareness problem.
Because the change was very topical and recent, we had to quickly take advantage. Normal engagements with our agency of record for marketing campaigns would have taken months to ramp up, and months more to execute. We only had a couple of months to get this into the wild.
I convinced marketing leadership that we had the in-house talent to be able to execute this on time and way under budget. We quickly scrambled together a team and ideated on several concepts.
We landed on the concept of "Apples & Oranges" as a familiar idiom that could be executed visually. I sketched some illustrations on my iPad to help art direct and visualize the concept.
We recruited one of our designers, a talented photographer, to do the photoshoot, while I art directed. The location was a work kitchen (I provided the backdrop props). All models were work associates.
When thinking through the user journeys, I thought it through the lens of an anquisition funnel. Prior research told us a few things. One, that advisors were not aware of the Morningstar change, and two, that they were not aware of Capital Group | American Funds being a fixed income shop. So that was the job of the planned digital and print ad campaigns, which would then direct advisors to the website.
Once they've visited the site, we now hope they are aware, but more importantly, within the consideration phase of the funnel. It then becomes the job of the website to help inform them of our offerings and arm them with the knowledge they need.
Once armed with this knowledge, then starts the crucial decision making phase. I knew we needed to capture their attention on the website with something that they could engage with, and thus we created a quick tool to provide lots of value without much effort, in order to help them make a better decision.
We took full back page ads in the print versions of The Wall Street Journal and Barron's, with links to our website. I designed and created the mechanicals.
Digital ads were placed in various highy trafficked websites. I designed, animated, and coded the ads using Adobe Animate.
We wanted to ensure that as advisors were directed in to the website from the print and digital ads, that there was some opportunities for engagement in the form of a quick and simple tool. I designed the UX and UI.
Based from our prior research we knew advisors generally fall into two categories: Sage & Caretaker. The Sage enjoys the power of knowledge to provide the best outcomes for their clients. The Caretaker places great emphasis on taking care of their client's needs. Advisors often are a blend of the two to differing degrees. The website tends to be full of marketing speak, and so to offset that, I wanted to engage their Sage side by providing an easy and quick tool to assess what category their fund fell into, and how it fared against our offerings. We wanted to do this with the last amount of friction as possible, so it only required one input (the fund name).
The campaign was an overwhelming success. Engagement metrics were about double our normal campaigns, and the tool ended up being one of our most used on the site after just a short amount of time. It was so successful that we continued to run the ads beyond the planned timeframe.