Marketing the Wall Street brand of the future: Reshaping communications in the financial sector

The future isn’t social media. The future is all media. Yes, that means you too, Wall Street.

The channel agnosticism conversation is happening now and in 2012 it will reshape communications strategies in the financial world. The thrust of the concept is simple. Dispense a message using all vehicles at our disposal to reach key constituents. Whether the impetus is to garner loyalty, draw new customers or create brand awareness, the approach remains the same.

Let’s look at two real examples that worked in 2011:

Traditional Media:

On Saturday morning, a sophisticated investor reads Barron’s for breakfast and sees an in-depth profile of a winning money manager. On Monday, he calls his financial planner and they discuss parking some cash with that manager.

Social Media:

A financial planner tweets a link to his white paper about what the 2012 presidential election means for a retirement portfolio. A retiree reads the piece and starts rethinking her retirement strategy. What did we accomplish here? In effect, we took incremental and studied steps to build a financial business and a leading voice in the community. We did it the old-fashioned way (newspaper) and the new-age way (social) with sensitivity to the rules that many investment experts believe keep their hands tied. In most cases, it’s important to employ these tactics and others.

Some financial firms already employ these tactics. The largest brands were first to this party. Yet, many players are reticent to take the leap. Here’s how to formulate the game plan for the next 12 months:

Plan and Attack.

Establish a core message that is palatable across all mediums. Some language may have to be adjusted accordingly, but the overarching theme is constant. What’s the reasoning behind attacking on all media fronts? This is not PR for PR’s sake. Identify what will help build your business and then fish where the fish are.

“When” is as Important as “Where.”

Data collection and management are at the foundation of any successful plan. When is the best time for the business to host a blog, tweet or appear on TV? When are your key constituents paying the most attention? Afford the business time to experiment with diverse tactics to establish the ideal approach as it pertains to timing and where those messages are placed, be it on Twitter, television or in the newspaper.

Stick With What Works.

Have respect for and experiment with all channels, but use only those necessary to meet the business’ marketing and communications goals. No one ever said a Google+ page and a Twitter handle were essential (and they never will). Manage the approach as carefully and closely as the dissemination to avoid unwieldy communication across multiple channels. So, to those of you in the world of high finance, bulls and bears alike, this is the basis for your marketing and communications plan of tomorrow. Bear in mind, the process is constantly evolving – which is as exciting as it can be challenging, because this is how your business will remain relevant. Finally, know above all else that this business relevance will require an understanding not just of social media, but of all media.

This story is a part of Worldcom PR Group’s “PR in 2012” e-book, available now as a free download at: BlissPR is one of the most active partners of Worldcom, the largest global partnership of 94 independently owned public relations firms, with 104 offices in 92 cities on six continents. BlissPR’s Elizabeth Sosnow currently serves as the Digital Chair of the Global board.


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