Throughout our digital marketing project with Wahed, we were able to peer into and understand a new market: social impact and values-based investing. Millennials in particular are leading this charge. In a study conducted by Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Living, it was found that young individuals are the group with the most interest in sustainable investing and are 2x as likely as the rest of the population to invest in companies that target social/environmental goals. Similarly, robo-advisors have become a millennial-friendly investment tool due to their affordability, convenience, transparency, and automation. With these opportunities, wealth management has become more inclusive, and populations who have possibly been excluded from investment are now looking to dive in – specifically, they are more likely to invest in products that reflect who they are and what they care about. For this reason, it is critical that players in this market focus on the customer experience in order to optimize their targeting. Understanding which platforms to utilize and which ones will give you the most reach for your budget is also an important insight gained from this project. From what we learned and implemented with Wahed, the best way to differentiate your company from others is to use images and videos of real people who look like investors in order to showcase that your product is being used and loved by individuals whom the public can relate to or know: e.g. influencers, celebrities, etc.
Founded on the principles of ethicality, efficiency, and accessibility, Wahed Invest is an online investment advisor that is Shari’ah compliant. Shari’ah is the Islmaic ethico-legal system; therefore, Wahed’s halal investments are permissable for Muslim investors. As such, Wahed is a niche investment firm in a market valued at RM1.99 trillion (2018) and is the first Muslim-American S&P index fund. It is also venture-backed by BECO Capital and Cue Ball. They offer low fees, showcase diverse portfolios, and are digitally proficient. Unlike their competitors, Wahed offers a user-friendly mobile application, a navigable website, and an easy enrollment process.
When Wahed came to Fifth Tribe in December of 2018, their pain points uniquely pertained to digital marketing. They were looking to use online platforms as a viable channel to grow their user base and to become a competitor in the niche, value-based robo financial advisor sector. With their prior strategy and seven figure ad budget, they were generating a few thousand users but were hoping to optimize with a more efficient data infrastructure and audience profiles in order to scale their growth. For instance, a majority of their budget was being allocated towards Facebook ads, but without any trackable metrics, reporting, or analytics, the efficiency and budget-friendly nature of this channel were unclear. They were also unable to measure the impact that their campaigns were having on users. Wahed Invest partnered with us to 1) create an online marketing strategy with measurable reporting, 2) create online audience profiles aligned with their niche product, and 3) implement a strategy to target that audience. After improving targeting, their goal was to lower cost/acquisition in order to optimize their budget.
This project’s deliverables included established marketing channels that featured effective ad content and target demographics that would remain relevant long after Wahed’s partnership with Fifth Tribe. Instead of solely prioritizing user reach, we focused on lowering overall cost/acquisition so that their budget could be scalable over time. Our initial audit created a baseline budget, which was an initial reduction of 80% in cost/user; we beat this goal by reaching a point where we were averaging 38% less than this baseline for cost/acquisition. After further optimization as we ran the targeted campaigns, we reached nearly 80% lower cost/acquisition than the original target; at its lowest, this number is an incredible 2.5% of what they were spending before our partnership, and it averages at a 90.9% reduction.
To begin our project with Wahed Invest, we began by conducting a digital audit of user profiles, challenges, and goals. In doing so, we also found that there was significant wasted spending in their ad budget: while spending five figures on search ads, they were receiving 85% less clicks. These numbers indicated to us that present marketing campaigns, targeting strategies, and channel optimization needed to be refined. From the audit, we gathered audience data, which we segmented according to demographics, location, marital status, education level, and areas of employment (to name a few). This segmentation allowed us to identify investor pain points, which then, coupled with our extensive in-house research, enabled us to create detailed audience profiles of current Wahed users, as well as potential investors in the Muslim-American market. These profiles facilitated the collection of an asset library of videos and images to utilize in the marketing campaigns. A primary consideration in this process was to showcase content that would be both relatable and relevant to potential investors. We evaluated how these campaigns compared to those of competitors, and we also created campaigns that featured special promotions. The final step in this process was to run the campaigns on Facebook and Google, constantly optimizing as we received and evaluated performance data.