RIZZELLO CREATIVE, Harpenden / SCHRODERS / 2022
Over the coming decades, US$7 trillion a year will need to be invested to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. But how do you convince professional investors to choose sustainable funds when other investments have traditionally yielded higher returns?
Our overriding goal was to increase the level of investment in sustainable funds. But we were also challenged with making Schroders become known as one of the top-five global brands for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing. The global brand rankings from the NMG global asset management study in the year following campaign launch would be a key measure of success. Other performance indicators included volume of web traffic and levels of engagement with sustainability content.
With brands in all sectors racing to position themselves as champions of sustainable business, cutting through the sea of wind turbines has never been tougher. So, in a business that’s always been about generating the highest possible returns for clients – we said the unsayable: that profit isn’t everything.
With Beyond Profit, we fundamentally challenged accepted investment wisdom by showing that short-term profits alone are in fact an unreliable predictor of long-term investment success. And we proved the point with a series of short documentaries – each one telling a true story about how when we look beyond profit and invest in companies with a social purpose, we can make more money in the longer term.
The campaign launched with a story about Kenya’s leading telecoms company, Safaricom, who pioneered a mobile-based payment system that’s lifting thousands from poverty.
Sustainable funds have been available for many years. But convincing investors to choose them has proven difficult, because other investments (like oil) have traditionally yielded higher returns.
Schroders asked 650 institutional clients and 23,000 end investors how they felt about sustainable investing – and the results revealed a stark reality. Overwhelmingly, investors care about the impact their investments have on society and the planet. But many believed that making sustainable investment choices meant sacrificing the best returns.
We challenged this assumption by shining a light on the growing number of case studies that demonstrate how looking beyond profit can in fact reveal stronger long-term investment opportunities. This helped us show institutional investors and retail intermediaries that they can target attractive returns while investing in ways that reflect their values – and in some cases, while making a direct contribution to their chosen UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Beyond Profit launched in March 2021 across 35 countries in 24 languages – with a cross-channel campaign outlining a bold investment philosophy. This was followed by a series of 3-minute documentaries with 20- and 6-second teasers – each episode showing the value of investing for profit with purpose.
We used paid social, pay-per-click and rich media on trade sites – tailoring content to our audiences with dynamic creative optimisation. We amplified our message with cover wraps and homepage takeovers, as well as DOOH across airports, buses, trams and trains. We also created Schroders’ first global TV ad.
The campaign has shaped every aspect of Schroders’ global marketing activity, from a brand identity refresh, website redesign and client events – to a more advanced social media strategy with content publishing at its heart. It even changed the way Schroders reports on fund performance and trains its sales and distribution teams.
In the year following the campaign launch, an additional £5.7 billion was invested into Schroders sustainable funds in Europe alone (excluding UK)**** – with two funds proving so popular they had to close.
Despite our competitors significantly outspending us on media, the NMG global asset management study ranked Schroders as the 5th most recognised global investment brand for ESG in the year following launch – up from 16th place in 2018.**
• 608% increase in website traffic*
• 1,500% increase in video content views**
• 16th to 5th place in global ESG brand rankings***
• +£5.7bn invested in Schroders sustainable funds****
*Source: Schroders as at Jun 2021
**Source: Schroders as at Mar 2022
***Source: NMG global asset management study Dec 2021 compared to 2018
****Source: Schroders as at December 2021 – Europe only excluding UK