Demographic and Behavior Analysis

Part
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Part
01

Perception of Banks - LGBTQ

LGBTQ individuals have a hard time saving and investing for their future, and many of them are not optimistic enough to perceive that they have the necessary traits to invest for their future. Additionally, information about the perception of high net-worth LGBTQ individuals toward banks could not be found.

Methodology

Information about the perception of high net-worth LGBTQ individuals toward banks could not be found. We started the search for this information by looking into studies, reports, and articles that talk about social, economic, and demographic trends, which includes information on high net-worth individuals. We looked into reliable sources such as Pew Social Trends which publishes social and demographic attitudes of Americans. However, the strategy yielded no information specific to the social and demographic trends of individuals from the LGBTQ community. Moreover, there was no particular information dedicated to the perceptions of LGBTQ individuals toward banks.

We then looked into financial research sites for comparative analysis on topics such as the banking perception of high net-worth LGBTQ individuals compared to the overall perception of the LGBTQ community and what wealthy LGBTQ’s think about banks as compared to straight people. We were able to find information from site such as Experia, Credit Cards, and the FDIC. However, there was no information specific to high net-worth individuals when it comes to the bank they trust and which banks they prefer.

Lastly, we decided to look for research papers that publish about this certain trend. We looked into reliable sources such as Wharton, William Institute, Research Gate, and BAI. However, none of these sources provided specific information about the topic. These sites do have information about LGBTQ individuals and their community, and information such as the steps taken for LGBTQ Equality, but nothing about the perceptions of high net-worth LGBTQ individuals toward banks.

LGBTQ Savings

A survey about LGBTQ financial planning by Experia found that 44% of LGBTQ participants stated that there are struggling to maintain adequate savings. It also found that 16% of their monthly income is dedicated to discretionary spending, and only 11% is dedicated to saving or investment. Moreover, about 29% of the participants stated that saving for their retirement as their primary financial concern.

When it comes to savings accounts, a survey from Prudential Financial, found that 40% of LGBTQ Americans have a savings account. Furthermore, 18% have opened an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) which were not sponsored by their employer. Analysis of the statistics from the survey found that many LGBTQ Americans are not well-equipped for turbulent financial times in their lives. This is because many of them do not build wealth that would last beyond their working years.

Moreover, TD Ameritrade reported that LGBTQ millennials were less optimistic about their financial goals. The company also concluded that these participants found themselves to be “lacking the necessary expertise” to invest for the future.

Additional Information

The William Institute reported that 25% of LGBTQ individuals have an annual less than $24,000. Furthermore, 55% of LGBTQ individuals stated that they are using credit cards to build rewards or miles, while 52% perceive themselves as savers. Additionally, the US bank decided to create the first LGBTQ banking site. The site features articles that talk about same-sex wedding financial planning and how modern families can “break the stereotypical mold.
Part
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Part
02

Perception of Banks - Multicultural

African-Americans do not generally trust banks because many of them believe that they are charged with higher interests compared to whites. On the other hand, Hispanics tend to be satisfied with the services of community banks, megabanks, and credit unions. However, information about the overall perception of high net-worth multicultural individuals towards banks is not available.

Methodology

We started the search by looking through credible databases such as The Nielsen, Experian, Investopedia, Euromoney and Pew Research for information about the perceptions of high net-worth multicultural individuals toward banks. We assumed that such information is accessible by looking through survey and reports offered by these sources. The search was able to find the financial habits of the multicultural community and their general perceptions of banks. However, no exclusive information could be found about the given topic.

We then decided to look for academic research papers that might have published about the given topic. These research papers usually publish multicultural behavioral trends. Some sources we used include Indiana University, Academia, and Research Gate. However, none of these sources provided any information about the topic.

We also looked into expert blogs, which generally report and write about the perceptions of individuals from different strata of society. We looked for any articles about the topic in reliable experts' blog sites such as Medium, The Conversation, Blog.languageline, Brogan, and others. However, all of these sources focused on how banks are catering to multicultural individuals and no information could be found about the given topic.

We then decided to broaden the research criteria by looking for multicultural individuals. This includes African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. We used reliable sources such as Forbes, Ranker, the US Census And Crunch Base for the search. The US Census provided information about the net worth of individuals by race, but nothing on their perceptions about banks. We were supposed to look for interviews coming from these high net-worth multicultural individuals about their perceptions toward banks.

Additionally, we looked for data beyond the 24 months timeline. However, we still could not find any useful data about the given topic. A Statista source showed the breakdown of luxury investments of high net worth individuals in North America in 2014. Another Statista data that showed the share of High-Net-Worth-Individuals by race. However, there was nothing about banking habits or perceptions of banks.

Lastly, we attempted to triangulate the information by looking for the overall perception of the multicultural community towards banks and using that as a proxy for the perceptions of high net-worth multicultural individuals toward banks. We used credible sources such as Statista, IBIS World, CreditDonkey, Euromoney, Financial Samurai, and others for the search. However, we could not find any useful information about the given topic. We also looked into the different ways that banks tried to attract multicultural individuals in news and media publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and others. However, these sources only reported on the declining rate of bank holders, and nothing about the perceptions of consumers toward banks.

After the exhaustive search, we concluded that information about the perceptions of banks among high net-worth multicultural individuals is not available. This might be due to the lack of research towards the chosen segment. Another reason might be the low number of high net-worth of multicultural individuals. Statista stated that in 2013, about 76% of US millionaires were white or Caucasian, while 8% were Asian, 8% were African-American, 7% were Hispanics, and 1% were part of other races.

Investments Made by High Net-worth Multicultural Individuals

Most high net-worth African-American households (92%) practice charitable giving. 72% of these people support the basic needs of charities, and 64% are more likely to support religious charities. Moreover, 60% of high net-worth Hispanic-American individuals spend their volunteer time and talent in charitable organizations.

Perception of Banks- African-American

In the years of 2017 to 2017, 18% of African-Americans did not have a traditional bank account. The percentage fell to 16.9% in 2017. The number of Hispanic households without a bank account also fell to 14% during the same period. When it comes to why some African-Americans choose not to start a bank account, 41% believe that their finances are simple, 24% think that they cannot afford financial services and 35% claim that they do not have that much money to manage. Moreover, financial hurdles are common for black entrepreneurs because of racial bias and discrimination. Black entrepreneurs also have a harder time starting a business because they have a smaller chance of obtaining the appropriate funding.

