How Financial Management Firms Leverage $443K Digital Spend to Target Institutional Investors

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September 27, 2021
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Budget Allocation — Vanguard Allocated $367K to Run Ads Tailored to Institutional Investors, while Other Financial Institutions Spent Between $41K and $10K to Target the Same Target Group with Digital Ads (excl. LinkedIn) Since January 2019: In total, all companies in the competitive set spent $279M on digital advertising, however, less than 1% ($443K) of this budget was invested into ads specifically targeting institutional investors. Vanguard has been most active with promoting its services to institutional investors; the brand invested $367K towards ads tailored to this group.

Messaging — Financial Institution Lead with Direct and Clear Messages: Vanguard, J.P. Morgan and BlackRock leverage display advertising to run their ads. All three financial institutions opt for short and clear messaging placed on clean branded backgrounds. The following are messages for each Financial Institution with the highest budget allocation:

  • Vanguard spend $316K to promoted its outsourced CIO services.
  • J.P. Morgan focused on capturing institutional investors’ attention by promoting its portfolio designed to yield income.
  • BlackRock promoted its Factor ETFs.
  • Goldman Sachs ran ads inviting institutional investors to watch the video showcasing results from one of its QuickPoll surveys.

BlackRock spent $114M on digital advertising since January 2019 — the highest amount amongst the competitive set.

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

Zooming into ads targeted at institutional investors*, Vanguard takes a lead with its $367K digital advertising spend.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, behavioural targeting or LinkedIn
*Ads leading to Institutional Investors section on companies' websites or include relevant text in the advertising copy, excluding video ads.

In March and June 2020, Vanguard spent $47K and $56K on institutional investors-targeted ads respectively.

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

Vanguard, JP Morgan and BlackRock rely on desktop display ads to reach institutional investors, while Goldman Sachs split its advertising dollars between Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

All three brands (Vanguard, JP Morgan and BlackRock) run display ads on yahoo.com and institutionalinvestor.com.

Diving into specific advertising messages, Vanguard invested 85% of its $367K budget to promote its outsourced CIO services. 

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

Vanguard relied on simple banner ad designs to communicate its outsourced CIO services — $303K were invested into creatives with an alternating copy between “Vanguard Outsourced CIO” and “OCIO from the people your peers trust most.” The financial institution tested a more emotional visual with the “Preserve and protect your mission” value proposition ($8K). 

Nonprofit Solutions

Vanguard also aimed to capture institutional investors’ attention by appealing to their emotions with a “multiply the power of you” message. Text-heavy banner ads positioned Vanguard as an investing partner who “amplifies the good you’re able to do for your company.” Yet Vanguard invested less than $1K in the promotion of this campaign. 

Vanguard Multiply The Power OF You

Vanguard created several display banners communicating its active funds; all together these banners were backed up by less than a $1K investment.

Vanguard Investment

J.P. Morgan relies on rational messages when it comes to their creative visuals and copy targeted at institutional investors. Financial Institution ran three campaigns over the last two years, where banner ads with “See the big picture” message received 66% of the total $41K budget.

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

J.P. Morgan ran a set of simple text-forward display banners of various sizes leading to the page explaining its portfolio strategy for institutional investors.

J.P. Morgan Make Income An Objective

Another set of ads calling to “know the facts” led institutional investors to J.P. Morgan’s page explaining its SmartRetirement® investing strategy. 

J.P. Morgan Target Date Strategies

Every year, J.P. Morgan runs ads to promote its Global Alternatives Outlook.

2021 Global Alternatives Outlook
previous years reports are not available

BlackRock focused on driving awareness of its Factor ETFs. Financial Institution ran display ads calling institutional investors to “test 15 years of factor performance with the interactive chart”, investing more than half (56%) of its $25K budget into this campaign.

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

Text-heavy banners promoting factor-based investment strategy led institutional investors to the Factor ETF description page.

Factors ETFs For Institutional Investors

BlackRock invested $5K into a campaign calling to “help participants retire from work, not a paycheck.”

Get A New Perspective On Your Portfolio

BlackRock also ran a general awareness campaign calling out the fact that iShares’ works with organizations of all sizes to provide dynamic investment tools and custom solutions.

Get A New Perspective On Your Portfolio

Goldman Sachs ran a single campaign to capture the attention of institutional investors with a $10K digital spend. The financial Institution promoted a video explaining the results of its QuickPoll survey.

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

Goldman Sachs leveraged a live video screenshot in its ads accompanied by a question to grab target audience’s attention.

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