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Investment management firm Challenger picks new agency partners

Investment management firm Challenger has appointed Match Media and J. Walter Thompson to handle its AU$10 million account, and is for the first time is splitting the media and creative duties between two specialist agencies.

Challenger Limited is an ASX-listed investment management firm managing more than AU$60.4 billion in assets with a commitment to providing Australians with financial security in retirement. In the saving phase of superannuation Challenger’s investment products help build wealth. In the spending phase of retirement, they help convert this wealth into safe and reliable income streams in the form of innovative annuities.

Stuart Barton, general manager corporate and consumer marketing & communications at Challenger explained that the brand has a customer targeting problem that makes mass communication necessary but potentially more wasteful than other general financial categories like banking and insurance.

“You don’t need to know about annuities until you’re in your 50s and thinking about retirement. You might only design your retirement plan once, take a long time to choose your investments, only buy one annuity in your lifetime and it’s usually based on the recommendation of a financial adviser. Against that backdrop we needed to rethink our communications partners,” Barton said.

On the brand’s journey to transition from a B2B to a B2C financial brand, it initially went with a one-stop-shop.

“We have been served very well by 303Lowe since 2010. But this year we decided to take a risk on fresh pairs of eyes, so we put our entire account out to pitch. J. Walter Thompson’s strategic nous and gold creative work impressed us enormously while Match brought an analytical rigour and commitment to excellence that we feel is unrivalled among media agencies,” he added.

This is the first win for Match since the acquisition by Publicis.

John Preston CEO of Match said: “One of the key values of Match and Blue 449 is collaboration and an open source approach to business relationships. We are looking forward to working side-by-side with the Challenger marketing team and J. Walter Thompson. Challenger is a great business with complex communications objectives. We are looking forward to the intellectual challenge of working in a heavily regulated category as well as providing analytics on the interplay between the end user and the role of the financial advisor in the customer journey.”

J Walter Thompson Sydney general manager, Jenny Willits added that the team was excited and delighted to be working with a brand putting customer insights at the heart of strategy and creative work.

“Challenger has disrupted the financial services category and effectively written the textbook on transforming from a B2B to B2C brand. We look forward to helping write the next chapter,” she said.

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