How Canadian Financial Institutions Invested $17M to Promote Wealth Management Services

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March 30, 2022
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Robo investment tools (Questrade, Wealthsimple) invest significantly more money than traditional banks (TD, RBC, CIBC) to democratize investing and wealth management:

Budgets:

  • Questrade invested $8.2M and Wealthsimple $6.6M to promote their services to Canadians. At the same time, TD is the only bank in the competitive set that invested a sizeable portion ($2M) of its advertising dollars to promote investing and its wealth management services.

Platforms:

  • Facebook and paid search advertising are the two preferred channels to reach target audiences.
  • Both RBC and Wealthsimple targeted local news websites for their display ads

Messaging:

  • Questrade communicates the ease of using its robo investing platform while ensuring that customers can easily reach a financial professional via a live chat. Wealthsimple shares the lists of the most traded Canadian stocks to inspire people to invest.
  • Questrade, Wealthsimple, and TD are targeting beginner investors. The companies promote messages about how to make investing easy with tools such as the goal planner tool (TD)
  • RBC targets older audience calling out some messages about dementia, and will & estate planning

The following financial institutions are included in the analysis:

Wealthsimple | Questrade | TD | RBC | CIBC

Companies that offer exclusively investment and wealth management services such as Questrade and Wealthsimple, spend significantly more to promote their offerings than full-service banks (TD, RBC, and CIBC). Between January 2021 and February 2022, Wealthsimple spent $6.6M and Questrade $4.8M, while TD was the only bank in the competitive set that invested a sizable amount (~$2M) to promote its wealth management services.

Private Wealth Management Page
Digital Ad Spend includes Facebook, display, video and search ads.
Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

Amongst the competitive set, there were no seasonal trends when it comes to paid ad spend for investment and wealth management services. Wealthsimple invested $1.2M in March and $2M in April 2021 to drive awareness of its tax filing service.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.
Spend excludes advertising on Instagram and Twitter.

Looking at monthly traffic, both Wealthsimple and Questrade saw their web visits decline starting Q2 2021.

TD, RBC, CIBC — traffic to wealth management and investing pages only. 

Between January 2021 and February 2022, Questrade ran $3.4M worth of search ads. The company also allocated $3M and $1M respectively to advertise via desktop display and Facebook channels.

Questrade
Spend is a directional approximation and does not include Instagram, Twitter ads, retargeting, or behavioural targeting. 

The company ran a variety of search ads targeting mainly branded keywords.

Questrade invested $3M on display ads. The company ran creatives with different messages, advertising the benefits of the robo investing platform, from instant deposits to real advisor support.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.
Spend excludes advertising on Instagram and Twitter.

The company invested 49% of its display spend in yahoo.com, where it ran $1.1 million worth of ads on this website alone.

On Facebook, Questrade targeted rookie investors by advertising built-in tools, pre-built RRSP and TFSA portfolios and advertising "hands free investing" to help overcome the barriers of trading stocks.

Top three ads by budget allocation:

Spend: $54K |  Impressions: 12M | CPM: $4.7

Spend: $49K |  Impressions: 10M | CPM: $4.7

Spend: $36K |  Impressions: 8M | CPM: $4.7

Wealthsimple spent ~60% of its total advertising budget to promote its investment and wealth management services. The company spent 49% of its ad budget to run ads on Facebook ($3.2M), and the remaining half ($3.2M) in search.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include Instagram, Twitter ads, retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

Two out of the top three Wealthsimple Facebook ads promoted the most popular stock people trade for the first time on the platform.

Top three ads by budget allocation:

Spend: $69K | Impressions: 13M | CPM: $5.2

Spend: $59K | Impressions: 12M | CPM: $5.1

Spend: $48K |  Impressions: 10M | CPM: $5.1

When it comes to search ads, Wealthsimple focused on focused on advertising their $0 commission and targeted the beginner investor by adding copy such as "Easy DIY trading".

Wealthsimple banner ads advertised long-term investing as well as crypto trading.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.
Spend excludes advertising on Instagram and Twitter.

The company allocated 93% of its display advertising budget to place ads on investopedia.com and local new channels — citynews1130 (Vancouver), 660citynews (Calgary), and 630ched (Edmonton).

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

TD allocated 44% of its total ad budget to promote its wealth management and investment services on Facebook ads. TD also advertised its services via desktop display ($525K) and YouTube ($373K).

TD Wealth Financial Planning | Investing Solutions at TD
Spend is a directional approximation and does not include Instagram, Twitter ads, retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

Two out of the Top three Facebook ads called Canadians to connect with a TD Wealth Planner to get personalized advice. In addition to encouraging the prospects to chat with an investment advisor, TD also created a questionnaire designed to determine one’s Wealth Personality.

Top three ads by budget allocation:

Spend: $53K |  Impressions: 11M | CPM: $5.0

Spend: $33K |  Impressions: 7M | CPM: $5.2

Spend: $30K |  Impressions: 5M | CPM: $5.8

When it comes to desktop display creatives, TD ran a promo where new clients could get up to $900 to their investment portfolio and connect to a financial advisor “from the comfort of your home.” One of the top three ads was in Chinese.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

Similar to Wealthsimple, TD invested the majority (30%) of its display advertising budget to place banners on investopedia.com, followed by 51.ca (Canada’s largest and most-visited Chinese website and leading media among Chinese immigrants in Canada.)

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

TD invested $365K to run two video ads on YouTube. Both ads were rather inspiring, featuring women and appealing to the fulfillment brought by achieving your dreams. Both videos are catered to beginner investors.

Top two ads by budget allocation:

Spend: $343K |  Impressions: 26M |  CPM: $13.2

The video promotes TD Goal Assist — “an investing app that helps you set financial goals and how you can invest towards them”

Click to watch

Spend: $22K |  Impressions: 1.7M |  CPM: $13.2

The video promotes free online classes and highlights that customers can access investing professionals for assistance with TD Direct Investing

Click to watch

RBC allocated only $9.1K to run ads to its personalized wealth management website. The bank invested 70% of its ad budget to run ads on Facebook.

RBC Wealth Management
Spend is a directional approximation and does not include Instagram, Twitter ads, retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

RBC ran various Facebook ads telling customer stories of how they benefited from having financial professionals taking care of their finances, sharing takeaways from federal budget planning, and explaining their approach to financial planning for clients. The bank targets a rather older demographic, driving attention to dementia, and will & estate planning.

Top three ads by budget allocation:

Spend: $33K |Impressions: 6M | CPM: $5.2

Spend: $13K |  Impressions: 3M | CPM: $5.1

Spend: 12K |  Impressions: 2M | CPM: $5.1

RBC placed most of its display banners on morningstar.ca (financial news), followed by castanet.net (local Kelowna news) and tmxmoney.com (financial news).

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.

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