Additionally, 66.67% of African-Americans feel that they are charged with higher interest rates in banks compared to whites. This mistrust of banks by the African-American community is rooted by the “persistent pattern of loss, mistreatment, mishandling of money during the reconstruction period,” in where the federal government offered no solutions for the problem.

Perception of Banks- Hispanics

A poll done by Univision found that Hispanics are twice more likely to be interested in financial service ads compared to non-Hispanics. Furthermore, Nielsen reported that advertisements that use the Spanish language and emotional advertisements are more attractive to bilingual Hispanic Millennials.

When it comes to interaction with banks, Accenture found that 25% of Hispanics visit a bank at least once a week, and 50% of Hispanics claim that they put more trust in their banks “when there is someone they could speak in person.” Additionally, Hispanics prefer banks that offer their full services way beyond the regular service hours. This includes full sales support and mortgage specialists.

Moreover, most of the first-generation Hispanics (92%) are with a major bank, while 67% of second-generation Hispanics are with a megabank. 12% of second-generation Hispanics are with a credit union, and 8% are with a community bank. When it comes to the third-generation Hispanics, 59% use megabanks, 14% use regional banks, 15% use credit unions, and 10% use community banks. Additionally, 59% of Hispanics claim that they were delighted by the services of community banks, and 45% of Hispanics claim that they were “very satisfied” with megabanks. Moreover, 52% of Hispanics who choose credit unions to be their primary institution for finances, claim that they were “very satisfied” with them.
Part
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Part
03

Banking Habits - LGBTQ

Many LGBTQ individuals aim to save their money than spend it. Additionally, many LGBTQ millennials fear that they won’t have enough funds once they reach their retirement period. However, information about the banking habits of high net-worth LGBTQ individuals (with assets amounting between $250,000 and $500,000) could not be found.

Methodology

The banking habits of high net-worth LGBTQ individuals was not available, and this is because the income-wise segregation was not available in survey reports and articles.

We started the search by looking through credible databases such as The Nielsen, TD Ameritrade, Experian, and Pew Research. We assumed that these databases would have information about high net-worth LGBTQ individuals because surveys and reports usually cover such information. The surveys did study the spending habits of the LGBTQ community, but no specific information was detailed for LGBTQ individuals with assets of $250,000 to $500,000.

We also decided to check academic research papers such as Wharton, Academia, and Research Gate because these sources usually publish studies about trends. However, none of the sources provided any useful information about the topic. The only information we found was about banking trends.

We then decided to broaden the research criteria by looking for LGBTQ individuals that have assets of $250,000 to $500,000. We looked into different credible sources such as Forbes, Ranker, and Crunchbase. The sources listed the top millionaires and billionaires in the LGBTQ community. We chose a couple of individuals in the list such as David Geffen, Peter Thiel, Jennifer Pritzker, Domenico Dolce, and Stefano Gabbana. We then delved into each of their banking habits. The search found that each individual has his or her own banking habits and preferences that cannot be generalized for the whole community.

Lastly, we decided to triangulate the information by looking for the general banking habits of the LGBTQ community and using that as a proxy for the banking habits of high net-worth LGBTQ individuals. We looked for the information needed for the triangulation in credible sites such as Statista, IBIS World, CreditDonkey, and Stone Wall. However, the sources did not contain any information related to the topic. We also decided to look into how banks attract LGBTQ consumers in sources such as Bai and Gerber Kawasaki. The sources listed various advertisements and campaigns dedicated to the community, but nothing specific to high net-worth LGBTQ individuals.

Survey of LGBTQ Community on Financial Matters

A survey on the LGBTQ community about financial matters found that LGBTQ respondents dedicate 16% of their monthly income to discretionary spending, while 11% of their monthly income is meant for saving and investments. They also are the most concerned about saving for retirement, while those aged 25-34 years old are more concerned about paying their debt. Moreover, 32% of the respondents claimed that they are using credit cards to improve or build creditworthiness.

A survey conducted by TD Armitrade found that the spending habits of LGBTQ millennials and straight millennials are the same. It was found that half of the millennials (51% straight, 46% LGBTQ) invest in the stock market, while 37% save towards an emergency fund, and 33% save for retirement.

Additionally, 49% of LGBTQ individuals who are 25 to 34 years old claim that they are terrible spenders. It was also found that 35% of LGBTQ millennials wishes to achieve the “American Dream” when they reach 40. This dream includes owning a home, getting married, having kids, landing a good job, and investing in a 401(k).

Factors Considered by LGBTQ individuals When Choosing a Bank

Logo, an organization studying the economic output of the LGBTQ community, found that the community has a buying power of about $884 billion. Additionally, the organization found that 71% of the community are more likely to support a banking brand after seeing an equality-themed ad, and the same percentage of individuals are more likely to invest on a bank after they have noticed that it donates to LGBTQ causes.

Furthermore, a 2014 Google Consumer Survey found that 45% of consumers who were under 34 years old stated that they are more likely to repeat a business transaction with an LGBTQ-friendly bank. 54% of the same group said that they would choose an equality-focused bank over a competitor.

Lastly, in a 2017 Prudential survey, it was found that 45% of LGBTQ respondents stated that retirement and other related needs are priorities of the LGBTQ community and that the community should have a dedicated financial advisor to serve the financial needs of the community.

Examples of Banks that Attracts the LGBTQ Community

Wells Fargo made a commercial about equality that pushed it ahead of its competitors and also made itself attractive to the LGBTQ community. TD Bank is committed to the LGBTQ youth, as it has partnered with various LGBTQ organizations, and also released the video “Make it Better,” which featured their LGBTQ employees. The video shows a positive change for the LGBTQ youth. Lastly, the Bank of America has financial advisors primarily trained to handle the financial needs of its LGBTQ customers.
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Part
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Banking Habits - Multicultural

After conducting extensive research, we were unable to provide the banking habits of multicultural high net-worth individuals with assets worth between $250K and $500K, and who are looking to build their wealth, as the information is not publicly available. However, we found that wealthy African American families are slightly less likely to own stocks, bonds, and are more likely to own safer assets and cash equivalents, like CDs, savings accounts, and life insurance.

