BlackRock, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, is a late entrant to the world of digital marketing. And perhaps because of its infancy, how to spend advertising dollars wisely has become one of the most-discussed topics within the firm’s marketing department.
When it comes to their digital marketing spend, BlackRock is still at an early stage. With total assets of approximately $4.4 trillion, the financial empire has a very small marketing budget comparatively: somewhere between $10 million and $1 billion.
“There’s a perception that [when] you manage $4.4 trillion, you must have massive [marketing] budget, and the reality is we don’t,” said Matt Van Dalsem, director of global media planning at BlackRock, during his panel discussion at The Big Rethink hosted by The Economist. “We grow to $4.4 trillion not on the back of marketing, but on the back of great product, mergers and acquisitions [M&A], and talented people,” he continued.
In fact, the company’s first-ever ad was released just four years ago, with four-page inserts in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, according to Van Dalsem.
Compared to consumer-facing brands, BlackRock has a comparatively small target audience in the U.S., consisting of 300,000 financial advisors and institutional investors. Therefore, the company puts much more weight on target marketing versus mass marketing, primarily in the form of contextual targeting, said Van Dalsem.
So how can other financial firms and brands in other industry verticals spend their marketing dollars wisely? And looking at the bigger picture, what are the mistakes digital marketers make when they execute their marketing strategies?
Watch the first part of our video series with BlackRock below to hear what Van Dalsem had to say on these questions and more.