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Mastering tentpole marketing for finance brands

Mastering tentpole marketing for finance brands


6 months ago

6 months ago


For finance brands to stay ahead, it calls for more than just staying on top of industry trends—it requires brands to set the trends. One strategy that has proven to be a cornerstone for many successful finance brands is the concept of tentpole marketing. Drawing insights from global examples and spotlighting the success of Aviva Investors’ ‘Little Book of Data’ created by The Dubs Agency, here we explain the intricacies of tentpole marketing and its benefits.

What is tentpole marketing?

Tentpole marketing, also known as big rock or blockbuster content revolves around creating an annual piece of content that becomes a cornerstone topic, defining your brand’s narrative and establishing its authority in the industry. This type of content is the bedrock of your brand’s annual marketing strategy, providing a focal point for campaigns and a consistent touchpoint for consumers.

“ Tentpole marketing in the finance industry is not merely a strategy; it’s a mindset.”

The term ‘tentpole’ simply represents how this content holds up your brand’s overarching marketing ‘tent’ throughout the year.

Real examples of finance brands dominating tentpole marketing

  1. Barclays Premier League Sponsorship
    Barclays’ long-standing sponsorship of the English Premier League serves as an excellent example of tentpole marketing. This yearly investment not only aligns the brand with a globally watched sports event but also allows Barclays to integrate its financial products seamlessly into the passion and excitement of football.
  2. BlackRock: Global Investor Pulse
    BlackRock conducts the “Global Investor Pulse” survey, an extensive research initiative that explores individual investors’ attitudes, behaviors, and challenges. The findings are shared through reports and visually engaging, interactive online platforms, providing BlackRock with a tentpole content piece that enhances its thought leadership and client engagement.
  3. ING and the Amsterdam Marathon
    ING’s sponsorship of the Amsterdam Marathon exemplifies the fusion of finance with a healthy and active lifestyle. By associating with a major running event, ING strengthens its brand’s connection with the community and underscores its commitment to wellbeing.
  4. NatWest: Student Living Index
    NatWest in the UK publishes an annual “Student Living Index”, a research report that explores the financial behaviours and challenges of university students. Interactive tools designed for students to make informed decisions about their finances, university and student life. The index also breaks down student living costs through graphs, pull-out data and easy-to-understand explanations.
  5. DBS Bank and Marina Bay Sands Light Show (Singapore)
    DBS Bank in Singapore collaborates with Marina Bay Sands to create a spectacular light and water show. The event, called “DBS Marina Regatta,” is part of the bank’s efforts to engage with the community and promote its brand through innovative and visually striking experiences.

The benefits of tentpole marketing

  • Consistent brand visibility: Annual tentpole content provides a consistent platform for brand exposure, reinforcing messaging and values.
  • Establishing authority: Owning a recurring topic positions a brand as an authority in the field, fostering trust and credibility among consumers.
  • Cultivating audience anticipation: Successful tentpole content creates anticipation, with audiences eagerly awaiting each year’s release, driving engagement and loyalty.

Best practices for success

  • Atomisation for year-round impact: Break down the tentpole content into bite-sized pieces for year-round distribution. This could include blog posts, social media snippets, and multimedia formats to keep the audience engaged throughout the year.
  • Strategic distribution: Identify the channels most relevant to your audience and strategically distribute content across platforms. Leverage social media, email marketing and partnerships to maximise reach.

Case study

Working with The Dubs Agency, Aviva Investors’ ‘Little Book of Data’ stands as a shining example of tentpole marketing. Now in its sixth year, this publication has become a sought-after annual release in the finance industry. The success of the ‘Little Book of Data’ can be attributed to several key elements:

  • Rich insights and data: The ‘Little Book of Data’ doesn’t just present data; it delivers meaningful insights and trends through storytelling.
  • Engaging visuals: The content is visually appealing, making complex data accessible and digestible for a wide audience.
  • Consistency and innovation: While maintaining a consistent annual release, Aviva Investors also introduces innovative elements like engaging maps, stunning visuals and exciting graphics to keep the content fresh.

Final thoughts

Tentpole marketing in the finance industry is not merely a strategy; it’s a mindset. Finance brands that embrace this approach, creating content that resonates, educates, and captivates their audience, will find themselves not just riding the waves of industry change but shaping them.

Aviva Investors’ ‘Little Book of Data’ serves as an inspiring example of the power of tentpole marketing—a power that, when harnessed effectively, can propel a brand to new heights year after year.

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