Virtual Roundtable: Finance brands talk sponsorship, spending and more

How leaders at TD, HomeEquity, Manulife and MediaCom are thinking about marketing during COVID-19.

Roundatble Group

This is the latest in a virtual roundtable series co-hosted by Strategy and Media in Canada that explores advertisers’ branding, marketing and media investment strategies throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

In this instalment, Media in Canada‘s Bree Rody and Strategy’s Justin Dallaire were joined by leaders in financial services marketing and media. Together, they delved into how some of the biggest brands are investing and planning through the pandemic, adjusting their strategies to meet economic uncertainty and consumers’ health and financial concerns.

The roundtable brought together Stacey Grant-Thompson, CMO at Manulife; Theresa McLaughlin, global CMO at TD Bank Group; Yvonne Ziomecki, CMO and EVP of marketing and sales at HomeEquity Bank; and Kieran Miles, SVP of strategy at MediaCom Canada. They were joined by Shaenie Colterjohn, group client director, and Penny Hicks, managing director of client partnerships, at The Globe and Mail. 

You can listen to the roundtable here, or view the video version below.

The conversation reveals the speed at which many organizations have pivoted to meet the needs of consumers concerned for their health and financial well-being. Organizations are diving more into digital, shifting sponsorship dollars away from live events and major venues (while finding new ways to support their partners), and moving towards content strategies aimed at informing and preparing their customers for an uncertain financial future.


On frequency of messaging, and media amplification

“There’s been a massive amplification in terms of the amount of communication we’ve been sending out as marketing – talking to customers so they’re aware of our programs, they’re reassured and they know they can count on us for help.” – Grant-Thompson

“There are big parts of the population that were five years way from retirement, and are looking for advice. And then [there's the] everyday advice around what consumers can do to manage their money… We’re providing content, through video and other forms, to make sure that we’re front-and-centre with our customers.” – McLaughlin

On looking toward a different future for experiential

“In China, the fear of COVID has really lingered in market. As the lock-downs have come off, the fear of catching COVID has gone up, really. We see shoppers being quite tentative about returning.” – Miles

On being adaptable

“If you think about using sponsorships as a vehicle, there’s a role for experiential marketing, but there’s no doubt, in the world of physical distancing, we’re going to have to think differently about what that experience looks like.” – McLaughlin

“It’s about working with partners and balancing risk. We see a number of brands looking for opportunities as [their competitors] perhaps walked away a little bit from some of their event sponsorships or their sports sponsorships… What’s the risk of walking away?” – Miles