Q&A with Todd Eckler

Chief Marketing Officer
Fiduciary Trust Company

For people to understand what makes us truly unique, they need to go a layer deeper.

How would you characterize Fiduciary Trust Company’s approach to marketing/communications?

At Fiduciary Trust, we are fortunate to have a wealth of insights within the firm, drawn from a talented group of officers. A cornerstone of our marketing program has been to expand both our volume of published insights, and more importantly the channels and media through which we distribute these ideas.

One example is our work on financial and estate planning for family members with memory loss. In the past, we would have only published an article on the topic in our quarterly print newsletter. Working with BackBay Communications, we expanded the use of this content through securing media interviews and coverage, creating a video series with our officers and Lisa Genova (a Harvard-trained neuroscientist and author of Still Alice), and sharing it on social media. We also held an event on the topic with Dr. Genova and distributed the content via our digital newsletter and on our website. This enabled us to get much greater exposure and impact from one insight topic.

What characteristics of Fiduciary Trust Company are you seeking to emphasize as you build the brand, and what tactics are you employing to raise awareness? How effective have they been to date?

There are four areas in which Fiduciary Trust distinguishes itself: Integrity, Personal Service, Disciplined Investing and Expertise. For people to understand what makes us truly unique, they need to go a layer deeper. To raise awareness of our brand and understanding of our distinctiveness at a deeper level, we’ve created an integrated marketing program, with content at its core.

Our content-related elements include earned media, social media, a new website which promotes content, a new marketing automation system which enables us to send customized email communications, live events, and print and digital newsletters. We’ve also started creating content-related videos and hosting regular webcasts with replays.

There are also important marketing elements beyond content: For print and digital advertising, we’ve focused our messaging on drawing a contrast between our firm and mega-financial institutions. In addition, we use sponsorships to raise awareness and engagement, as well as provide venues for proprietary events. Finally, we use search to drive people to our website based on product/service needs as well as content.

How would you characterize the state of marketing/communications at wealth management firms, and what advice would you give other firms that are considering raising their profile?

Having worked previously at two large financial institutions, I have a deep understanding of the marketing programs mega firms employ. In the past, large players had significant marketing scale advantages, particularly in national TV advertising in a major network-centric world. In the digital era, that’s changed. Given the ability to precision target audiences in digital channels, and the relatively low cost of marketing automation and other tools, small and mid-sized players can compete quite effectively, and have a number of advantages over the large firms. In fact, I’ve been able to implement a much more integrated marketing program with our advisors than is possible at some of the large firms.

What marketing/communications initiatives are you most proud of at Fiduciary Trust Company?

On the communications front, I’m particularly proud of our dramatic increases in media coverage, awards received and social media engagement. Before working with BackBay, we were covered in the media about 5 times per quarter. Over the last two quarters, we’ve been averaging 12 times per quarter.

Although our firm has been distinctive for decades, we did not regularly submit our firm for awards consideration. With BackBay’s support with nominations, we’ve been a finalist or received 15 awards. This recognition is particularly valuable in building credibility with prospects.

Finally, on the social media front, we ramped up our LinkedIn and Twitter engagement with BackBay, and have seen an increase of our LinkedIn impressions of over 300 percent, and more than 500 percent on Twitter, over the last ten months. It’s another important way we’ve raised awareness of the firm and our people.