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Prudential: a finance content marketing case study that travels

The ultimate road trip

Prepare to experience some of the best financial services content around – involving an 18,000 kilometre road trip, escape rooms and 3,000 Americans. Here we bring you a finance content marketing case study that has multiple awards as its end destination.

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Prudential is a Fortune 500 Company with $1.456 trillion in assets and 20 million customers. It’s also one of the biggest insurance companies in the US – and one of the most successful at finance content marketing, having won 21 prizes at the 2017 Financial Communications Society (FCS) Awards in New York City.

The Challenge

What’s not challenging about getting people to save instead of spend? Most of us think about today, not tomorrow. And we’d rather plan our next holiday than our funeral. Talk numbers and our eyes glaze over.

Like all finance companies, Prudential faces the challenge of making money sing. Its goal is to educate, in order to change behaviour. And, as a 140-year-old company, it can’t stick to old-fashioned ways. Enter brilliant, surprising, multi-faceted finance content marketing.

Enter brilliant, surprising, multi-faceted finance content marketing.

The Strategy

If there’s one fail proof way to find out where your customers are at, it’s asking them. So, Prudential hit the road on a national listening tour where they spoke to more than 3,000 Americans — and came home with stacks of original content.

The result is the Financial Wellness Census™, which, with the help of NYC’s Droga 5 ad agency, Prudential transformed into ‘The State of US’, an epic finance content marketing campaign. Users begin their journey with an animated infographic, housed on Prudential’s website home page. It provides a bird’s eye view, while revealing provocative insights, like ‘Of those who are the most behind (financially), nearly a third think they are actually in good shape’.

It’s also possible to explore results through a range of lenses, including gender, generation, marital status and employment. And users can find out where they stand via an interactive self-assessment quiz.

Adding a human element is a series of videos hosted by wellness expert Alexandra Drane and featuring local personalities, including Elsie Eiler, the one and only resident of Monowi, Nebraska. At 84, she’s the town’s bartender, mayor, librarian and record keeper.

Meanwhile, in Houston, Texas, we discover that 1 in 4 millennials are caregivers; in California, we visit Loma Linda whose residents are 10 times more likely to live until 100 than the average American; and, in Orlando, Florida, we find out why manufacturing is growing. Each video drives the viewer to Prudential’s website for more targeted content.

Why is this an ultimate finance content marketing case study?

‘The State of US’ is outstanding for both its national scope and its local appeal. On one hand, the campaign is one of the most comprehensive studies of American financial health since the 2008 global financial crisis. On the other, it’s a moving, compassionate, diverse document of people and places all over the country.

Instead of sticking to hackneyed platitudes and superficial offers of advice, Prudential travels deeply into individuals’ lives, experiences and needs.

“[The] foundation of listening is what makes this campaign so profound. So often, we get stuck in our own little bubbles about what financial wellness looks like,” writes journalist Carrie Kerpen on Forbes.

By the way, this isn’t the only example of Prudential’s best financial services content. Check out the 4.01k Race for Retirement.

The results

Several of ‘The State of US’ videos inspired more than one million views on YouTube. Houston’s millennials came out on top, with more than 3.8 million hits.

Overall, the campaign increased consideration of Prudential as a financial services partner by 5%.

Want a content strategy that delivers measureable results? Get in touch.

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Jasmine Crittenden
Jasmine Crittenden has written extensively for major finance brands including Westpac, BT Financial Group, Suncorp and Aberdeen Standard Investments – across both digital and print. She’s an expert in content that puts the human element in finance marketing, be it connecting with local communities, inspiring millennials to care about super or clarifying the complexities of personal loans.