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Charles Schwab taps 'venture marketing'

News, 12 June 2015
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SAN FRANCISCO: Charles Schwab, the financial services and investment group, is drawing on the venture capitalist playbook as it embraces the concept of "venture marketing".

Julian Aldridge, the company's vp/brand evangelism and activation, discussed this subject at the ad:tech San Francisco 2015 conference.

Venture capitalists, he reported, typically have a high failure rate – often reaching 75% – and yet still manage to prosper.

"We've coined this term 'venture marketing'. Basically, we test and learn, test and learn, test and learn," he added. (For more, including examples of implementing this idea in practice, read Warc's exclusive report: "Venture marketing" trumps fear at Charles Schwab.)

"What they do is they learn from those mistakes. They celebrate success. And they celebrate failure. At Schwab, we are taking that principle of venture capitalism and applying it to our marketing."

Marketers, Aldridge noted, are generally afforded far less leeway than investors, in that they are expected to succeed all the time.

"How do we move up the success ladder? It's by wins. It's by learning. It's by investing in a lot of metrics and the analytics. But it's also by believing in ourselves," he said.

"We learn from the successes. We learn from the failures. As you do that, you start to build up this confidence."

While conceding that this is "not a new principle", it often remains a matter of theory rather than practice at many enterprises.

The goal for Charles Schwab is thus "all about creating that foundation to allow people to experiment" – mirroring the appetite shown by many of its investment clients to make decisions based on calculated risk.

"It's about doing things one mile at a time, not expecting to get there without going through the steps before then," Aldridge said.

Data sourced from Warc

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