With customers expecting a personalized experience across a growing number of channels, today’s financial services marketers must navigate many new variables on the path to success.

One obstacle to avoid in this new environment: taking a transactional, one-size-fits-all approach to customer engagement, which — in a digitized, social-media-driven world — is likely to fall short of the target, says Erin Slater, Head of Financial Services Strategy at Quad.

“It’s hard to break through the noise as we’re all swimming in data,” Slater says. “The key is to favor connection, engagement and even intimacy and create a digital version of the days when community bankers kept you from overspending and insurance agents called to wish you a happy birthday.”

Brands are heeding the call. Banks, insurers, investment managers and others are investing in campaigns that help build these emotional ties to grow loyalty.

Quad looked at three of these campaigns and asked our experts to weigh in about why a personal approach outperforms the transactional every time.

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Ally Financial

Financial stability isn’t merely about accumulating wealth; it’s about having the financial freedom to pursue your dreams, navigate unexpected challenges and build a secure future. Now more than ever, the world is in need of a supportive ally. 

In their latest campaign, “IconicALLY,” Ally Financial partnered with Anomaly to communicate to consumers that they are the financial institution dedicated to supporting them every step of the way.

The 60-second spot features heartwarming scenes including a father and daughter playing soccer, a couple enjoying a romantic date and friends renovating a home. These scenes are complemented by contextually relevant words ending in “a-l-l-y,” emphasizing the importance of having a trusted ally by your side.

Ally is one of the 25 largest bank holding companies in the United States, with almost $200 billion in assets and more than 11 million customers nationwide.

Expert’s take:

Erin Slater, Quad

“I really admire how Ally Financial was able to crystalize their brand promise in this campaign. A strong brand promise should be the foundation of all of your marketing efforts. By consistently delivering on this brand promise, you are able to communicate trust and credibility across the entire marketing ecosystem, instilling confidence in both your brand and its customers.”

Intuit QuickBooks

A few years ago, Intuit discovered that sign-ups for its QuickBooks ProAdvisor loyalty program for accountants had plateaued. Working with creative agency Periscope, a Quad company, the brand zeroed in on the potential reason why: It was being perhaps too faithful to the precise language of the profession. Together, they set out to add personality and fun to the program’s dry messaging.

Periscope guided Intuit in creating The Society of ProAdvisory microsite, which with humorously cryptic messaging and illuminati-inspired themes was designed to honor a “secret order of accounting masters.” The campaign offered in-real-life touchpoints, such as a pop-up members-only lounge at an Intuit conference where accountant-inspired drinks were served, as well as interactive destinations on social media.

Altogether, the campaign produced a 1,200% increase in engagement with the ProAdvisor program and helped stimulate submission of more than six hours of voluntary testimonial footage. Visits to the site averaged 3 minutes and 17 seconds in duration.

Expert’s take

Periscope delves into the creation of the Society of ProAdvisory campaign in a case study:

“Through numerous interviews with QuickBooks users, we heard the same request: Talk to us like people. We discovered that recent communication from ProAdvisor had relied heavily on wonky lecturing, sterile messaging and even professional stereotypes. To convince users to return to ProAdvisor, we needed to do something that would seriously subvert their expectations.”


Most people understand that buying insurance offers a way of mitigating life’s risks, but one large insurer decided to focus its marketing beyond the textbook benefits of insurance.

Allianz’s “Prepared for Life” campaign, created out of Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, repositions the brand’s offerings as a foundational element of experiencing life. Most notably, the campaign’s 90-second brand anthem film, called “The Fountain of Life,” features scenes of people young and old enjoying the water: platform and scuba diving, frolicking at the beach, swimming in backyard and community pools — even a baby getting a bath in the kitchen sink.

The tagline is a metaphysical question: “Can you imagine if we learned to swim only to avoid drowning?” The message: Securing insurance, like learning to swim, helps consumers “make the most of the adventure of living.”

The broader campaign runs across TV, online, print and digital out-of-home.

Expert’s take:

Devon Craig, Head of Financial Services Marketing, Quad

Brands no longer have the luxury of using expected, impersonal messaging. Making customers feel like a policy number or just another customer won’t keep them around. Financial services brands have to say loud and clear that they will be there for you, in good times and bad, to bring an honest, human element to the relationshipand Allianz does that really effectively here.”

More from Quad for financial services marketers

Leveraging human connection is essential to successful CX in today’s landscape, but as consumers expect to engage with their financial services providers across more channels than ever, so is an impactful omnichannel strategy. Find out more here.

Learn more about how Quad is helping today’s financial services marketers get the most out of their budget by downloading our playbook, Finance industry intelligence to fuel market success.