We have provided the research methods used to determine that the requested information is unavailable, as well as some useful findings, below.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began our research by looking for research studies and publications about social, economic, and demographic trends, as well as high net-worth individuals (HNIs), for information on the banking habits or factors considered by multicultural HNIs in the US. We searched Pew Social Trends, hoping to find the requested data, as the parent organization (Pew Research) regularly researches on the social and demographic attitudes of Americans. However, our findings only had general statistics for multiracial Americans, and their social and demographic trends, but did not show any information for the banking habits of multicultural HNIs in the US.
Next, we searched for the requested information from research sites such as LanguageLine Solutions, The Financial Brand, and Private Banking, among others. Here, we expected to find articles centered on the banking habits of multicultural HNIs with different asset ranges such as $100K to $250K, $250K to $500, and so on, who are looking to increase their wealth. We found some information on Hispanic American investors and how Asian Americans manage their finances, etc. We hoped to find the requested information using this strategy, as these sites offer multi-level information of financial service providers and areas of the financial sector, including diversified financial firms and securities firms. However, there was no information on other relevant factors like the banking habits of multicultural HNIs with assets or what factors they consider when choosing where they bank.
Furthermore, we looked for academic research papers that might provide valuable insights into the requested information from sites such as Wharton, Academia, Research Gate, etc. These sites frequently give various study surveys of a sample population with questionnaires that are answered by the participants. Hence, we thought that such research papers, if any, could be used to provide useful insights to the request. However, we only found a discussion that highlighted overall banking trends.
Lastly, we checked articles with topics related to the request from sites like CNBC, Business Insider, and FA Magazine, as they regularly conduct interviews with people and present their findings based on the discussions. We hoped to find such articles centered around multicultural HNIs or the banking habits of multicultural people, and draw parallel information from them to arrive at a logical conclusion. We obtained some information on the investing practices of African Americans and Hispanic-Latino Americans, but it was not specific to HNIs with assets worth between $250K to $500K+.

INVESTING HABITS OF WEALTHY AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILIES

According to Credit Suisse and Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy report, wealthy African American families invest more conservatively than their White peers. They are also slightly less likely to own stocks, bonds, and are more likely to own safer assets and cash equivalents, like CDs, savings accounts, and life insurance. The study also reported that Wealthy African Americans have more of their wealth in real estate.

According to another study published by Demos, the average two-parent African American family had $16,000 in wealth. Also, 24% of African American respondents said they couldn’t afford personal financial services.

ASIAN AMERICANS

Prudential's study report, which surveyed Asian-Americans with household financial assets at $445,600, revealed that these group of people rank retirement-related goals as their top financial priorities. According to the report, the importance of family (responsibilities and aspirations) heavily influences the financial experience and decisions of an Asian-American. The study also reports that 20% of Asian-Americans aid their relatives financially, and 33.3% give care to other people's children.

HISPANIC AMERICANS

A study by Bank of America (BofA) showed that about 53% of Hispanic Americans claimed to track their expenses every month, and 31% of them plan and stick to their budget every month. The BofA study also reported that 84% of Hispanic Americans would like to learn more about financial matters, and 28% of Hispanics stress over health costs. Some factors considered by Hispanic Americans while banking include trained, tested bilingual staff in branch locations and contact centers, in-language access to accounts online and via mobile apps, in-language menu options at ATM kiosks, etc. Hispanic Americans are most interested in topics like investing, becoming better at saving, and preparing for retirement.
Part
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Part
05

Customer Acquisition Strategies - Financial Institutions


Direct mail, digital marketing, customer experience, mobile and online banking, and predictive modeling are some customer acquisition strategies for financial institutions in the United States.

DIRECT MAIL

According to Tom Johnson, an online lender, there's a solid reason why direct mails have been around for 40 years. Financial institutions find it hard to grow their existing customer base, and direct mail is one of the few proven approaches they can take. Financial institutions can employ this technique to interact online with potential customers at times and places that they believe the customer will be open to considering a new financial product. Sending direct mails is a "real and substantial" way of conveying individual messages that make customers feel like they matter to the financial institution.

Promotional offers from financial institutions are becoming increasingly complicated, requiring clear explanations of the complex offers if more customers are to be brought onboard. A TV ad or a banner is not enough to cover and explain all the complexities that financial offers come, with so financial institutions can use the flexibility of direct mail to clarify on their offers. In the past, financial institutions leveraged the power of direct mail in customer acquisition, and they may be turning back to it now owing to the increased complexities and also consumers' skepticism. Direct mail looks like a better medium to acquire customers in the financial services industry than any other medium. That's why the financial services industry is using this medium more than other sectors since it provides "solid and measurable results." American Express is a notable pacesetter that sends millions of direct mails every year since this strategy produces tangible results.
Research reveals that people anticipate their daily trips to the mailbox, and they check their mail the same day it lands on the mailbox, spending considerable time for this activity every day. Direct mail is considered one of the most personal forms of marketing to consumers. The consumers know that lots of effort is put into direct mails and they appreciate it.

DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital marketing is highly effective and measurable. Companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple have set the bar high, and now customers demand the same digital marketing experience from financial institutions. The implementation of the digital shift on digital channels has a palpable effect on sales since it allows banks to meet their customers' demand conveniently. Digital marketing also plays a significant role in customer acquisition in the financial services sector.

As of now, more than 70% of all online users actively use social media platforms. This makes social media the best place for financial institutions to interact with current and prospective customers. Financial institutions can use paid social media marketing strategies on Facebook and Twitter to determine customer locations, demographics, interests, among others which they can use to specifically tailor their digital marketing strategies to prospective customers. The internet tops (at 63%) when it comes to the most preferred channel to buy and manage financial products and services.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Customer experience is another customer acquisition strategy for financial institutions in the United States. The first step to successful customer experience is listening to the customer to put the customer first. Financial institutions have to understand the customer's needs and their expectations from the bank. Customer experience is boosted when banks make both direct and indirect contact with their current or potential customers. This customer acquisition strategy has to meet the following criteria:
  • the financial institution has to meet the customer's need as this is the most essential requirement
  • the ease of interaction between the customer and the financial institution has to be assessed to determine the time and effort that should be invested to meet the customers' needs and offer them the best customer experience
  • the financial institution should have the capacity to offer customers the best experience

This customer acquisition strategy involves emotions and memories and it's essential in a strategic marketing plan that improves the experience of customers as a "medium to convey the same added value compared to the simple purchase of the product or service."

