Baptist Savings accepts deposits from primarily high value investors and lends the money to church, day-care and community centre developments at low interest rates.
The organisation recently turned 50 but, amazingly, was largely an unknown to most people and churchgoers (its primary market), until recently.
The typical buying personas for Baptist Savings are:
Affluent people aged between 60 – 70 years (retired or financially independent) with large chunks of cash from property or business returns;
Churches and developers of community and child-care centres.
The primarily Christian target market likes the fact that their money is helping towards community projects while earning them a competitive interest rate. Furthermore, Baptist Savings has never had a bad debt in more than 50 years of operating.
While being a good investment, it is also of spiritual and personal significance to these investors.
As such, most Baptist Savings investors are not on Facebook, are unfamiliar with social media, but are both net and email savvy. They still like and trust traditional media, newspapers, radio and television – and in particular they like to engage at a personal level.
However, at the same time Baptist Savings wished to grow its profile and connect with Baptists who are younger Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, in order to increase its funds from $50 million to $100 million dollars in five years, and to make sure its investor pipeline was secure going forward.
Understanding that trust is an issue when it comes to financial investment in New Zealand, following the collapse of so many finance companies, Baptist Savings determined to embark on a campaign that demonstrated that the organisation is church owned, doing God’s work and trustworthy.
“One of my goals is to ensure that Baptist Savings, together with the Church, becomes a trusted organisation when it comes to advising people on their finances. We must build a voice that is unbiased and not commission driven.
“We should be a voice that tells the truth – however difficult that truth may be to say in a public forum – about where to invest and who you can trust. It’s time for the Baptist Savings and the Church to become the trusted voices in financial business.” – Andrew L’Almont, Business Development Manager Baptist Savings.
Baptist Savings is a charitable organisation, so huge budgets are not an option.
“We worked with our Iron Road to build our website and add a blog. We put some clever, and very cool, low cost apps up on the site that help people calculate mortgage rates, repayment periods and interest on their savings.
“Iron Road also arranged for a regular common sense advice column in the Baptist Magazine and I now have a weekly radio slot on Christian radio station Rhema.
“While acting as our own mini media house and speaking directly to our audience, I think it is important not to underestimate the power of traditional media to spread your message (so long as it is not self serving).
“Traditional media is a valuable part of your content distribution strategy, but they won’t tolerate self serving content, but neither will our customers. Look first to serve people, and the reward comes later,” says Andrew.
As part of their content strategy, Iron Road worked with Baptist Savings to produce its own video based on a Biblical Story called “The Talents”. Iron Road also assists Baptist Savings to produce a a regular printed newsletter, written blogs, engage in social media conversations and supports the organisations regular programme of financial seminars at churches around the country.
As a result, Baptist Savings grew investments from $59 million to more than $80 million dollars inside 18 months.