Merrill ads show unit's unique approach

By Published on .

Marie Chinnici
Title: First VP, Global Markets & Investment
Company: Merrill Lynch & Co.
Years in current job: 3
Quote: “The ads don’t just make statements or promises about what the firm can offer; they illustrate exactly how we’ve delivered for our clients.”

In early October, Merrill Lynch & Co.'s Global Markets & Investment banking group launched its first advertising campaign in six years. The campaign debuted in The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and elsewhere.

For Marie Chinnici, who has been with Merrill Lynch since 1982 and is now the firm's first VP in the GMI group, the campaign is important.

"Last fall, a new senior management team was appointed in GMI," she said. "This past spring, we formalized our marketing strategy for the GMI business and developed a strategic positioning framework, which informs all of our marketing activities. One of the more visible programs is our new global advertising campaign."

But while Chinnici sees the campaign as important, it is also just one part of the business' marketing efforts. "Our most effective marketing is through the relationships our salespeople, investment bankers and relationship managers have with our clients," Chinnici said. "We have a long tradition of building trusted relationships through people. This is the nature of our business."

The new ad campaign is designed to reflect this very basic approach to marketing. The ads feature examples of Merrill Lynch executing for customers. "Through real examples of transactions we've done for our clients, we are communicating that GMI offers what none of our competitors can-solutions that are a perfectly right fit for our clients' unique needs," Chinnici said. "We don't have cookie-cutter solutions."

Of course, the campaign is just beginning, so Chinnici has few hard data. "So far, the reaction has been quite positive, and we are certainly getting clients' attention," she said. "Feedback tells us the messages have resonated with our client audience, and our bankers and salespeople have been really excited about the energy this has created in the market."

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