MOBILE AND ONLINE BANKING

According to a KPMG study, 66% of people refer to the digital services offered since they can use it anywhere, at any time. Financial institutions always want to stay ahead of the pack by introducing unique products and services. Emerging mobile and online banking technologies are great strategies for customer acquisition. Nowadays, banking customers prefer easy and convenient ways to bank so a financial institution that incorporates the convenience of mobile and online banking is likely to attract and retain more customers.

Other services that are likely to bring more customers in include credit score engines, money transfer services, mobile bill pay, and mobile check deposit. Financial institutions can focus on a potential customers's pain points with their current financial services provider, show customers how they can help them solve the pain points, and offer a simple way to for the customers to switch. Financial products are growing with the cutting-edge technology so for financial institutions to stay competitive and acquire more customers, they need to target the right customers and evaluate their past performances.

PREDICTIVE MODELING

Predictive customer acquisition platforms leverage on the power of artificial intelligence in information processing and analysis. This helps financial institutions to consolidate customer data and "create material projection and granular segments" which will be used in various customer acquisition strategies. A financial institution uses AI-assisted software to analyze information about potential customers' behavior and decisions so that they can understand what prompts them to take some specific action.

With this understanding of customer behavior and motivation behind the actions they take, the software can then separates them accordingly. Once potential customers are separated according to their behavior and decisions, it becomes easier for the marketing team to curate marketing content that is specifically tailored to fit the needs of a particular customer or a particular group of potential customers, effectively bringing them on board. The AI-assisted software learns more about the customers and makes accurate conclusions about the customer's future behavior.
The marketing team will still invest lots of time and effort to make personalized content but the process becomes easier since the software has already determined which customer will benefit from receiving the personalized content. This AI-assisted data aggregation and consolidation technology can be a good investment for financial institutions looking to boost their customer acquisition strategies.
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Part
06

How the Financial Industry Leverages Content

According to our findings, strategies for the utilization of content within the financial sector include the making of educational content to teach and win customers, using the power of imagery with compelling video content and photographs, and telling a great story as a strategy. A detailed look at our findings follows below.

HOW THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY UTILIZES CONTENT IN ITS DIGITAL STRATEGY

1. MAKING EDUCATIONAL CONTENT TO TEACH AND WIN CUSTOMERS

Because finance is complicated, banks and financial services that are able to teach customers something or curate the massive amounts of data that is typical in this industry can be well-placed to win customer loyalty. From this fact, organizations like Charles Schwab host regular educational workshops and make educational content for the benefit of customers.

Educational content can be a key factor that differentiates competing institutions in the financial industry. This is because if such institutions can teach and advise customers or help customers select a product, they can have a competitive edge over others in the industry.
Research by Raddon Research Insights reported that "consumers not only need financial education content, they want it." This is because consumers appreciate being given information that can help them improve their financial lives and achieve their financial goals. Consequently, financial service providers like banks and credit unions are in a position to exploit this by creating and disseminating financial educational content.

Organizations within the financial industry like banks and credit unions are financial experts and thought leaders in the industry, making them credible/respected sources of financial information within their respective areas of specialization. According to the Raddon study, people trust the advice and insights they get from financial institutions like banks and credit unions and in exchange for the financial education content they receive, a large segment of consumers reward such institutions with more business.

2. TELLING A GREAT STORY AS A STRATEGY

The financial industry is nearly identical to other industries and the use of storytelling can make brands within the industry different from each other. The "use of storytelling can be employed in breaking stereotypes by humanizing financial service brands and making them emotionally connected to their clients." Instead of losing the attention of customers, brands can capture it by keeping them engaged through storytelling which makes it easy for brands to communicate.
Storytelling within the financial industry can be used to communicate the financial health of customers because they love stories on their financial condition as they want to make themselves free from fixed income. Some organizations within the financial industry employ transparency in storytelling so that they connect with customers and gain their trust by being honest and transparent.
Storytelling can be in any format. For example, "magazines, videos on YouTube, or social media posts can be used by financial organizations to communicate content marketing to customers in an amusing or exciting way." The aim of storytelling is "to inspire customers, to make them think, or at least to arouse an interest to learn more."

In addition, storytelling is used because stories are easier to memorize and information that is presented in an entertaining way can win the hearts of customers more than product facts. Because information that is presented through storytelling is easier to remember, it can also be retained for a longer time by customers.
Storytelling can also result in long term customer retention because the best case is customers identifying directly with a product or a company behind a story they know.

3. THE POWER OF IMAGERY - USING COMPELLING PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO CONTENT

Financial services use video content in content marketing because 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube on a daily basis and many people love watching videos. The financial industry uses videos to clarify and explain difficult subjects such as crypto or blockchain initiatives and this has resulted in YouTube videos that discuss blockchain getting millions of views from curious consumers.
Financial organizations also use social media to distribute digital content using compelling photography that targets customers to drive their message into the hearts of customers and capture the attention of users' news feeds. This is a unique approach to teaching financial service customers about other important considerations that relate to personal finance.
As an example, MasterCard is an organization in the financial industry that has successfully used video content for content marketing. The organization has been building its video library since 2006 with consistent effort over a long time period. The use of video content is a fun way of promoting brand awareness, especially for young consumers.

Lastly, some digital payment solutions can be easily distributed through video content and with the right theme, such videos can be used to target audiences such as the finance for travel market with insightful content.
Part
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Part
07

Best In Class Financial Related Content

The three examples of "best-in-class" financial content marketing campaigns that increased the user engagement or revenue are — Let’s Face Money by Citigroup; Prosper and Thrive by Santander Bank; and new corporate website marketing campaign by Morgan Stanley.

Methodology

To provide comprehensive insights about the 3 "best in class" examples of the financial related content campaigns, we focused on financial content that increased either user engagement or company revenue.

We first, tried to search through credible content marketing review sites that feature the "best in class" content marketing brands based on stringent parameters of selection, examples include —eMarketer, NewsCred, The Content Council, AdAge, Content Marketing Awards, among others.

