Investment Management & Research isn't exactly a household name, but in 10 years it might be. Or, at least that's what M. Anthony Greene, IM&R's president, hopes.
The Atlanta-based independent financial services firm has launched a national television advertising campaign to increase "brand awareness." The firm's ads, running on CNN, CNNfn, as well as on National Public Radio, are designed with the idea that familiarity will breed new business.
"People like to deal with names they know," says Greene. "Merrill has proven that, and Schwab has proven that." He says that with all of the consolidation and name changing going on, it's an asset to have a company name people know.
The firm will pick up the tab for the $2 million campaign that will run this year.
The ad campaign is "really a plan that we put in place that will take place over the next decade," says Greene. "I look at it as drip, drip, drip--a patient process," he says. "It helps with the recruiting process and makes the financial adviser feel good to hear their company name on CNN."
While IM&R isn't counting on the effort to increase sales, the campaign has generated new client leads and calls from brokers at other firms, Greene claims. "It's not something we're putting a lot of money into, but it has paid off so far."
Chuck Ballou, an IM&R rep in Columbus, Ohio, says while it's too early to tell whether the media campaign will help business, he likes it. "I'm up at 6 a.m. and see the spots on CNBC," says Ballou. "I think it helps because we are independent and when Iconference with clients, it's something I can point to."
Ballou left Merrill Lynch to branch out on his own. There, he says the corporate identity was very much apparent.