investedThe client wished to create an investment education seminar company that would offer courses educating people about the stock marketing and trading techniques. The company’s mission statement suggests that education is their number one goal. Our objectives were to 1) create a corporate id; 2) create a marketing campaign to direct people to the web to learn more about the educational seminars; 3) build a website; and 4) do it in six weeks and for less than $30,000.

As the best brands “say what they do on the box,” in a flash of creative brilliance (I was walking back to the office from lunch) a name hit me: Invested, short for “Investment Education.” The logo would be created with the first part of the word, “invest,” in black and “ed” in grey to suggest it is an abbreviation of “Investment Education.” Invested. We would build the marketing and positioning around this brand.

A primary target audience were people who felt they were stung by the dot bombs and recent Wall Street scandals, those disillusioned by “financial experts” and wishing to learn to “do-it-themselves”; another were individuals that may already be trading but wish to hone their skills; and a third were those who knew nothing about trading but felt they could do it if they just were educated about it. There were a number of challenges in reaching such a broad audience, in a short period of time, and they all revolved around budget. An objective of the client was to get as many people as possible to sign up for the seminars that ranged in price from $495 to $1,195 per person. However, an important distinction to be made is that our objective was to create a brand and a marketing launch that would present his product to the marketplace and drive people to the website. This distinction will become clear in evaluating the results.

Our media plan was to place print advertising in local, zoned publications and run radio flights to augment the print. Since word of mouth was going to be important, we also created a “referral program” that would give participants a discount on his “members only” intranet site – of daily breakouts and analysis – and a discount to those who brought a coupon with them to an event. An insert for the investment seminar manuals to be distributed day-of-event and we created the PowerpointTM template for the seminar.

Three radio spots (Inheritance Trader, Retirement) were written to attract three audiences, a daunting undertaking: two spots, to speak to both the individual who is new to the stock market or has just begun trading; the third, to the trader who wants to hone his or her skills. We were able to negotiate a one-hour show on 1050am – Washington Business Radio – weekdays at 5pm (after the market closing) and co-brand invested on the station’s website for a remarkable low cost. Two weeks prior to the seminars – now scheduled for consecutive weeks on Bethesda and Baltimore – we purchased radio advertising on WTNT 570am, WTEN 980am to reach males, 25 and up, within 15 mile radius of the two seminars, and WBIG 100FM, an oldies station with a high listenership of 35 and up, higher incomes in Fairfax County and DC metro.

To augment the radio buys, print advertising for the Bethesda seminar was purchased in The Georgetowner, The Current Newspapers (Downtown, Dupont, NW, Georgetown), the City Paper and the zoned Montgomery Gazettes (Potomac, Silver Spring, Rockville, Olney); for Baltimore, we added WBAL radio and a week’s worth of print advertising in the Putuxent papers namely the Towson Times, Catonsville Times Columbia Flyer, and Howard County Times; and, the zoned Howard County Baltimore Sun.

We instructed the client to ask each time a person called for information where they heard about us, how, etc., and we have discovered that radio station and co-branding with Washington Business Radio has proven to be one of the most valuable marketing tools. City Paper will remain on the media list as it also has consistently shown up on the informal survey of people calling in. The one hour program allows the client to consistently direct the audience to the website for additional information and course materials. Our goal was to provide them with a brand, a website with course information, easily updatable, and collateral materials that support the image of invested and it’s business objectives. Since the launch, the client created INVESTED CENTRAL, changed his original direction and decided to move toward Client-purchased monthly newsletters.

Product naming | Branding campaign | Print advertising | Print collateral | Radio | Media buying | News releases

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