Goldman Sachs (Goldman), a leading global investment banking firm, has found its own way to tap into digital marketing in a highly regulated industry: it has moved the majority of its ad dollars to digital, putting a heavy focus on content creation and social media and relying on the ample data available to drive strategy.
In fact, a whopping 90 percent of Goldman’s marketing activities are digital, according to Amanda Rubin, managing director and global co-head of brand and content strategy at Goldman.
“There are a variety of reasons why we feel more comfortable with digital,” said Rubin during an industry event last week. “From a brand’s perspective, digital platforms offer us an enormous amount of data. By using that data, we are able to know what is valuable, what is interesting, and what is imperative.”
Digital also enables Goldman to heavily focus on content creation, Rubin added, referring to the company’s latest infographic that illuminates the economic impact Millennials will soon have.
The financial institution has also produced sponsored stories (or native advertising) in collaboration with major media companies. For example, its piece called “An Interactive Guide to Capital Markets” was created in collaboration with The New York Times.
Although native advertising has at times stirred up controversy among others in the industry, Rubin sees it in a positive light, as the content delivers value and is clearly labeled “Goldman Sachs.” In her words, native advertising enables a brand to leverage a publisher’s readership, and a publisher to utilize a brand’s expertise, and thus creates value for consumers.
“What [native advertising] is in my mind is a marriage of a brand and a media entity that offer two different things,” she said. “[A publisher] knows who their audience is, what they are interested in, and how they digest information. If [the publisher] brings that engagement and distribution to the table and there’s a theme or a topic we feel Goldman can add to, it will be a beautiful opportunity for creating a valuable piece of content, clearly labeled ‘Goldman Sachs.'”
In addition to branded content, Goldman has also put a lot of weight on social media.
“We are a regulated industry, but we do want our audience to say something and share something, so social has been very important to us,” Rubin noted.
While Goldman does have to comply with industry regulations, the company is “slowly” engaging in some social media channels that it feels are best for the brand. For example, although they don’t yet have a presence on Instagram or Pinterest, they have been engaging with target consumers on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube.
Rubin declined to disclose the exact percentage of paid social in Goldman’s overall marketing mix, but she told ClickZ that it’s a “strong part.”
“We have been leveraging social organically and using paid as well,” she said. “We will continue to grow and refine our social strategy.”
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