Advertising Insights; Ellevest
Ellevest uses a variety of marketing methods and depends on its award-winning creative staff to develop advertising and marketing materials, rather than outsourcing that function to a traditional advertising agency. No information on Ellevests's marketing budget was available.
Ellevest's Variety of Marketing Methods
- The company "reaches its target audience through a variety of methods", extending its messages as far as possible.
- Ellevest is active on social media channels. It has over 100,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, and more than 115,000 followers on Instagram. Thus, Ellevest can get its message out to over 200,000 people regularly, just by using free social media channels.
- Ellevest staff also markets the company using media appearances and merchandise. In 2017, the company marketed a reusable coffee mug that ridiculed "financial investors who say people should stop buying coffee and invest those $3 to $5 to achieve financial wellness." Ellevest co-founder Sallie Krawcheck appeared on the Daily Show.
- Ellevest has a blog written by Krawcheck that publishes new content frequently.
- In its five-year history, Ellevest has run only one display ad campaign. The ad campaign criticized President Trump and advised women to "Cover your a$$", using bus shelters and phone booths in New York as media.
- Ellevest ran an online ad featuring celebrity women who are clients. Venus Williams was one of the women in Ellevest's online ads.
- "The firm has also produced a number of short interviews with some of its highest profile clients, such as Sonja Perkins and Venus Williams. These videos focus less on the specifics of investment and financial planning, instead choosing to speak to the value of women controlling their own destinies." One ad asked, "Venus Williams, What does #investlikeaboss mean to you?"
- Ellevest promoted two hashtags through its Twitter feed in 2017: #investlikeaboss and #financialfeminist." The short interview video series was the vehicle for promoting these hashtags.
- Ellevest uses affiliate marketing to reach investors and prospects.
- In addition, Ellevest spends a large portion of its marketing budget on content marketing vehicles that appear online including methods like email newsletters, podcasts, and other "Free Helpful Stuff," according to OverthinkGroup.com.
Ellevest's Award-Winning Creative Work
- Ellevest won the 2019 Consumer Retail Single Ad award for the "Invest Like a Woman" ad that ran online. The award was bestowed by judges from the Financial Communications Society (FCS) as a recognition of "creative excellence in marketing communications work from financial companies...."
- The "Invest Like a Woman," debut ad was created by Revere Edelman advertising agency, Ellevest creative team, and Mustache Agency. The ad ran on digital channels including BuzzFeed, Facebook and Instagram in 2017.
- Ellevest staff won awards for Website Features and Design and Website Best Practices in 2017.
- Ellevest has a Creative Executive Officer (CXO), Melissa Cullins, who oversees the in-house design work for the company. It appears that the company does not have an ongoing relationship with a traditional advertising agency.
We could not find any direct information on the amount of money or percent of annual expenses that Ellevest spends on advertising and marketing. We checked industry sources including Adweek, Adfreak, Kiplinger, Advertising Age, Business Insider, Forbes, TechCrunch, and Tearsheet. These sources often mentioned Ellevest's two successful ads but did not provide any data on the cost of the campaigns.
Next, we pored over the Ellevest website, owler.com, investormint.com, and the Revere Edelman website looking for clues about length of ad campaigns, categories of annual expenses, etc. We looked for information on digital media ad costs, e.g., Google AdSense, Amazon.com, but there was nothing.
Third, we looked for industry information services, e.g., adbeat.com, statista.com, where there might be information behind the paywalls, but that was not available to us.
Fourth, we searched for an annual report, but there was no annual report available, since the company is privately held.
Fifth, we read about a dozen published interviews with co-founder and CEO Sallie Krawcheck, in case she mentioned the advertising budget, but she did not. We read an interview by the Creative Executive Office, Melissa Cullins, but she did not reveal information about the size of her budget either.