Fidelity Bets Big On Digital

Jennifer Horowitz

Fidelity Investments currently allocates a 40% investment toward digital. With mobile being one of the technologies that exploded during the financial downturn, the company seeks to find competitive leverage in technologies such as its Android mobile application. 

Jim Speros, chief marketing officer at Fidelity Investments, was recently interviewed by eMarketer regarding Fidelity’s commitment to competitively leverage online and digital marketing, both of which increased during the financial downturn. Speros stressed the importance of staying on top of digital trends and its complexities as well as fluctuating market changes and challenges within the regulated banking industry:

There’s a fundamental belief in marketing at Fidelity, and what all the research has shown over the years—and not just here, but within the advertising industry—is that marketers who maintain their marketing pressure during an economic downturn usually come out of it stronger than competitors. We’ve seen that in our own business.”

Speros’ statement is true. In economic downturns and during times of crisis, organizations tend to cut budgets. But by increasing investments in digital while competitors are withdrawn, organizations are able to rely on resilience by increasing market share and return on investments by leveraging lower budget costs. And even despite bank regulations, Fidelity Investments’ outlook is positive for mobile.  

Developing new strategies for digital should be embraced during tough economic times to enhance leadership and value. Effective campaigns such as Fidelity’s “Green Line,” which uses a financial GPS system to indicate a correct route on a GPS, can benefit management’s ability to profit for the organization.

Jim Speros continued:

During 2008 to 2009 when we saw a huge decline in the market, we stayed the course and invested in the Green Line campaign. I think our message was spot on because the whole idea was that it signified guidance and navigation. During that period in particular, people wanted guidance [on] what they should do with their money. That’s what the Green Line stood for … just like a GPS system … we were their financial GPS system during this economic downturn. That really served us well, and while others were pulling back on their spends, we actually increased our spending during that period and did quite well.”

I would agree. If you remain bullish during economic downturns, ROI is optimistic and so is organizational rebalancing. An organization can also rely on its existing client or customer base for loyalty during such times. People seek out thought leadership. For example, capitalizing on awareness within an industry by executing campaigns centered around thought leadership, digital and mobile strategies, trade show and conference exhibits, and sponsoring and forming strategic alliances, people will likely return to those familiar brands they know and trust.

There are numerous lessons that can be learned from economic downturns. Organizations should understand that a successful digital campaign must be sustainable, fresh, and able to provide long-term value for the company. Going long-term is crucial for success. Campaign objectives that survive and sustain momentum over the long term will deliver a competitive advantage.

For more on smart digital strategies, see The Digital Transformation Journey Starts Here.


Jennifer Horowitz

About Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz is a management consultant and journalist with over 15 years of experience working in the technology, financial, hospitality, real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, not for profit, and retail sectors. She specializes in the field of analytics, offering management consulting serving global clients from midsize to large-scale organizations. Within the field of analytics, she helps higher-level organizations define their metrics strategies, create concepts, define problems, conduct analysis, problem solve, and execute.

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