Case Study: Making a Mobile Mark
As technology rapidly evolves, the influence and impact of ‘mobility’ has become increasingly significant in consumers’ everyday lives. Smartphones are the cornerstone for communication in the 21st century, and for many, they have become the single most important accessory for survival.
Recognizing this ever-growing importance as a leading financial institution, Bank of America is increasingly focused on providing users ease and convenience in the digital space. In 2014, the organization had recently surpassed 15 million active mobile banking users and introduced a newly redesigned mobile app, but the brand needed to solidify its position beyond brief milestone and product offering announcements – Bank of America needed more of a consistent, commanding presence to differentiate itself.
With the ultimate goal of positioning Bank of America as a thought leader in the digital space, the team determined that a research survey of consumers would provide the content needed to communicate the compelling story of mobility, and generate the significant and steady drumbeat of top-tier media coverage needed to heighten the brand’s digital profile. Knowing that a broad mobility report would be an industry-first already positioned Bank of America as an innovative thought leader in the digital space; however, Burson-Marsteller wanted to maximize the survey’s potential interest and shelf life through media relations, social media and influencer outreach.
Launched in June 2014, the first phase of execution was media outreach with a focus on expansive media networks that could extend and repurpose the data across various properties. The team pitched varying story angles and ideas to key personal finance reporters, technology reporters, national columnists and lifestyle outlets. With data from eight target markets, the team also pursued coverage in top regional publications, highlighting prominent story angles and findings unique to each area.
To further build on the earned media results and executive visibility, the team worked with MultiVu on an Audio News Release (ANR) and Radio Media Tour (RMT) in support of the mobility research findings using a bank executive to speak to survey results and emphasize Bank of America’s position as a thought leader in mobility. The team additionally executed a matte release and co-op satellite media tour, working closely with Brandpoint and CMP Media Café to execute.
The team also conducted outreach to previously identified influencers via social media, in order to raise overall awareness, leverage their networks and extend the reach of the Report in the social space.
Just three months following the launch of the report, a USA Today piece stated, “Companies such as Progressive Insurance, Bank of America and Apple are at the forefront of the [mobile] trend.” Such positioning alongside tech giants reinforced the success of the campaign, as well as significant media coverage and social engagement.
In less than six months, the Report generated more than 5,300 media placements and 560 million impressions in top tier outlets including: Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and USA Today, as well as broadcast coverage on NBC’s “TODAY Show” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” A bank executive was quoted in nearly a quarter of the media coverage and conducted numerous interviews allowing for discussion of broader mobile trends, including a front-page Boston Globe feature. Unique content spurred social media conversation resulting in more than 5,800 posts and 75 million impressions.
The Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report has additionally been lauded by the public relations industry for excellence in media relations and corporate branding, garnering award wins and nominations from the IPRA, PRSA, PRWeek and the Holmes Report’s SABRE and In2 SABRE Awards.