How to grow the finance industry in a downturn? Try to be honest – MLC Market Watch

As expected, all financial institutions are experiencing hard times at the moment. Rather than just ride it out, MLC have got on the front foot with a new campaign, Market Watch. I’m assuming the purpose of the campaign is both new customer acquisition and retention.

  • New customer acquisition by providing an update about the current market climate
  • Retention by educating and informing of the market condition.

I first saw this campaign on TV over the Christmas break. The TVC was playing a lot at the start of the year. It was typical financial services format: hero male talking about financial services. The difference with this TVC is that it actually caught my attention. Not sure if it was the strong push to the website or the fact that MLC were trying to be honest/open with the consumer: something unusual for a financial institute.

The campaign site is a very simple site, but it has been designed for the consumer and them getting the most out of the experience – very functional. The journey starts with the MLC home page via a large promotional tile and link under the introductory text (see below the journey).

MLC home page - January 2009

MLC home page - January 2009

As an aside, the MLC site divides visitors into two groups: new and existing MLC customers. Providing both groups with quick links through to the divisions of interest.

MLC Market Watch home page

MLC Market Watch home page

MLC Market Watch home page

MLC Market Watch home page

MLC Market Advice promotional tile

MLC Market Advice promotional tile

MLC Market Watch quick links

MLC Market Watch quick links

MLC Market Watch confirmation email

MLC Market Watch confirmation email

SUMMARY

  • First mover advantage – The first Australian finance company that is trying to be open about the future and market condition.
  • Functional – The site has been designed so consumers can get the information they want quickly.
  • Updates – Closed loop updates and communications. Any updates are emailed through. Unfortunately, I registered in early January and still haven’t received anything yet.

LEARNING

  1. Consumer centric – The customer must be considered when developing any site. Why are they coming to the site? What information would they want out of the site? How can we provide them with the information they want quickly and easily?
  2. Home page integration – Ensure that any campaigns are promoted on the corporate home page. Very beneficial when consumers are searching for brand terms or just arriving at your site.
  3. Quick links – Providing quick links to key content areas means that consumers can get in and out of a site feeling satisfied with the content they have found, rather than leaving without finding the information.

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THOUGHT STARTER

  • What else could a financial institute do in these hard times to acquire new customers?
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One Response to How to grow the finance industry in a downturn? Try to be honest – MLC Market Watch

  1. Greg Beazley says:

    Another good one Dom.

    Perhaps MLC could extend their service offering with this campaign by offering some sort of complimentary financial planning to customers who inquire and join MLC through this site.

    I think the media have still driven consumer’s emotions on the financial crisis, therefore providing an opportunity to target those who seek assistance in understanding the situation.

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