For the launch of its new managed portfolio offering, Essential Portfolios, TD Ameritrade knew it had to stand out in a crowded environment of robo-advisors. The brand’s product was designed to create personalized portfolios based on consumers’ individual goals, so it partnered with Facebook and IBM Watson to create a mobile social campaign that generated personalized personality analyses, which then tied back to Essential Portfolios.
Objective and Context:
When TD Ameritrade launched Essential Portfolios, a new managed portfolio offering, the brand knew it needed to differentiate the product in a crowded robo-advisor market. Instead of boasting about the product’s features, TD Ameritrade made the launch campaign all about its customers. The brand created a platform that allowed users to connect their Facebook profiles for a personality analysis powered by IBM Watson. The algorithm identified personality traits prevalent in each user, and pulled relevant images from their profile to integrate into the platform. This gave TD Ameritrade the opportunity to offer Essential Portfolios as an investment solution in a way that was relevant to each distinct user. The platform and offer drove home one of the brand’s central messages: the first step in becoming a better investor is to get to know yourself and your goals.
TD Ameritrade’s typical target audience was comprised of consumers ages 45 and older with the potential for $1—5 million in investible assets by the time they reach retirement. This group plays an active role in their finances, though they may not want to invest on their own. For this campaign, the brand expanded its target to a younger, more socially active audience, specifically on Facebook.
The creative strategy was to get users to learn something about themselves as a first step in the investing process. Essential Portfolios is an automated investing solution based on each user’s individual goals, so the brand used personalized content as a way to tie the consumer’s interests to the product. Users were presented with a custom personality analysis based on their Facebook profile, complete with one of their profile pictures as the avatar. Since the communication was focused on personalization, campaign targeting had to have a similar strategy. TD Ameritrade implemented lifestyle and interest targeting on top of financial indicators to reach a relevant audience.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Users granted permission to filter their Facebook activity through an algorithm that generated a personality profile reflecting what their activity said about them. Leveraging permissions granted through Facebook in a safe way allowed the brand to build on top of a familiar behavior with a simple interactive experience.
Research has repeatedly shown that consumers are willing to exchange their own information for a more personalized experience, so the entire platform was designed around delivering a one-to-one digital conversation on mobile. The vast majority of users were being driven from Facebook, a platform where 95 percent of usage is on mobile. As such, all interactions, including the method of entry, were quick and simple.
TD Ameritrade’s primary objectives were to drive engagement with the experience and awareness of the Essential Portfolios product. The campaign generated more than 25,000 signups (40 percent above expectation) and an engagement rate that was 10 times above the brand’s existing social benchmark.