- Banks are using content to build trust, win new customers, and defend against fintech startups.
- JPMorgan Chase CMO Carla Hassan sees perks and experiences as a competitive edge.
- She discussed the bank’s recent purchase of The Infatuation and what’s next.
Traditional banks have ramped up their content marketing efforts as they try to rebuild consumer trust and attract new customers, while also defending their businesses against.
With those efforts have come increased marketing spending, an analysis of financial-marketing spending data by EMI Strategic Marketing found. JPMorgan Chase, for example, has signaled it planned to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, while Citigroup — whose spending fell 20% in 2020 — increased its budget by 2% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2020, EMI found.
JPMorgan Chase has taken a broader view of content than some of its peers, buying restaurant-review site The Infatuation in a surprise move last year. It’s also hired a new head of content for wealth management to attract “mass-affluent” clients to its investment services.
That work continues under global CMO Carla Hassan, who moved over in October from Citi, where she made a mark using advertising to spotlight social justice issues. She defines content as products and services that benefit clients and employees alike. And like many marketers today, she emphasizes the rigor that goes into identifying what customers are looking for and how the content performs.
“We’re very careful about how we spend our marketing,” said Hassan, whose efforts have landed her on Insider’s 2022 Most Innovative CMOs list. “We have very sophisticated models. There are very few things that don’t go through a rigorous exercise and funnel. And in a world with all the digital tools we have, we can do that.”
With The Infatuation, JPMorgan sees a chance to offer benefits and experiences to food enthusiasts. At The Infatuation’s food festival, Eeeeeatscon, Chase’s Sapphire card members got perks like early access to tickets and entry to a lounge where they could sample signature dishes.
Later this year, it plans to launch Chase Travel, a full-service portal where card members can book travel. JPMorgan is expected to go after high-end travelers and rely on features like access to rare reservations and restaurant guides to distinguish itself.
“We know experiences are a way to add value, which can be a competitive advantage,” Hassan said.
With wealth management, JPMorgan, like other banks, has been trying to cater to the so-called “mass affluent,” who collectively have a lot of wealth and are looking for more sophisticated investment options. JPMorgan just hired a longtime marketing executive, Morgan Stanley vet Paul Halpern, to expand its wealth management arm.
To do this, JPMorgan has taken a more conventional approach to content, but with videos and articles that feature friendly bank employees and talk about life moments like buying a home rather than dry financial instruments. The bank last July hired David Moss, who oversaw Robinhood’s content machine, to lead the effort.
“The reality is, our mass-affluent consumer has pretty low awareness that JPMorgan Wealth Management can serve them,” Hassan said. “They may have a credit card with us, a savings account with us. We talk to them about things you wouldn’t imagine a financial services company would talk about: We may talk about home lending; they talk about home ownership. It’s a way to provide another service to them as they think about their lifespan and well being.”