oing to the ICI meeting in Washington? Why not stop by the metro DC branch of TD Waterhouse
(1401 Eye Street, NW) and sign up to win a new convertible?
The prize is part of TD Waterhouse's newest campaign, carefully targeted yet also designed to analyze its own failure or success. While competitor Schwab is pushing its history of advice and experience in weathering stormy markets, TD Waterhouse is saying, "We're here!"
"We're the only one in our space with branches in 50 states," contended Stuart Rubinstein
, senior vice president of marketing. "What we do in these different markets is really make people aware that we have these branches."
The campaign, focused on four markets, draws in customers with one of two enticements: a Mustang convertible or a million bucks. A 50-foot putt will win the cash for competitors in the Sacramento, California, and Dallas, Texas markets (TD Waterhouse carries insurance against successful putting). The car will be awarded randomly in the Grand Rapids, Michigan and Washington, DC markets. The main focus is to get customers in the door and then to make them aware of TD Waterhouse's services and physical presence.
"Serious people want to reach out and touch their money," said Rubinstein, explaining the importance of physical proximity to the firm's image. "That's why we have 175 of these branches located in all 50 states. We're in all the centers of wealth so people can come in and talk to us face-to-face."
Rubinstein said that the current campaign is targeted in regions that its studies have demonstrated represent potential high density markets. Unwilling to show his hand, he said that other unspecified markets will also become the focus of campaigning later this year.
"We've gone through the process of identifying high opportunity markets through the country," said Rubinstein. "We've identified markets that make sense for us to be in and we're making sure people know who we are in those markets. We're using a rifle shot rather than just spraying it out there."
Nonetheless, Rubinstein said the campaign is also designed to test its own efficacy, which is one of the reasons TD Waterhouse has varied the prizes in different markets.
Rubinstein demurred when asked to describe some of the other prize ideas that never made it off the drawing board. Nevertheless, when asked, he did jest that TD Waterhouse would welcome the participation of golf phenom Tiger Woods.
"I wish Tiger Woods would win the million dollars because the media coverage for that would be worth a lot," said Rubinstein. "A 50-foot putt is challenging for Tiger Woods as well and we think it would be a wonderful opportunity to introduce people to us."
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