We were able to identify the "best in class" content marketing examples by considering the following inclusion criteria — US-based financial institutions, multiple award-winning content, increase in web engagement or revenue, acclaimed digital and print campaigns.

Through this research, we focused on credible sources like Content Marketing Awards, The Content Council, and NewsCred which featured the "best in class" awards selection from over 1,100 financial institutions for their stellar content marketing campaigns. The awardees — Citigroup, Santander Bank, and Morgan Stanley, were selected to represent the best suitable examples for this task based on their best suitability according to the inclusion criteria mentioned above.

1. CITI: LET’S FACE MONEY

OVERVIEW: Citi's survey revealed that money is a taboo topic for many, and over half of consumers were not comfortable discussing their finances. Citi launched a new campaign, "Let’s Face Money, focused on customers who face this issue and want to have discussions about their financial concerns.

TOOLS: The company launched a micrositeLet’s Face Money,” which featured articles, infographics, quizzes, and videos about tackling tough money situations. The company ensured that each online content creative feature few links about their consumer-friendly services with a focus on large calls-to-action (CTAs) for their credit card offerings.

SUCCESS: The Citigroup's "Let’s Face Money" campaign won the NewsCred’s inaugural '#ThinkContent Awards' for there stellar content marketing in 2017 in the financial services' category.

SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT: Adage ranked the "Let’s Face Money" campaign's videos in the top Viral video Chart with over 8,142,787 views in a week. Citi's campaign went viral on social media, and its Twitter handle #letsfacemoney gained over 10,000 likes.

2. SANTANDER BANK: PROSPER AND THRIVE

OVERVIEW: To connect with millennials, the company invested in a content strategy geared explicitly towards millennial demographics. Santander Bank created a content hub, "Prosper and Thrive," that focused on millennials, who are ambitious but are unable to save much money. The company launched a microsite to provide content that is practical and advantageous for its target audience.

TOOLS: The company published over 125 articles on its microsite "Prosper and Thrive" to highlight the success stories of savings. The microsite narrated some notable success stories like — Live Life, Master Debt, and Save Up. The microsite also featured a call-to-action button for the customers to rate the article in order to provide more relevant content for the users.

SUCCESS: In 2017, the campaign, "Prosper and Thrive" won the award for best-in-class and stellar content marketing campaign in the financial services' category by the NewsCred’s inaugural #ThinkContent Awards. The bank also won the award from Content Marketing Institute (CMI) for ‘Best Creative Collaboration in Content Marketing’ for its millennial-focused content hub microsite.

SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT: The bank was able to drive 200,000 social engagements and more than 1 million website visits through the campaign. Also, the number of people interested in opening accounts and signing for newsletters increased notably.

3. MORGAN STANLEY: Corporate Website

OVERVIEW: The company redesigned and published a new digital magazine style website for their customers. Morgan Stanley aimed to engage users with a content-first strategy; the company published customer-friendly stories about financial topics several times a week.

TOOLS: The company regularly publishes engaging articles and feature stories on their new website. The company also launched a podcast “Morgan Stanley Ideas” that profiled top sports and public celebrities. Next, it created a prominent CTA section on their homepage for signing up to their 'Weekly Ideas' newsletter. Additionally, they aggressively promoted their website on social media platforms of LinkedIn and Twitter.

SUCCESS: Morgan Stanley's content marketing campaign won the NewsCred’s inaugural #ThinkContent Awards for there best-in-class marketing in the financial services' category. The campaign also won the Content Marketing Excellence: 2018 Pearl Award by The Content Council, for best content marketing campaign.

SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT: The campaign was able to reach large audiences on Twitter with over 403,000 fans and LinkedIn with over 100 engagements per post. Further, the company gained over 700,000 followers on LinkedIn through publishing useful articles that help to resolve a potential customer's concerns, instead of focusing on the hard sell.
Part
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Part
08

Top Advertisers of Financial Content

Top 10 advertisers of financial content in the US ranked by the company's media ad spending in 2017 include Berkshire Hathaway ($1.764 billion), SoftBank Group Corporation ($687 million), Rock Holdings ($299 million), Allstate Corporation ($296 million), Capital One Financial Corporation ($274 million), Liberty Mutual Holding ($270 million), American Express ($204 million), Citigroup ($182 million), Nationwide Mutual Insurance ($182 million), and Wells Fargo & Co ($163 million). We have outlined below our research methodology and findings.

Methodology

A thorough search through the US advertising industry reports, advertising industry agencies' databases as well as reputable media such as Ad Age, eMarketer, Federal Trade Commission, AdWeek, DMN, Advertising Age, DIGIDAY, and Marketing Land, we found a report with a list of top 200 advertisers in the US ranked by ad spent in 2017. Since, advertising is aim at promoting a company's products and services, we leveraged the data available on this report in compiling a list of most of the financial institutions and all its allied companies such as insurance companies and their media ad spending in 2017. We have focused on financial institutions and its allied companies because most, if not all their media advertising content will be centered or related to finance (the services they provide). Using the companies 2017 US media ad spend information, we compiled a list of top 10 advertisers in the US based on the companies media ad spend.

Findings

Top 10 advertiser of financial content in the US

The top advertisers of financial content in the US ranked based on the company's media ad spent in 2017 include:

List of top advisers of financial content in the US

Berkshire Hathaway — $1.764 billion
SoftBank Group Corporation (Sprint Corp) — $687 million
Rock Holdings (Quicken Loans) — $299 million
Allstate Corporation — $296 million
Capital One Financial Corporation — $274 million
Liberty Mutual Holding Co — $270 million
American Express — $204 million
Citigroup — $182 million
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co — $182 million
Wells Fargo & Co — $163 million
JP Morgan Chase & Co — $147 million
Zurich Insurance Group — $136 million
H&R block Inc — $132 million
Discover Financial Services — $130 million
Intuit — $122 million
FMR Corporation (Fidelity Investments) — $106 million
LendingTree — $96 million
PayPal Holdings — $90 million
MasterCard — $87 million
Visa — $85 million
Bank of America Corporation — $78 million
Charles Schwab Corporation — $71 million
US Bancorp$45 million
PNC Financial Services Group — $25 million
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank Group) — $15 million
Part
09
of ten
Part
09

Top Digital Financial Media Companies

The top ten digital financial media companies by audience reach are Business Insider (144.74M visits), Forbes (97.62M visits), CNBC (92.54M visits), Bloomberg (73.44M visits), The Wall Street Journal (61.24M visits), Reuters (58.12M visits), Wired (29.74M visits), Fox Business (23.76M visits), Economist (13.20M visits), and Fortune (8.11M visits).

