Reality Check: 5 Questions With Voya Retirement CMO Karen Eisenbach

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Voya Orange House Sweepstakes

In April, two years after rebranding from ING U.S., Voya Financial launched its Orange House Sweepstakes™, offering one winner the chance to take home $300,000 to help fund one of their largest expenses in retirement – their home.

In support of the campaign Voya conducted a survey that asked Americans where and how they want to live in retirement. The study found that more than four-in-ten (41%) of all respondents identified health care costs as their biggest worry in retirement. The next largest group (22%) was most concerned about day-to-day living expenses. Housing costs, including mortgage and rent, were the major concern for the third largest group (15%) of respondents. The results remind everyone to start planning and organizing today, so they can be in a better position to address their future needs.

Receiving more than 350,000 entries, the first-ever Orange House Sweepstakes winner (“Kevin M.” from Ohio) received the $300,000 check for his retirement in an “orange carpet” press event at Voya’s New York City headquarters from Alain Karagolan, CEO of Voya’s Retirement and Investment Solutions business.

The win “really impacts his family, and it’s going to impact their ability to be ‘retirement-ready,'” says Karen Eisenbach, chief marketing officer of retirement services for Voya, who chatted with us in April when the sweepstakes kicked off. “It’s more than a marketing phrase. It’s what drives us.”

Voya Financial 2016 Orange House Sweepstakes winner

brandchannel reconnected with Eisenbach on the occasion of the check handover this week to see what’s next.

bc: How does the Orange House Sweepstakes continue the multi-year rebranding of Voya?

Karen Eisenbach VoyaKaren Eisenbach (right): Like the Voya Born to Save® program, our Orange Money advertising with “Vern and Val” and the many integrated media campaigns we’ve pioneered over the past two years, the recent Orange House Sweepstakes™ has been another big, bold way to get the Voya name out to consumers. As a continuation of the multi-year investment we began in Sept. 2014 to introduce and establish our new brand, these types of programs help set us apart as a different kind of financial company that makes people think differently about retirement.

Consistent with other campaigns, we have taken an integrated approach that leverages media across all platform and channels – earned, paid, traditional, digital and social. These efforts allow us to reach different consumer groups based on their media preferences. We can also “test and learn” while we’re in the process of a campaign – for example, with our digital media strategies, we can change course and refine the channels we target to get the most efficient results.

bc: What kind of content marketing supported this campaign?
Eisenbach: We promoted the Orange House Sweepstakes™ through a fully integrated media campaign that included television as well as ongoing digital advertising, earned and social media activities. To help launch the initiative, we worked with ABC’s Good Morning America — leveraging our media partnership and the “Real Money” financial segments we sponsor throughout the year — to kick off the sweepstakes.

In addition, we conducted a consumer survey to collect opinions on a number of retirement lifestyle topics related to where and how Americans want to live in retirement. This research supported the broader goal of the Orange House Sweepstakes, which was to remind everyone to start planning and organizing today, so they can be in a better position to reach their future goals. We also produced a series of short, light-hearted “man on the street” videos to complement the campaign, and we promoted them on Voya’s social media channels throughout the sweepstakes period. These videos generated some of our highest social engagement for organic, non-paid content — so that tells us they resonated well with consumers and served as an effective component of the plan.

bc: What has the response been like to the sweepstakes?
Eisenbach: The response has been extremely positive. We launched the Orange House Sweepstakes™ to reinforce the importance of holistic planning. This includes preparing for one of the largest categories of spending in retirement – your house. At Voya, we are redefining the way people think about retirement and this initiative is a compelling way to show that Voya wants to be known as America’s Retirement Company. The winner was Kevin, a fifty-something married father of two from Ohio (watch his reaction below).

This was such a satisfying culmination of the campaign. We hosted the reception in our New York City corporate headquarters, together with our employees. As you can imagine, Kevin was extremely thankful and gracious. It was such a personally rewarding experience. My colleagues and I were so proud to be part of a company that can help people achieve their retirement dreams.

bc: How has the rebrand of Voya gone overall, and what benchmarks do you look at?
Eisenbach: While we successfully launched the new brand to consumers in 2014, we know our work is not done. We set the foundation with our transitional Orange Money advertising and some very creative brand-building campaigns, including our unique and highly successful Voya Born to Save® program.

We kept the momentum of the rebranding moving forward with our 2015 media activities and integrated marketing campaigns, and these efforts have evolved with our newest commercials that feature Orange Money origami animals and the celebrity personalities of Alison Janney and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. We are pleased to see that our brand awareness progress is tracking with modeled expectations. Based on our latest metrics, more than half of the people who know Voya as a brand recognize that we are a company that serves the retirement market.

bc: What can we expect next from the Voya Financial brand?
Eisenbach: We’re constantly looking at innovative ways to engage with our customers. Our mission is to help educate and prepare workers across all ages and life-stages — from the point they enter the workforce; as they grow their careers and families; and then later as they approach and continue living in retirement. This sweepstakes was another creative idea to support our brand-building work. We’re excited to start rolling out plans for the second half of the year as we look to media integrations with the telecasts of Wimbledon, the 2016 Summer Olympics and U.S. Open tennis programming.


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