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Marketing campaign focuses on firm’s personal touch

Jackson — Matching the right marketing campaign with the right client is the name of the game in advertising. With their “everyone has a story to tell” campaign, Kim Townsend Advertising and Pinnacle Trust have found a theme that is working well for the wealth management company.
The ads feature Pinnacle Trust clients telling personal experiences in their own words. President and CEO Stacey L. Wall says the effort is meeting their goals.

“It’s had a great impact. We get calls about it all the time, and those featured in the ads say they get calls, too,” he said. “It’s generated more business and awareness. Our goals were to gain name recognition and create interest. We’re positioning ourselves to take care of the whole family, not just the financial side.”

The ads began running last year and are continuing this year in print, electronic and on the company’s Web site. Wall says print ads in trade, business and lifestyle publications are featured and have generated the most response.

“The campaign did well and they’ve increased their budget to add more publications this year,” Kim Townsend said. “I think they will continue it for a while, using people from different backgrounds and areas of the state.”

Pinnacle Trust began in 1997 and is based in Jackson. Most clients come to them by referral and 90% live in Mississippi although they also have some in several other states. Wall said the staff chose clients for the campaign who would not mind being featured and were well known to the staff and in their communities.

“We also wanted those who are intimately involved with the holistic approach we take,” Wall said. “Our business is very relationship oriented. It’s important to develop that and understand what our clients want out of life.”

He said Pinnacle Trust wanted to hear their clients’ stories, letting them articulate what’s important to them.

“Our clients are affluent, successful people who are often going so fast they don’t take the time to sit down and think ‘Why am I doing this?’ We try to help them do that,” he said. “In the end, that’s what we do — listen to clients’ stories, and we believe everyone really does have a story. So, we sort of backed into the campaign by taking that approach.”

So far, the ads have featured two families. They are not compensated for participating. The first one spotlighted Billy Ray and D.J. Adams of Madison, and the second one features Doug and Martha Jumper of Booneville. Billy Ray Adams is retired from the insurance business and Doug Jumper builds metal buildings.

Townsend says those are the kind of clients Pinnacle is trying to reach. “I’ve enjoyed it because they’re really nice people and I like meeting new people,” she said. “We shoot the video and photos in their personal locations so it’s like they’re welcoming us into their lives. It’s neat to be accepted by them and build the relationships with them.”

The locations for shoots have included homes, a deer camp, a beach house, the Ole Miss campus and a local eatery. “It was nice to see Booneville from an insider’s viewpoint,” Townsend said. “We met with Doug’s breakfast group. It’s a group of longtime friends and they play a game to see who will pay for breakfast.”

The Adams family shoot even inspired Billy Ray and D.J.’s son, David Adams, to buy a camera and take up a new hobby as a wildlife photographer. “You never know how you will affect someone’s life,” Townsend said. “He has a show coming up soon.”

Townsend, who’s been in the advertising business for 15 years, has been working with Pinnacle Trust since the company’s beginning. “They provide a personal touch and that sets them apart,” she said. “They’ve always done that and it was translated into this campaign. Everyone is different and has a different story. They’re here to help you with your story.”

Wall says a lot of people equate them with money management. “Managing investments is the easy part of what we do,” he said. “What money does for us is what’s important. We spend a lot of time with new clients. We have a game we play to get to know clients’ priorities. We back into estate planning this way.”

The “everyone has a story to tell” campaign is not the company’s first personal touch form of advertising. Early in 2005, it ran an ad featuring a black-and-white photograph of Ole Miss’ 1961 football team backfield. The four men all live in the Jackson area and are all Pinnacle Trust clients. The ad ran in a few magazines and football programs.

“We looked at what they have in common,” Wall said. “It’s still running this year because it’s a unique ad.”

Contact MBJ contributing Lynn Lofton at llofton656@aol.com.


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