Methodology

To compile the top ten digital financial media companies by audience reach, we began our research by searching for the top sites ranking for finance worldwide. We decided to go with a worldwide search instead of searching specifically within the United States because, when searching by country, we only get the top 5 rankings. Therefore, we utilized the worldwide option and then excluded all companies that were based in countries other than the United States. We made sure to only include digital financial media companies, and completely exclude other financial organizations such as financial planning and management, grants scholarships, and Financial Aid or companies specialized in bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange. Based on this strategy, we found the top 5 digital financial media companies.

Since the strategy did not reveal all ten digital financial media companies requested, we continued by trying to find the top sites ranking for news and media in the United States. However, the organizations that we came across were not exclusively or essentially focused on finance and business.

We continued with our research by trying to find the ready-made top in industry publications. We came across a top-ranked business news websites based on social media followers. We only looked at those organizations that were based in the United States, which could be included in the financial media category. Therefore, we excluded companies that had additional products to sell (e.g. financial advice, or ready-made portfolios).
Lastly, we went on to finding social media analytic tools. Though most of them require a paid subscription, most of them also allow the user to try the service for free for a few days. Although none of the services we found allowed us to obtain an engagement rate expressed in percentages, we were able to gather valuable insights regarding social media interactions with the public.

1. Business Insider

Audience Reach (total visits for the month of April): 144.74M visits.
Engagement on Twitter: Average of 1,369,017
Interactions per day: 137.054
Retweets: 9.105
Replies and likes: 264.546
Website visits (unique visitors for the month of April): 47.2M.

2. Forbes

Audience Reach (total visits for the month of April): 97.62M.
Engagement: 10.1K average interactions per day.
Website visits (unique visitors for the month of April): 46.3M.

3. CNBC

Audience Reach (total visits for the month of April): 92.54M visits.
Engagement: 123K average interactions per day.
Website visits (unique visitors for the month of April): 33.8M.

4. Bloomberg

Audience Reach (total visits for the month of April): 73.44M visits.
Engagement: 22.5K average interactions per day.
Website visits (unique visitors for the month of April): 23.6M.

5. The Wall Street Journal

Audience Reach (total visits for the month of April): 61.24M visits.
Website visits (unique visitors for the month of April): 16.8M.

6. Reuters

Audience Reach (total visits for the month of April): 58.12M visits.
Engagement Rate:
Website visits (unique visitors for the month of April): 18M.

7. Wired

Audience Reach (total visits for the month of April): 29.74M visits.
Website visits (unique visitors for the month of April): 11.6M.

8. Fox Business

Audience Reach (total visits for the month of April): 23.76M visits.
Website visits (unique visitors for the month of April): 10M.

9. Economist

Audience Reach (total visits for the month of April): 13.20M visits.
Website visits (unique visitors for the month of April): 5.1M.

10. Fortune

Audience Reach (total visits for the month of April): 8.11M visits.
Website visits (unique visitors for the month of April): 4.5M.
Part
10
of ten
Part
10

Top Print Financial Media Companies

The top 10 financial media companies by circulation are Money, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Fortune, USA Today, Fast Company, Inc., Forbes, and Kiplinger. Our methodology and findings are below.

Methodology

We first began our research into the top 10 print financial media companies ranked by circulation by looking for a publicly available list of financial or business publications according to circulation. While we found a list from December 2018 of magazines by U.S. circulation, it included all magazines and did not specifically focus on financial or business publications. We continued looking for other lists that might narrow the focus to financial publications, but we were only able to find subjective lists of what successful business people should read.

Having not found a list that provided the information we needed without some curation, we turned our attention to the list of magazines ranked according to U.S. circulation. We went through each magazine on the list to find those that focused solely on financial or business topics and we were able to curate a list of 11 such publications. We ranked them based on circulation to provide the top 10. Barron's was the only business publication that did not make the list, as its U.S. circulation of 308,154 put it at number 11.

However, we did not feel like we had fully answered the question because the list of magazines did not, of course, include publications such as The Wall Street Journal, which was specifically mentioned as a top financial media company. In our research, though, The Wall Street Journal was not classified as strictly a financial or business publication. Instead, it was classified as a newspaper that covers a variety of topics to include business and finance. Since it doesn't technically count as a financial publication, we were hesitant to include it in our list of top 10 print financial media companies. Still, we did not feel comfortable leaving it off the list either.

Therefore, we elected to keep the top 10 financial magazines that are dedicated solely to finance and business and add the top newspapers that cover business and finance as a part of their overall offerings. We found that The Wall Street Journal has the highest circulation of these newspapers, followed by The New York Times. In an attempt to find other similar newspapers or publications, we examined the earlier articles we found that discussed what highly successful business people read on a regular basis. This led us to USA Today and The Washington Post. The New Yorker was also mentioned as being frequently read by top business people, but it is a magazine and not a newspaper. However, since it covers more than just business and financial topics, we elected to include it with the newspapers that also cover more general subjects. Note that some articles are older than Wonder's standard 24 months to provide us with a comprehensive list of publications that meet the requirements.

All Print publications that cover finance and/or business topics

1. Money1,598,124
2. The Wall Street Journal1,195,967 (weekend) 1,100,000 (weekday)
4. The New York Times — 1,000,000
5. Fortune851,071
6. USA Today726,906
8. Inc. — 710,936
9. Forbes674,852
10. Kiplinger617,109

Publications Dedicated solely to finance and/or business

Money

Circulation: 1,598,124
About: Money Magazine is still in print, but recently, its parent company, the Meredith Corporation, has decided to cease print operations and its June/July 2019 edition will be the last to appear in print format. The magazine targets affluent individuals with personal finance news and members of the C-suite, tech decision makers, and influential investors with its business-related content. Its articles are designed to open "up candid conversations about money and the way it affects our lives."

