WingspanBank's Female Finance Factory
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WingspanBank's Female Finance Factory

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide was brought in to help WingspanBank.com maintain media momentum after a successful launch. In particular, the company was asked to help garner consumer media attention and drive women to the WingspanBank.com Web site. T

Paul Holmes

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide was brought in to help WingspanBank.com maintain media momentum after a successful launch.  In particular, the company was asked to help garner consumer media attention and drive women to the WingspanBank.com Web site.  To accomplish this, Ogilvy PR utilized a number of methods and resources to develop a multi-faceted program, which appealed to national media covering lifestyle issues.  This involved identifying and soliciting the assistance of a third-party financial expert, developing an evergreen research survey and coordinating a press event where the study results were released in conjunction with the benefits of online banking.  The outcome of the campaign reflected Ogilvy PR’s ability to position WingspanBank.com as an integral part of a woman’s everyday lifestyle, while accomplishing the goal of increasing the number of visitors to the site. CHALLENGESOne of the greatest challenges that Ogilvy PR faced was garnering attention for a financial online institution from national consumer lifestyle media because it was not perceived as a lifestyle topic.  In addition, WingspanBank had not addressed the consumer media since its launch with a formal outreach program, which was crucial for reaching the thousands, if not millions, of potential bank customers. OBJECTIVES

The goal of the public relations campaign was to increase the number of new accounts opened at the bank.  To meet this goal, program objectives included the following:

  • Position WingspanBank as a bank that understands and appeals to the needs of women
  • Increase awareness of the role of women in controlling household finances
  • Differentiate WingspanBank from the competition
  • Drive traffic to the web site
  • Improve the flow of information to media via a dedicated press web site

In order to meet these objectives, the team developed a series of initiatives that included original research, third party endorsements, a media event, extensive media relations and developed the press web site.  The marketing campaign had not focused on the benefits of targeting a particular niche audience until this point.

RESEARCH

The strategy for this program was based upon research WingspanBank pulled from the NetSmart Survey III, What Makes Women Click?.  This study, of more than 1,000 American adults, revealed that women tend to be the financial managers of their homes as 70% of them pay monthly bills and their use of financial service web sites is growing.  Also, it showed that women juggle careers, children and chores allowing less time to deal with the household finances.

STRATEGIC APPROACH

The strategy behind our campaign revolved around the relationship between women and finances:

·        Illustrate that women play a crucial role in managing money for their household
·        Distinguish WingspanBank from other banks as one that understands and speak to this audience
·        Leverage the role of female finances to open a new set of doors to potential customers
·        Position WingspanBank as the leader in understanding women and personal financial management

EXECUTION

Led by Director of Research, David Michaelson, PhD, Ogilvy PR conducted qualitative research to better understand opinions and concerns about financial matters, especially as they relate to products and services offered by WingspanBank.  With the premise that women play such a vital role in controlling finances, many of the questions were designed to leverage this important trend – one we named The Female Finance Factor.  The study, which was branded The WingspanBank Financial Index, focused on: 1) how much time Americans spend waiting, including attitudes toward waiting in banks and 2) the Female Finance Factor.

Survey results indicated that twice as many women as men assume the unofficial title of chief financial officer of their family.  The WingspanBank Financial Index revealed:

·        62% of women manage the family’s checking account (compared to 38% of men)*
·        59% of women review the bills prior to paying them (compared to 32% of men)
·        58% of women actually pay the bills (compared to 35% of men)
·        53% of women decide where their family is going to bank (compared to 35% of men)
·        53% of women create the family’s budget (compared to 30% of men)
*These percentages do not equal 100 percent, as there were a few respondents who did not answer the question or responded to two questions. 

There were many layers to the Female Finance Factor program:

·        Rolodex Card Mailing: Ogilvy PR distributed Rolodex cards to 1,200 reporters nationwide.  The goal was to introduce journalists to WingspanBank.com as a source for future stories, provide contact information, announce the launch of the press web site and tease the Financial Index.  In this mailing, reporters were challenged to take a Financial IQ test, which reinforced the importance of personal financial management.
·        Consumer Breakfast Event at the St. Regis HotelWe invited reporters from national consumer publications to learn about the Female Finance Factor via a breakfast event.  At the event, computer terminals were set up, enabling journalists a hands-on approach to checking out the WingspanBank.com web site as well as the press site.   Attendees included editors from the Associated Press, Parents, American Baby, Family Money, Reader’s Digest, Woman’s Day and W.
·        Dedicated Press Web Site: www.NewsAtWingspanBank.com made its debut at the consumer media breakfast.
·        Third-party SpokespersonWe retained Dr. Judith Briles, a financial expert and author, whose books focused on personal finance from the female perspective.  Dr. Briles became the voice of WingspanBank.com. 
·        Satellite Media Tour: Dr. Briles conducted a three-hour satellite media tour the day after the breakfast event.   Those markets that are considered “most wired” were given additional focus on the tour.
·        Audio News Release: Dr. Briles was featured on an audio news release, which promoted the WingspanBank Financial Index to millions of female radio listeners.
·        Mat Release: This supported our message to the community and was distributed to 10,000 weekly newspapers.

RESULTS

This campaign was a success because it met each of our objectives.

·        Increase awareness of the role of women in control of household finances.  We achieved widespread media coverage on local, regional and national levels.  To date, the program has generated:660 placements; 22,534,277 print impressions; 3,464,891 broadcast impressions; 25,999,168 impressions in total
·        Position WingspanBank as a bank that understands and appeals to the needs of women.  Beyond just the numbers, we view the quality of placements and location of placements as essential to the measurement of the program.  Wingspan, for the first time, was covered in such high profile women’s and parenting publications as Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, American Baby, Parents, Self, Woman’s Day, Family Money, BabyTalk and USA Today.
·        Differentiate WingspanBank from the competition.  This program very clearly aligned WingspanBank with female consumers.  By measuring financial trends, feelings and habits, we were able to position WingspanBank as an online alternative that addresses these needs via its products and services.
·        Drive traffic to the Web site.  Our campaign helped contribute to the bottom line.  There was a spike in traffic to the web site during our media blitz.  During this initiative, daily traffic increased by 33%.
·        Improve the flow of information to media via a dedicated press Web site.  Our press Web site resulted in more than forty journalist visits during this timeframe – our highest volume of reporter traffic to date.
The campaign has yielded several other Financial Indexes in 2000 and will continue in 2001.

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