Marketing Effectiveness Awards Showcase: The Highlights

Alex Sword


The Financial Services Forum

Our recent event brought together the winners of our 2022 Awards for Marketing Effectiveness.

Read their stories below. Watch our highlights video here:



Most Effective Global Campaign

While remaining the clear market leader in European ETFs (43% market share), BlackRock iShares was coming under pressure from other providers.

Tim Broad, Head of Commercial Campaigns for EMEA, BlackRock, explained that the firm didn’t want to be the “passive choice” and wanted to give people active reasons to opt for iShares.

The firm undertook research and found that with ETFs being seen as commoditised, trust and reassurance is the most important factor in winning customers. In order to build emotional connections, the company had to first provide trust and reassurance around the theme that it had got things right in the past and would continue to do so in the future.

The goal was then to find the key features of iShares which could come out in comms. The team chose “Expect more with iShares”, based on the concept of BlackRock being a “leader that raises the industry bar.” This comprised offering better choice, quality products, bespoke services and bold ideas.

The core concepts were that “leaders never stand still”, showcasing choice, “high standards should always go up”, showcasing quality and “nothing big happens by thinking small”, showcasing bold ideas and innovation.

The media strategy focused on reach and concentrated frequency, with the aim to “act like a leader” with bold and impactful advertising in prominent OOH locations such as Waterloo station. 10% of the budget went on cut-through opportunities, such as at Wimbledon.

The results were that awareness rose from 82% to 93% while brand familiarity was up from 40% to 80% compared to 2020.




Most Effective Brand Purpose

Brooks Macdonald wanted to develop a sub brand that reinvented wealth management for women, working with agency Moreish Marketing. The brand would serve the needs of high net worth women with at least £500k of investable assets, across pensions and savings.

The challenge was that lots of brands were talking about this but no firm had successfully created a brand that directly appealed to this audience.

“It’s easy to talk about and very difficult to get right,” explained Simon Martin, Director at Moreish Marketing.

The process went through many iterations which struggled to get the balance right. It was seen as key to avoid being patronising or seen as “mansplaining.”

However, cracking the brand proved to be the key. Female Folio managed to find this balance, using a versatile floral design with the strapline “for women writing their own investment stories”.

The Female Folio brand was launched with an in-person event, designed to educate only, at Harvey Nichols.



Award: Most Effective Personalisation

How they did it: Just Group is a provider of retirement products. They were struggling with data, as the majority (63%) of contact details being entered into its online equity release calculator were not valid.

The firm knew that changing the copy and fields wouldn’t solve the issue. Research revealed that customers didn’t relate to case studies, didn’t want to watch videos and wanted to know how the process worked before taking the next step.

Customers suggested they might give more information in exchange for valuable and personalised experiences.

The research was used to create a new lead generation tool, which gave customers more personalised assessments back in exchange for their data. The tool was designed to gather only the data needed, confirm how much money could be released and provide customers with a personalised report.

The goal was to increase the number of customers booking an appointment.

In the end this led to a 12.4% uplift in appointments and a 3.7% uplift in sales.



Award: Agency of the Year

How they did it: Client Services Director Merope Beddard attributed the agency’s success to a combination of innovative work, understanding and engagement with the financial services sector, and a strong culture with an engaged team.

The firm’s proposition is “simple ideas for a complicated world”; it works with organisations with a long sales cycle. Merope revealed (or admitted) that the agency came up with the “see it, say it, sorted” slogan that is used by the transport police.

She highlighted the expertise of department heads such as Hugo Bone, who heads content, and Christian Barnes, who heads up the strategy team.

She gave a flavour of some of the range of the activities the firm undertakes around financial inclusion, including the Investor Index and the Big Exchange, an investment partnership with the Big Issue.

But the centre of her presentation and the award entry was the work: in particular, she highlighted the Vanguard ‘V for Value’ ad.



Most Effective Content Marketing

CFA UK wanted to create a multi-channel, always-on campaign to drive sign-ups for its certificate in climate and investing (CCI). To achieve this they turned to Vested.

The campaign reframed the narrative around the role of capital in driving change, and converted this into pithy messaging, taglines and a dynamic and fresh look and feel.

This achieved 455 sign-ups in 12 weeks with over 600% ROI.

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