CORPORATE TREASURY PROGRAMME
Deutsche Bank’s Global Transaction Banking (GTB) Team approached EI Agency in 2014 with a very specific challenge. DB’s Cash Management and Trade Finance Business within GTB (which targets group treasurers of the
world’s largest companies) was marketing itself through industry trade shows, events, and trade media activities which were all dominated by DB’s competitors. Everywhere DB looked, competitors were sponsoring activities at
a higher level or spending more on advertising or sponsorship in the trade media or at industry events. Shark infested waters!
Equally, over the years, DB’s own marketing media plan had swollen to an overgrown level. DB’s business executives outside of marketing felt pressure to take part in trade media and events, either because DB GTB had always been there and taken part, or because competitors are there so DB GTB felt that it needed to be there as well. Being so thinly spread across multiple activities, DB GTB lacked impact in each activity but also lacked any real consistency in content and messaging across the year. DB was drowned out and lost in the noise. DB’s Marketing Team and Executive Committee saw the need for change. The objective was to run fewer, bigger, better and the need was to shift perception of DB and its work with Group treasurers around the world, but also to create better opportunities to meet key prospects and clients around the world away from competitors.
DB was also keen to elevate the discussion it was having with Corporate Treasurers to a macro level. Given the commoditised nature of the cash management space, with little room to differentiate when talking at the product level, DB was keen to show how the work it was doing is impacting as a force for good in wider society, banking for the real economy around the world.
Having interviewed 25 senior business executives at Deutsche Bank, including members of their Executive Committee, EI Agency ran a detailed primary research project to identify the most powerful trade media, event and
trade association activities for DB around the world. We assessed over 200 activities across Cash Management and in Trade Finance. With a detailed understanding of what DB was trying to achieve, we were able to distil this down to a core plan of just 25 activities which in EI’s independent view were the ‘must do’ activities for GTB for the year.
However this was only part of the story. During our extensive research EI’s team concluded that even with a newly assessed core plan of fewer activities, DB was always going to be operating where competitors already held a
dominating position. Moreover, in our research, given DB’s razor focus on group treasurers of some of the world’s largest MNCs, we felt that those particular individuals were not being engaged in a meaningful innovative way by offerings from the trade media and events spaces. It was the same, tired old content and the same faces and stories at the trade events.
The real opportunity for DB GTB in this space was not in fact within the Trade Media, Events and Associations space, but above it – with the broad business media. Trawling back through our notes from interviewing across 25
executives from DB’s business, it also became clear that DB was keen to elevate the discussion it was having with Group Treasurers to a macro level. DB was keen to show how the work it was doing is impacting as a force for good
in wider society, banking for the real economy around the world. EI also took on board DB’s culture and mission to be client-centric, and the mission for marketing to operate like a magnet rather than a megaphone. EI set about assessing the reach and capabilities of the world’s broad business media houses. We engaged specially selected media suppliers and closely crafted with them a set of proposals for engaging with DB’s Target audience in a
truly meaningful and innovative way. We focused on generating compelling content and a unique convening strategy which played into all of the above and had an amplification element to it.
After extensive investigation and analysis, Financial Times and The Economist came out on top.
EI’s PROPOSAL WITH ECONOMIST
EI saw a unique opportunity for The Economist Group to bring several of its businesses together very smartly for this programme. The Economist Intelligence Unit, (EIU – The Economist Conference and Research division); Eurofinance, an Economist Group Subsidiary which runs trade shows for Treasurers around the world; and The Economist Newspaper.
Eurofinance runs some of the world’s largest events for Corporate Treasurers and their Flagship forum, Eurofinance International, is deemed a must-attend for anyone working in this space – including Deutsche Bank and their
competitors. EI saw a strategic opportunity here. Despite being part of the same group, Eurofinance and The Economist had never before come together to work on an integrated programme for a client. The solution which resonated with DB was for EIU to develop an Economist-branded survey and report which focused on macro issues affecting the Treasurer.
The EIU team surveyed 300 Global Corporate Treasury executives across the Americas, EMEA and APAC with turnover above $1bn – a very specific profile. The vision was to create an independent piece of research that genuinely added
value to the treasury community, and ultimately positioned DB at the heart of conversations about the evolving role of the corporate treasurer.
EI’s PROPOSAL WITH FINANCIAL TIMES LIVE
EI and FT’s Conference and Events Division devised a proposal to create a series of 3 x ‘Global Corporate Treasury Leadership Retreats’; one in EMEA, one in the Americas and one in APAC – all exclusively sponsored by Deutsche Bank. Rather than just adding to the plethora of conferences and trade shows already happening around the world, each with a raft of sponsors, the concept here was to leverage The FT brand and actually provide something different – a macro orientated, senior and truly ‘white-glove’ event for Corporate Treasurers, akin to events already provided to their CFOs colleagues, recognising the increasingly strategic nature of the corporate treasurer’s role. The aim was to create a ‘mini Davos for Treasurers’, in which Group Treasurers from the world’s largest corporates could meet in an exclusive, non cluttered environment away from the city centre over the course of 2 days, with dinners and networking time, and take part in a series of discussions facilitated by top FT editors, all under the theme of ‘Corporate Treasurers Driving
The EIU survey and report were timed to coincide with Eurofinance International in September 2015 and were launched at an invite-only, Economist-branded content session chaired by EIU. Two leading Group Treasurers from Lenovo and Levi Strauss led discussions, alongside Deutsche Bank. At the event, and over the coming weeks, a significant amplification strategy highlighting the survey findings was delivered to the global business community.
• 7,898 report downloads (Sept-Dec 2015).
• Over 6,000 video views on EIU Insights, YouTube, Facebook, SlideShare
• Above average page-views and downloads generated from EIU Newsletters
• Special interactive ads on Economist Digital Editions. Exceptional response including Ad#3: 650k views in a week (10% tap-through rate). Given the niche focus of the content and the Economist’s wide audience, this demonstrates how DB lifted their message to the macro level.
FT Global Treasury Leadership Retreat Series: 1st Leg Complete in Singapore, November 2015. A stellar cast of corporate, editorial and policy speakers.
• The Event was advertised 6 times in the FT Newspaper globally, in high-profile positions and across ft.com (addedvalue well over £270k)
• 108 attendees on the day, with a target of 70. Group Treasurers from the likes of Toyota, Singapore Airlines, Shell, Siemens, Bosch, Pfizer, Michelin, Maersk, Johnson & Johnson etc.
• Exceptional feedback from Corporate Treasurers about the environment and discussion quality, and from DB relationship
• FT presenting a specific ‘retreat’ for treasurers, and DB being the only sponsoring partner was a winning combination.
Planning now well under way for the 2016 series: Americas, EMEA and APAC.
DB now offers group treasurers something beyond the regular content of treasury trade media and events. Neither activities press DB’s view of the world but are designed as client-centric activities adding genuine value through their content and environment: a subtle, clever alignment that places DB at the helm of innovation in this space, pulling clients towards them
rather than pushing out the same old product messaging. The boldness in this go-to-market strategy should not be underestimated.