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financial services marketing

‘the world weighs 15.4 lbs’

bring. [With] our brand platform, we were trying to own that optimism,” says Dave Wozniak, assistant vice president and head of advertising and sponsorships at Lincoln Financial. In 2011, Lincoln Financial set out to create a new campaign that would build on the optimism of its “Hello Future” campaign, which the company had been running since 2005, by adding a focus on financial self-empowerment. As a B-to-B-to-C company whose products are sold through Merrill Lynch, UBS and Lincoln Financial advisors, Lincoln Financial also wanted to create brand awareness among target customers, males and females ages 35 and up. “We know, from our research, that it’s easier for an advisor to sell a Lincoln product if the consumer is aware of the company. In the retirement plan business, there’s stiff competition. Brand awareness and favorability are important,” says Jamie DePeau, Lincoln Financial’s CMO.

Action

Taking Charge

He’s more than your son. He’s everything. And that’s why, at Lincoln Financial, we do everything we do to Lincoln Financial aims to grow its audience by focusing on help you take charge of your life, plan for the future financial self-empowerment and protect the ones you love. Let’s get started. Call your financial advisor today. By Christine Birkner | Senior Staff Writer

 cbirkner@ama.org

You’re the boss of your life. The Chief Life Officer.

Goal

Putting a positive spin on financial services in the years preceding and following the recession could be a tough marketing challenge, but research conducted by Radnor, Penn.-based Lincoln Financial Group, a provider life

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income

retirement

of annuities, life insurance and 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans, found that consumers were optimistic about their financial futures. “All of our research [said] that people were very optimistic about the future and the potential opportunities that retirement would

group benefits

Lincoln Financial conducted qualitative and quantitative analyses of its customers, prospects and competitors. “We learned that … people were looking for someone to partner with them to help them feel empowered to take charge,” DePeau says. “They had this need to feel in control, and to work with a company that asks them what they want to do and gives them education and tools but doesn’t tell them what to do.” Those findings resulted in a new campaign that launched in November 2011 with the tagline, “You’re in Charge,” which is featured in ads that urge customers to “Be your own chief life officer.” Print and digital ads direct people to BeAChiefLifeOfficer.com, which includes advice for calculating retirement and college costs, and general tips for health and wellness. “If we’re telling people to take charge of their lives and be a chief life officer, we had to provide an experience where they could learn how to take control, not only in their finances, but in their general

advice

marketing news | September 2013 LCN # 11304-2079327 Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and insurance company affiliates, including The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN, and in New York, Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, NY. Variable products distributed by broker/dealer-affiliates. Lincoln Financial Distributors, Inc., Radnor, PA. Securities and investment advisory services offered through other affiliates. © 2013 Lincoln National Corporation.

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FINANCIAL SERVICES MARKETING

Today is not just about who lives in the white house, it’s about who lives in the red one, the brick one, and the apartment house too. Today we don’t just honor the oval office, we honor the cubicle, the open-air office and the home office as well. Because today it’s about all of us. And no matter who you are, or where you live, you’re the commander-in-chief of your own life. And that’s something that will never change. Hail to the Chief Life Officer. Take charge of your life with Lincoln Financial. Visit lfg.com/USATakesCharge

LIFE. INCOME. RETIREMENT. GROUP BENEFITS. ADVICE. Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and insurance company affiliates, including The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN, and in New York, Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, NY. Variable products distributed by broker/dealer-affiliates. Lincoln Financial Distributors, Inc., Radnor, PA. Securities and investment advisory services offered through other affiliates. © 2012 Lincoln National Corporation. LCN # 1210-2073400

life. It’s also an opportunity for them to engage with our brand,” Wozniak says. The multimedia campaign is running in print, digital, TV, radio and outdoor channels, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNBC, Bloomberg TV and NPR. Lincoln Financial now is nearly two years into the campaign, and the company has evolved the messaging and associated imagery. “We kept the campaign fresh by doing a new round of brand photography that really captured the essence of being a ‘chief life officer,’ ” Wozniak says. Lincoln Financial also created a presidential election-themed ad in 2012 with the theme, “Hail to the Chief Life Officer,” and the slogan, “Whether you live in the White House,

the red house or the apartment house, you’re in charge of your own future.” In May and June 2012, Lincoln Financial held a Facebook photo contest inviting users to submit photos illustrating moments when they took charge of their lives. Five contestants who received the most votes on Facebook won an iPad. The company also formed a media partnership with USA Today, sponsoring the paper’s “Money Matters” section. “USA Today creates content around a theme we can speak to, like the need for disability insurance, and we sponsor that content in both print and digital environments. Our calls to action direct readers to the custom content on the same subject on our microsite,” Wozniak says. “We believe that helps to not only surround our target audience with our messaging, but also to build brand engagement.” As a follow-up to the research that Lincoln Financial conducted prior to the campaign’s launch, the company conducted another online study with Whitman Insight Strategies among U.S. adults ages 18 and older called “Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (MOOD) of America” in early 2013, which showed that 80% of Americans were optimistic about the future and 68% felt in control of their lives. The survey results were posted on the campaign’s website. “We thought it might be kind of interesting if we conducted, rather than just a research project to develop a marketing program, a survey that we could make public,” DePeau says. “It served as a nice communication platform for us to further the discussion about how people can take charge of their own lives.”

results

Digital metrics from 2011 to 2012 are not available, but during that time, consumers rated Lincoln Financial higher on key brand attributes including favorability, familiarity and purchase intent, Wozniak says. From 2012 to 2013, monthly average visits to Lincoln Financial’s website increased 29%, visits to the Chief

snapshot

Life Officer microsite increased 53%, branded Web searches (searches that used the keywords “Lincoln Financial,” “LFG” and “chief life officer”) increased 13% and social media mentions increased 10%. Moreover, there was a 198% increase in Facebook fans and a 28% increase in Twitter followers, according to DePeau. The campaign, which is ongoing, also increased Lincoln Financial’s brand awareness, DePeau says. “It’s building the foundation so our colleagues in the line marketing organizations can sell our product [and] it’s creating buzz about Lincoln in the marketplace.” Mich Bergesen, global director of financial sector branding at New Yorkbased Landor Associates, a global branding firm, says that the campaign differentiates Lincoln Financial from its competitors in the insurance industry. “The auto and home insurance industry has used humor to get memorability for their names, things like the Geico gecko and the Aflac duck, but this is much more of a ‘We get it,’ pragmatic, frank tone that they’re adopting, which serves them well. It feels more authentic,” he says. “This feels different in that it draws on that sense of self-direction and empowerment.” m

COMPANY

lincoln Financial Group HEADQUARTERS

Radnor, Penn. RESULTS

From 2012 to 2013, monthly average visits to Lincoln Financial’s website increased 29%, visits to the Chief Life Officer microsite increased 53%, branded Web searches increased 13% and social media mentions increased 10%.

•com For more on financial services marketing, visit MarketingPower.com/marketingnews.

SepTember 2013 | MarketInG neWS

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Taking Charge  

Lincoln Financial aims to grow its audience by focusing on financial self-empowerment

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