Fortune

Circulation: 851,071
About: Fortune Magazine is a global publication that is "dedicated to helping its readers, viewers, and attendees succeed big in business through unrivaled access and best-in-class storytelling." Its Fortune 500 list is the definitive ranking of the largest companies in the United States and is published on a yearly basis. It features long, in-depth articles, which differentiates the magazine from other business publications. Its global circulation tops 1 million.

Fast company

Circulation: 711,829
About: Fast Company is the "world’s leading business media brand, with an editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, world changing ideas, creativity, and design." It was founded by two Harvard Business Review editors and focuses on chronicling how companies create and compete, highlighting new business practices, and showcasing business leaders who are "inventing the future and reinventing business."

Inc.

Circulation: 710,936
About: Inc.'s tagline is "the magazine for growing companies," and primarily targets business owners, C-level executives, and decision makers. Topics covered in the magazine include industry-specific news, investments, productivity, founders spotlight, best workplaces, leadership, the Inc. 5000, female founders, technology, and company of the year, plus more. Inc.'s print publications reach about 1.4 million readers with a median age of 43.2 years old.

Forbes

Circulation: 674,852
About: Forbes Magazine provides critical business insights to its audience of "influential leaders, high-net-worth-individuals, tastemakers, business decision makers and millennials." Its 2,700-plus journalists focus on business-related topics such as innovation, leadership, investments, policy, and industry influencers. It is currently rated as the number one business publication to reach C-suite individuals.

Kiplinger

Circulation: 617,109
About: Kiplinger is a magazine that publishes "business forecasts and personal financial advice." In addition to its magazine, Kiplinger also publishes The Kiplinger Letter, a "weekly business and economic forecasting periodical for people in management." In total, Kiplinger's total paid circulation is nearly 900,000. Primarily, the magazine "advises its readers on managing their money, covering investing, retirement planning, taxes, insurance, real estate, buying and leasing a car, health care, travel and financing college."

Bloomberg Businessweek

Circulation: 611,682
About: Bloomberg Businessweek is a publication that "reveals the strategies that the best leaders, companies, and start-ups use to change the world." Over 2,700 journalists and analysts analyze and report on stock markets, business technology, politics, and more. It advertises itself as providing "expert analysis and proprietary technology that distills what 75MM+ worldwide business decision-makers need."

The Economist

Circulation: 545,031
About: Although this publication is headquartered in the UK, it has a significant circulation in the United States, and therefore, was included on the list. It is a weekly news and business publication that offers "commentary and analysis on world current affairs, business, finance, science and technology, culture, society, media and the arts." The magazine is read by world business and political leaders and has a total global circulation of 1.7 million.

Entrepreneur

Circulation: 511,418
About: Entrepreneur magazine is geared toward business people who are starting their own companies. It advertises itself as "the definitive guide to the diverse challenges of entrepreneurship." It provides readers with information and news that will help them "expand their visions and grow their ventures." It is published eight times per year and is available in both print and digital formats.

Harvard business review

Circulation: 332,370
About: This publication is owed by Harvard Business School and has the mission of improving "the practice of management in a changing world." Its platforms serve as a "bridge between academia and enterprises around the globe" and include topics related to leadership development, managing people, strategy, communication, entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, productivity, business investments, and more.

Publications that cover general topics, but have sections dedicated to business and/or finance

The Wall Street Journal

Circulation: 1,195,967 (weekend) 1,100,000 (weekday)
About: The Wall Street Journal is "one of the most respected business newspapers on the planet and continues to grow in stature with each passing day." Its total readership is over 9 million and it covers financial topics as well as world news, the economy, technology, markets, life and arts, real estate, sports, and politics. It is published by Dow Jones, which means it has unparalleled access to the U.S. and global markets.

The New Yorker

Circulation: 1,254,940
About: Although The New Yorker covers topics other than business and finance, it is one of the top publications read by highly successful people, including Barack Obama and Jonah Peretti. It has a dedicated business section that features topics like technology, markets, top companies, startups, innovations, and more. Overall, the magazine covers news, culture, books, satire, video, and podcasts.

The new York Times

Circulation: 1,000,000
About: Like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times covers a variety of topics related to business, politics, technology, science, health, sports, books, style, food, travel, and more. It has a total readership of 4 million, of which 25% are subscribed to its printed newspaper. It has a dedicated business and economics section, which is provides "commentary on the people, companies and ideas shaping the world economy."

USA Today

Circulation: 726,906
About: As with the other two newspapers on this list, the USA Today does not specialize exclusively on business or financial topics. However, it does have a dedicated business section and is one of the publications that highly successful people read every day. It also features an entire section on money, which covers topics such as markets, business, finances, retirement, careers, taxes, and more.

