The days of the advertising hard sell, if it ever worked, is surely gone now.
Just ask Mark McKenna
, global head of marketing for Putnam Investments
His firm is launching in earnest the second half of the New Ways of Thinking Campaign
this weekend with a multimedia "blitz" on a variety of venues, including the Internet and paper. The previous chapter of this campaign had been launched in February 2013
"We are going to be deliver millions of impressions across print and social media," McKenna told MFWire
. "it will be a multimedia campaign across major publications, in print and the Internet. It will appear on iPad applications, web pages and in social media."
The initiative is largely designed to be an education campaign, chock full of content on what's up in the markets, and investment strategies, what have you. Sample content includes updates on what's up with the European markets and the luxury goods market in Latin America.
"This is not about 'Here is a product,'" says McKenna. "It's about 'Let me understand what is happening in the market at a broader level. Let's have a dialogue about where your risks are, where are your assets,' and so on. And then, and only then, after you have provided the content, then maybe you can start talking about products."
One of the primary goals of the campaign, he said, is to provide enough talking points and resources so that advisors can kick up their conversations with the clients, gain a higher level of trust, and then hopefully generate interest in what Putnam has to offer.
"We would like to see that we have helped advisors improve their dialogue with their clients. The most important feedback we can get is something like 'I love the commentary you provide me on the web on this subject,'" he said.
To ensure the utility of all these content vehicles, McKenna and his team will keep constant tabs on the web traffic for all of the different elements, crafting new content in response to what these figures tell them.
And they can do it too. All of Putnam's marketing and advertising operations are handled in-house. Everything is written, developed and filmed by Putnam staff. The firm even has its own HD filming studio.
"We actually do all of this, here at Putnam, as part of our global marketing group. We have an in-house studio, as well as design and editing facilities. All of work at Putnam emanates from here," he said.
Controlling, refining and evolving the quality of the content is key for engaging the public, McKenna said.
"With traditional product ads, people now have a tendency to look at and say 'Oh. Here is another product ad,' and then they swipe away from the ad on their iPad. You really are just a finger-swipe away from losing your audience. You have to provide information and news to engage people. It's a multi-stage dialogue," he said.
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