INTERVIEW: Plum Marketing Director on “making wealth building automatic”

Alex Sword


The Financial Services Forum

Smart money management app Plum is looking to build customer trust as it deploys its latest TV ad, says Marketing Director Olesya Nesterova.

Plum is designed to “make wealth building automatic” and “accessible to everyone”, Olesya explains. Customers can connect any bank app to Plum, which then uses automation to help customers set saving rules.

The rules can be quite eccentric: for example, the Rainy days rule puts money into a special fund every time it rains, while the Naughty rule saves every time a customer shops at a retailer that they’ve singled out as a “naughty” purchase.

Launched in 2017, the app now has more than 1.5 million customers across the UK and nine other European markets, having added Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus in January.

“People need access to tools that can make their money do more for them now and in the future,” says Olesya. “We automate the parts of finance that are most difficult or that people don’t have time for.”


Building trust

One of the brand’s main goals in 2023 is “making sure customers trust us and see us as a solution for money problems and issues.”

One tool in achieving this is the new TV advert, which is based around the idea that life “flows” better when customers are managing their money through Plum. It follows a man as he strikes a balance between enjoying the moment and setting money aside for longer term goals such as an engagement ring, a wedding or a rainy day fund.

“When you’re on top of your money, everything else in life is more enjoyable,” she says, explaining that the ad was informed by consumers’ poor understanding and knowledge around financial wellbeing.

The results have been positive, with 14 million impressions on owned channels and 16 million in traditional channels. In total, including TV there have been 44 million impressions. The cost per impression has been “quite healthy”, says Olesya, and down 50% compared to a similar campaign last year.

The ad demonstrates the continuing power of TV amidst the growth of so-called performance channels. While many businesses focus on acquisition and new user volumes, Olesya says it’s also important to focus on the quality and retention of customers.

“We can acquire as many customers as we want but then they would churn because we’re not providing a solution.

“TV is critical in building awareness, trust, brand love and intent to use.”

She says TV can be supported with emails, push notifications, paid marketing and owned channels such as social media and the website in a “360 approach”.

This year will see Plum focusing more than ever on “long-term financial issues” during a challenging economic period across the UK and Europe. The aim is to position Plum as an essential partner for managing “money moments”.

However relevant Plum may be now, the opportunity is more than a fleeting one, Olesya says. The younger generations expect to have everything in one easy app, she says.

She views Plum as well placed to fulfil this need, having recently supplemented its investment features with cryptocurrency in the EU and pensions options in the UK.

The important thing for marketing is to make sure that however complex the product gets, the brand communicates its core offering.

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