The Washington Post

About: The Washington Post is a newspaper that covers many topics and is not exclusively a business or financial publication. However, it does have a dedicated business section that covers finance, business law, mergers and acquisitions, innovations, taxes, financial news, and business regulations. It is one of the publications read by highly successful people, including Barack Obama. The newspaper as a whole covers the climate and environment, education, health, innovations, investigations, national security, and science.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03
Quotes
  • "More than two-fifths (44%) of LGBTQ respondents said they struggle to maintain adequate savings vs. 38% of the general population"
  • "LGBTQ respondents estimated they devote 16% of monthly income to discretionary spending, but just 11% to saving or investment"
  • "Just over one-third (34%) of said they have bad spending habits that they'd like to improve or change vs. 28% of the general population."
  • "Saving for retirement is the biggest financial concern for LGBTQ members, but paying off debt is just as big a concern for those 25-34."
  • "One-fourth (25%) of LGBTQ respondents in the 25-34 age group, and 18% of LGBTQ respondents overall have no credit cards in their names."
  • "Nearly one-third (32%) of all LGBTQ respondents say they use credit cards to improve or build creditworthiness, but half (50%) of LGBTQ respondents age 25-34 gave that reason."
Quotes
  • "TD Ameritrade's LGBTQ and Straight Millennials survey reveals that despite some differences between these groups, saving and investing habits tend to be similar"
  • "D Ameritrade's LGBTQ and Straight Millennials survey reveals that despite some differences between these groups, saving and investing habits tend to be similar. Approximately half of millennials (51 % straight, 46 % LGBTQ) invest in the stock market, 37 % save towards an emergency fund, and 33 % save for retirement."
Quotes
  • "In a recent Experian study on saving habits, LGBT people revealed that they are devoting 16% of their income to discretionary spending but only 11% to saving and investing"
  • "In another study by Prudential Financial, one third of the LGBT participants admitted to having bad spending habits. This statistic gets even worse when dealing with younger members of the LGBT community between the ages of 25 and 34; a whopping 49% of this group claimed they are terrible spenders. "
  • "The LGBT community needs to stop trying to keep up with the gay Jones’ at brunch and start thinking about how to maintain a healthy savings account. It can be a daunting task but writing all your expenses down is the first step to taking control of your finances"
Quotes
  • "LGBTQ Millennials are lagging behind their straight peers in key areas such as pay, financial literacy and confidence in their long-term financial futures"
  • "Only about a third (35%) of LGBTQ Millennials surveyed said they were likely by age 40 to achieve the "stereotypical" American Dream owning a home, getting married, having kids, landing a good job and investing in a 401(k). That compared with nearly half (49%) of straight Millennials."
  • "LGBTQ Millennials were also less optimistic about reaching their financial goals and saw themselves as lacking the expertise to invest for the future"
Quotes
  • "According to Logo, the estimated buying power of the LGBT community is $884 billion, and their research has found that, of that community, “71 % are more likely to support a brand after seeing an equality-themed ad, and 71 % were more likely to purchase from a company that donates to LGBT causes."
  • "According to a 2014 Google Consumer Survey, over 45% of consumers under 34 years old say they’re more likely to do repeat business with an LGBT-friendly company. And of that group, more than 54% would choose an equality-focused brand over a competitor."
  • "Wells Fargo made the social media rounds this year, and although some might say that this commercial had very little to do with banking, it put the brand well ahead of its competitors in the eyes of the LGBT community"
  • " TD Bank’s commitment to LGBT youth – in addition to partnering with relevant organizations, the bank released the “Make it Better” video featuring LGBT employees and their allies encouraging viewers to impact positive change for LGBT youth."
  • "Bank of America provides specialized training to its financial advisors so they are better able to serve the unique financial planning needs of its LGBT customers. "
Quotes
  • "Today, more than 10 million Americans identify as lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered (LGBT). The number of LGBT Millennials rose to 7.3% in 2016, up from 5.8% in 2012. In a recent poll, 86% of LGBT people surveyed reported that they need wealth management services"
  • "In another survey of the LGBT community (Prudential, 2017), 45% of respondents said they need to follow a different path to meet the challenges of saving for retirement and other needs, and "urged financial advisors to consider the unique needs of LGBT clients.""
From Part 04
Quotes
  • "According to a study by Credit Suisse and Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy, and highlighted in the Harvard Business Review, wealthy black American families invest more conservatively than their white peers. And that conservatism may be slowing their wealth creation relative to white families."
Quotes
  • "For instance, 25 percent of Asian-Americans said taking care of family members is a financial priority, compared to 15 percent of the general population. One in five Asian-Americans responded that they provide financial assistance to relatives, and one in three act as caregivers for someone other than their children. Financial institutions would be wise to acknowledge this in their marketing, product offerings and resources."
Quotes
  • "BofA’s data confirms that Hispanics’ financial attitudes tend to skew more conservative than those of the typical American consumer. For example: 53% of Hispanic-Americans say they track their expenses every month, compared with 48% of non-Hispanics"
Quotes
  • "Multicultural consumers are culturally fluent, and many are accustomed to speaking English even if they speak another language at home. However, they are often more comfortable buying products and services in their primary language, and messages that connect them to their heritage are often more effective."
From Part 05
Quotes
  • "With consumer choice at an all-time high, financial services providers are under increasing pressure to acquire and retain profitable customers. What strategies should we use? What tools should we invest in? How should we measure success? These questions are being intensely debated by banks and fintechs alike."
Quotes
  • "A customer has direct contact with a company when he or she buys a product or benefits from service. Such direct contact could include visiting a branch office or calling up the customer care or service department for advice, and direct contact is usually initiated by the customer."
Quotes
  • "When it comes to customer acquisition, the financial services industry hasn’t exactly been at the front of the pack in the race for new members. As the process of shopping for a new bank has changed, so have the methods to acquiring customers. "
Quotes
  • "After being bombarded by negative news regarding failing financial markets and getting misguided advice from less than scrupulous financial gurus, consumers are still somewhat shell-shocked and reluctant to part with hard-earned savings. "
Quotes
  • "Many studies have shown that investing resources in keeping existing customers happy rather than chasing after new ones is a very successful and cost-efficient strategy."
From Part 06
Quotes
  • "They are getting on board with educational content. Finances are complicated, and banks able to teach customers something or curate the massive amounts of data can win customer loyalty, says Bleedorn. "
Quotes
  • "A study by Raddon Research Insights has revealed that consumers not only need financial education content, they want it. They appreciate being given information that can help them improve their financial lives and achieve their goals. "
Quotes
  • "Focus on financial health - While credit scores and income give a high-level snapshot of a person’s financial history, they don’t tell the complete story. Financial Health is a multi-faceted story of a person’s savings, retirement, spending on fixed and non-discretionary expenses, debt to credit ratio, and of course the credit score. "
  • "In our work, we’ve noticed the rise of storytelling as a key to keeping employees and customers engaged—especially in the financial services industry. Banks, investment firms, and credit companies all need to communicate complex ideas to their people quickly. Here are the top five themes we’ve heard (and drawn) from the financial services industry that show how they’re using storytelling to improve their services."
Quotes
  • "Banks must be able to approach customers emotionally without personal contact and make abstract products and services understandable, tangible and, ultimately, desirable. One means of achieving just this is called storytelling."
Quotes
  • "What do internet users want? Storytelling. A typical consumer can process up to 100,000 words a day. They don’t want bland content but a story that’s going to capture their imagination."
  • "Video - Web users love it and in the finance world it can be used to clarify more difficult subjects such as crypto trading or blockchain initiatives. As you can see, YouTube video explainers regarding blockchain have garnered millions of views."
From Part 09
From Part 10