How Mackenzie Investments proved that 'money can grow on trees'

Tongue-in-cheek initiative aims to add levity to business and also prompt advisors to look at their own marketing

How Mackenzie Investments proved that 'money can grow on trees'

While we all know the old phrase, “money doesn’t grow on trees”, Mackenzie Investments just proved it can by creating a powerful new message to further its cause, which also provides advisors with a lesson on how to market themselves.

“We all know that phrase,” said Leisha Roche, Mackenzie Investments’ Head of Marketing. “So, that was the inspiration because, as a marketer, we were thinking, ‘what’s in our DNA?’ that people can tap into, so we started with that. We wanted something that would stop people in their tracks and make them think about our message.”

Mackenzie, which has been ramping up its sustainability initiatives, placed a 15-foot tall tree at the corner of Yonge and Dundas in downtown Toronto as a live activation this fall. It wanted Torontonians to visit its “Mackenzie Money Tree” on site or click on its website to choose one of six charities, so it could donate $50 on each participant’s behalf.

“The exciting news is that we hit our goal, which was to donate $100,000 on behalf of Canadians, within 48 hours of this launch,” said Roche. “So, we’re quite excited about it, but we were able to drive millions of impressions to really bring attention to something that is so important.”

Mackenzie wanted to focus attention on creating a sustainable, responsible future for all, so it chose the money tree image for several reasons. It represented fall plus a greener future.

“It was designed kind of tongue in cheek just to add some levity to the industry that we’re all part of and make people smile and do something good for a charity,” said Roche.

Mackenzie chose six Canadian charities that were addressing climate change or aligned with the United Nations’ sustainable investing goals. The charities included the David Suzuki Foundation, Breakfast Clubs of Canada, Canadian Women’s Foundation, and Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. The charities also got involved with the campaign, pushing it on their social media, and Mackenzie donated $50 for each of the 2,000 people who visited the tree or website.

The campaign was such a success that Roche said Mackenzie is looking on how it might build on it next year.

“This initiative really helped us branch outside of the funds that we sell,” said Roche. “This was really for us to show our commitment to a cause like this outside of our investments, and really help Canadians propel this movement by donating on their behalf to bring attention to something that is so significant.

“We wanted to show them that, when it comes to their investments, they actually can make a different choice. They can start to put their investments into more sustainable ways of helping the planet. That’s what we set out to do – something really different than what has been done in our industry before.”

 “We did this in the spirit of trying something different,” said Roche. “That’s what we do at Mackenzie, we try to reach our audiences and people in different ways, so they think differently about our industry as we try to create more of an invested world together.”

So, what can you start doing differently in your community to share what your business and commitment are all about?