How do you inspire the next generation of Registered Investment Advisors?
Role: Creative Brand Manager
Charles Schwab provides a modern approach to investing and they want to reach the next generation of investment advisors. In a project supervised by Charles Schwab's agency of record, The Richards Group, we were tasked with finding who the next group of advisors were and how to communicate with them. The team outlined what Charles Schwab could do to reach these prospective RIAs.
Integrated Brand Identity Campaign - Gold
Create an awareness campaign for the career field of Independent Registered Investment Advisors
1. Students have a negative perception of the finance industry
2. Students don’t know what an Independent RIA is or does
Bring awareness and education about the RIA field
Average students didn't recognize what an Registered Investment Advisor does or even was. Students compared it to an accountant but we find out through interviews with Personal Financial Planning majors that this wasn't the case and that the general student needed to be educated on what an RIA is before they are recruited.
Separate the RIA industry from other finance jobs
Students did know one thing about the RIA field and that was that it was in the financial industry... they don't like that. They associate the industry with math, wealth, greediness and a lack of compassion, one student even referred to "Wolf of Wall Street". A career as an RIA needs to stand away from the financial industry if it wants to flourish.
One on One interviews
Initially the client was dead set on targeting high school seniors and their parents for this campaign but through multiple forms of research we had to make a change in the plans.
Our national survey was the first red flag when more than half of the 1,102 seniors we surveyed said they were not confident they knew what they wanted to do for a career and that they knew little to nothing about financial careers.
Then after interviewing high school counselors we became even more concerned about a campaign for high school seniors after hearing that students normally tell their counselors that they plan to, "pick to go to a particular college and then find their major there". - Rita Pritchett, Lubbock Christian School Counselor
Lastly we wanted to ask high schoolers face to face before we brought this information to the client's attention. The high schooler seniors we interviewed in a focus group setting either hadn't decided on a major or decided but weren't set on keeping that major. One student said, "I thought I had decided on psychology and then realized I did not want to do that, and I have an interest in marketing now, so I want to combine those into one."
After presenting the research above to the client and giving them insights on the audience we want to target they agreed to redirect our efforts. Instead of targeting high school seniors we decided to focus more on college students looking for an initial or new major that possess a certain type of
mind set. So who is the type of person we were looking to join a Personal Financial Planning program:
“A lot of them come in saying, ‘you know, I’ve heard about Personal financial planning. It’s more working with people, helping people meet their goals, and that’s something I see myself doing.’”
-Cynthia Cantu, Texas Tech PFP advisor
“...an exceptional [PFP] student is one that connects to the profession at a higher level, is one that says you know what it’s great to do these things but I don’t want to just do these things, I want to be these things.”
-Dr. Browning, Texas Tech PFP Professor
“If you were at a ball game and a PFP student was sitting next to you, you would have a conversation with him
the whole game.”
-Mark Rizvi, Texas Tech PFP major
Enabling Peace of Financial Mind
A Trustworthy, Compassionate Guide
Collaborative Entreprenuers Invested in Their Communities
Creating a brand strategy for this campaign was different than creating a strategy for a clothing or food company because this brand strategy is for the RIA career field or as we decided to call them for strategy purposes, "Empathetic Problem Solvers":
To Empathetic Problem Solvers, the independent RIA model is the career path that creates shared financial success by building lifelong connections.
Who I Want To Be
This is a career built for individuals with a certain amount emotional intelligence, make a campaign with the same amount of
"I don’t want to just do these things, I want to be these things.”
The tagline, “Who I Want To Be,” is call out to all students searching for a major with a higher meaning. We are asking for all the students who want to be Empathetic Problem Solvers, Collaborative Entrepenuaers, or a Trustworthy, Compassionate Guide.
After gathering the insights and knowledge about this career field and the students we wanted to target we had to find an effective way to communicate with them. We ran a series of eye tracking tests with 20 participants, some going into the RIA field and others that were just average students.
We found that students were interested in what the job was and wanted more information from our ads. The eye tracking pointed to several key things that would need to be featured in our ads such as: Peoples faces, copy heavy, and a call to action that would send perspective students to a landing page for more information.
Students that interviewed through the eye tracking tests said an area where they can easily access information about RIAs could help them make an educated switch to a Personal Financial Planning major. We took this idea seriously and created a landing page for the campaign but we wanted it to be more than just a landing page, we wanted to give RIAs an online home where they can hear news and share ideas to benefit the industry as a whole. (Comparable to an Adweek or an Adage)