Financial Planning Association on its COVID campaign pivot

As economic worries peaked, FPA retooled its campaign to address consumer uncertainty while keeping to its strategic brand pillars

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) recently launched its new campaign, ‘Ask a CFP professional’, to address current COVID-19 issues facing Australian consumers and prompt them to seek professional help for their finances. It was a deliberate decision to pivot this year’s campaign in response to the current crisis, but still fulfills a wider brand agenda.

The campaign consists of five central messages: Creating a solid financial plan, retirement and COVID-19, early access to super, reviewing financial position and having enough super for retirement.

In response to the financial uncertainty in the wake of COVID-19, FPA CEO, Dante De Gori, said the organisation wanted the campaign execution to convey a very clear message that there is trust in financial planners and what a financial planner can do.

The campaign will be rolled out via digital channels and audio advertising, starting on Facebook, Instagram and Google Search advertising, followed by digital display, podcast and regional radio advertising. The choice to go digital-first with this campaign is deliberate and very much a response to the current climate.

“Our research demonstrated out of home is declining in effectiveness due to more people working from home and government advice for Australians to stay home as much as possible,” he told CMO. “On the flipside, this also meant that digital media is becoming an even more powerful channel to reach consumers.”

While in previous years, campaigns have been rolled out across transport and shopping hubs, the choice was made to go 100 per cent digital. With COVID-19 gripping the world, “a lot had changed since we first began to plan and imagine this year’s consumer ad campaign” De Gori said.

The organisation had to make the decision to pivot its 2020 CFP advertising strategy to address consumer need for financial advice in this crisis climate.

“Given how the current financial crisis unfolded, our priority was running a campaign relevant to what Australians are going through and amplifies the critical role that CFP professionals are playing in helping consumers get on the other side of the pandemic,” De Gori said.

De Gori said FPA's wider marketing strategy is underpinned by three strategic pillars, known as the MAC strategy. M stands for members, A stands for advocacy and C for consumers.

“These pillars and the related strategic priorities guide our work, including marketing plans, until 2025,” he said.“Specifically looking at our consumer strategy, the FPA seeks to increase consumer awareness and use of financial planning. Given the current pandemic, this advertising campaign is about ensuring Australians know they can turn to CFP professionals for financial advice, particularly during a time of crisis.”

The organisation has also consulted with its own members for input on the strategy and direction of its campaigns.

“The planning for this year’s campaign has been a true member-led process, with the formation of the advisory panel consisting of eight volunteer CFP professionals who have been working with us on the strategy," De Gori added. 

“We also involved the whole professional membership by inviting them to vote on the strategic direction in January this year."

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