Creating marketing for everyone
Jonathan Craig, senior executive vice president of the Charles Schwab Corporation
Since our founding, few things have been more important to us than the notion of serving the needs of all investors. It is the essence of why Chuck founded this firm. And it is why we take a very deliberate approach with our marketing to make sure we engage audiences in ways that are appropriate for everyone.
It is out of respect for the diverse range of opinions of our clients, employees and owners that we follow some basic guidelines in our marketing activities:
- We do not seek to place ads in socially or politically sensitive environments.
- Likewise, we do not actively use our voice in public debates on political issues that are unrelated to financial matters.
- We routinely review our marketing to ensure our content is not showing up in places that might be considered offensive or overly partisan.
- We tend to advertise on sports programs, news programs, and other programming that reflects the activities and interests of investors.
- We avoid appearing near content that is offensive in nature and do our best to ensure our ads do not appear in programming that is designed to divide or incite controversy.
- We avoid using actors or models with a history that would be considered offensive or divisive to our clients.
- We employ a wide variety of tools to ensure we can live up to these guidelines. This includes human screening, block lists and approved lists, and sophisticated software, all of which help us detect sensitive content and prevent our ads from running within these environments.
We work hard to ensure our marketing is appropriate for anyone who would see it. But due to the nature of today’s media, our ads can sometimes—though rarely—appear near content that we do not specifically choose. If a Schwab ad appears near something that seems inconsistent with the principles above, it would be one of those very rare occurrences. And as soon as we become aware that something isn’t quite right, we act immediately to fix it.
Why do we take this approach? We do it because our focus is on the people who entrust us with their money and their futures, and we completely respect their diverse range of opinions. We know that good people can have strong and sometimes opposing feelings about the same thing. We respect that. We believe people should be able to believe what they believe, and voice their opinions in all of the appropriate ways they wish. And we know our clients are not afraid to share those opinions with us, and each other.
We never want our marketing to get in the way of our ability to earn the trust of every client. That’s why we use our public voice to talk about what we know best: saving and investing. And when we do, we try to make sure a couple of our strongest beliefs come through loud and clear. First, everyone should have access to a low-cost, transparent and full-service approach to investing. And second, we are relentlessly bullish on the future. After all, investing is fundamentally an act of optimism.
By following this approach, we believe we are in the best position to create marketing that lives up to the significant amount of trust that our clients, employees and owners place in us.