Advertising Wealth Management & Investing Services

Advertising
Content & Messaging
Cross-Channel
Display Ads
Facebook
YouTube
January 1, 2021
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Paid Channel Tactic — Flexible Allocation: As the COVID-19 pandemic changed throughout 2020, so too did the ad strategy for Canadian banks such as RBC and TD. During 2020, RBC increased their total ad budget by +49%, but decreased their investment-focused ad spend by nearly five times YoY. The majority of this investment-focused ad spend decrease happened between March & September as the stock market fluctuated. 

TD increased their digital ad spend significantly by +35% YoY during the pandemic. Of this spend, 15% was allocated towards advertising their investing services. From March to September, TD focused 91% of their investment-focused ad spend on advertising their direct investing product. From October to january, TD shifted their focus from to advertising their savings investing account (60% of investment-focused ad spend for the period). Both TD & RBC had to be flexible and shift their ad focus as different products and services became more relevant to both potential and existing customers. 

Content & Messaging — Shifting Focus: Both RBC & TD shifted and refined messaging throughout 2020 as customer preferences and behaviours changed. At the beginning of the pandemic, RBC referenced uncertain times times in their ads and promoted their financial advisers to help keep their clients on track. As the pandemic continued, RBC evolved their messaging to highlight that ESG factors are important considerations for building a resilient portfolio. 

TD took a similar route, shifting their direct investing messaging from a focus on TFSA/RSP accounts, pricing simplicity, and sign up incentives in the first half of the year, to updating their ad messaging on the same visuals to convey a sense of urgency. TD also went from messaging targeting financial advisors and promoting their ETFs in the first half of the year, to focusing on ESG ETFs, high net worth individuals (through their wealth planning service), and a $1,100 sign up incentive for their direct investment account. 

Referral Traffic Tactic — Internal Referrals: Traffic to RBC’s Wealth Management website increased by 205% YoY in 2020. The majority of this traffic increase was driven by the referral (+1.2K% YoY) and organic search (+102K% YoY) channels. 81% of the referrals came from RBC’s online banking portal (www.royalbank.com), signaling the that RBC ran initiatives targeted at upselling its wealth management services to its existing clients. RBC was able to provide the right message and product offering at a time where wealth management was at the forefront of their client’s mind. Marketing to existing clients offers the opportunity to increase revenue, customer retention, and customer acquisition (through advocacy from existing customers).

The banking industry has seen consumer behaviour and preferences change as the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved.

Daily New Cases in Canada
Source: Coronavirus Tracker - Globe & Mail & Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Outbreak Update 

RBC increased its total pandemic digital ads budget by 49% YoY, but decreased ad spend focused on promoting wealth management and investing services by nearly 5 times.

Digital Ads

In 2020, RBC primarily targeted financial advisers and promoted RBC iShares with their investment-focused ads. 

Ad Spend

At the beginning of the pandemic, RBC referenced uncertain times times in their ads and targeted independent financial advisors with their ads as well.

Ads aired between March – September 2020 (First Wave of COVID-19)

iShare and Global Asset
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iShare
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As the pandemic continued, RBC evolved their messaging to highlight that ESG factors are important considerations for building a resilient portfolio.

Ads aired between October 2020 – January 2021 (Second Wave of COVID-19)

RBC
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RBC
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In September, RBC launched a 15-second YouTube ad campaign encouraging high net worth individuals to “take advantage of the unknown.”

RBC highlighted that “with more than a century of experience” they are able to “find opportunity in the chaos.”

The ad took viewers to the Research & Insights portion of RBC’s Wealth Management website.

Click to view.

Traffic to www.rbcwealthmanagement.com increased by 205% in 2020 vs. 2019.

Note: Canadian traffic only.

Referrals and organic search are the main marketing channels driving traffic to www.rbcwealthmanagement.com, with both seeing significant growth in 2020.

Referral and Organic search
Note: Canadian traffic only.

Growth for the organic search and referral channels spiked in May of 2020 and continued throughout the last half 2020 and into 2021.

Referral traffic increased from driving 12K visits in May to 77K in June (a +541% increase)

Web Traffic Desktop only
Note: Canadian traffic only.

81% of the referrals came from RBC’s online banking portal www.royalbank.com, signaling that RBC ran initiatives targeted at upselling its wealth management services to its existing clients. 

Referrals

TD increased their digital ad spend significantly by +35% YoY during the pandemic.

Ad Spend

15% of TD’s total 2020 ad spend was allocated towards advertising TD’s investing services.

Investment-Focused Ad Spend

71% of TD’s investment-focused ad spend in 2020 was directed towards DIY direct investing ($3.4M).

Investment

TD piloted a number of social media and banner ads promoting direct investing, such as inviting users to open TFSA/RSP accounts, highlighting pricing simplicity, and offering a $150 incentive to switch from other banks.

Ads aired between March – September 2020 (First Wave of COVID-19)

Banner ads
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Banner Ads
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During the second wave of COVID-19, TD updated their ad messaging on the same visuals to convey a sense of urgency.

Ads aired between October 2020 – January 2021 (Second Wave of COVID-19)

Ad Messaging
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Ad Messaging
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In the second half of the pandemic year, TD tripled their ad spend on ads promoting its savings investing account.

Creative ad set copy highlighted that users can open savings account online.

Ad Spend

In October 2020, TD started to roll out ads targeting high net worth individuals supported by a moderate $74K budget. Ads highlighted the ability to connect with a TD wealth planner “from the comfort of your own home” and the opportunity to “get up to $500 towards your investing goals.”

Ads aired between October 2020 – January 2021 (Second Wave of COVID-19)

Ad Budget
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In November 2020, TD launched a promo that offered up to $1,100 for opening a TD Direct Investment account and supported it with video ads.

Ads aired between October 2020 – January 2021 (Second Wave of COVID-19)

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TD spent ~$70K in 2020 to target financial advisors and promote different ETFs.

Ads aired between March – September 2020 (First Wave of COVID-19)

ETFs
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Note: Numerous ads in this format

In the later half of 2020, TD ran the ads to drive attention to enhanced ESG ETFs.

Ads aired between October 2020 – January 2021 (Second Wave of COVID-19)

ESG ETFs
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