TD Bank Is Winning at Social Media Marketing with Its #TDThanksYou Customer Appreciation Campaign

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TD Bank has a track record for showing appreciation to its customers. Now in its fourth year, the #TDThanksYou campaign - which usually launches each year in-line with its Customer Appreciation Day - has historically focused on surprising and delighting individual customers with special, personalized gifts and even cash rewards. For this year's #TDThanksYou campaign, however, the bank decided to focus not just on the people, but on the work that they do to improve their communities.

The result is happy and loyal customers, great PR for The Ready Commitment (TD Bank's corporate citizenship platform, aimed at opening doors for a more inclusive tomorrow by building Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities, and Better Health), and huge publicity and engagement across multiple social media platforms.


#TDThanksYou began in 2014 to thank longstanding customers across Canada by handing out $20 bills and deposits, as well as creating special ATMs (that's Automated Thanking Machines) to give a select few customers personalized surprises. In order to deliver on the personalization side, TD Bank took note of its customers' personal situations and the aspirations they had. One woman received flight tickets to go visit her daughter who had cancer; a single mom was gifted with tickets to Disneyland. These special moments were captured on film and compiled into a video that was published on YouTube.

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In less than a week, the video had gone viral on Facebook and received over 2 million views - today, it has nearly 25 million.

There's no denying the brilliance of the concept. In a world where consumer trust in banks has been severely damaged following the financial crisis at the end of the last decade, what better way to prove to customers that it cares not just about its clients' money, but about the actual clients themselves than by giving something back? In all, 30,000 customers received some sort of gift from TD Bank during the first #TDThanksYou campaign.

Thanking Customers for Their Community Work

In 2018, TD Bank is continuing to surprise and delight its customers - only this year, the approach is slightly different. In July, TD Bank gave roughly CDN $1 million to causes and organizations associated with its customers.

"We have incredible customers who are making an impact in their communities every day," said TD Bank's Global CMO Theresa McLaughlin in an interview with Target Marketing. "On July 26th, across our Canadian footprint, we said a very special #TDThanksYou to 49 customers and the causes they care about most. From building homes for underprivileged families to raising awareness for rare disease research to creating a safe space for LGTBQ2+ youth - our customers are helping to open doors for a more inclusive tomorrow. This year's #TDThanksYou was about helping to extend the impact these heroes make with seven community heroes receiving $50,000 each, as well as 42 heroes receiving $5,000 each to help them continue making a difference in the communities they support."

TD Bank asked its branches to nominate customers that were making a positive impact in their communities in order to surface their stories. Telephone and online banking customers were also selected and asked to share which of the four drives of The Ready Commitment were most important to them, and TD Bank made additional donations accordingly. The bank plans to continue this campaign as it works towards a goal of achieving CDN $1 billion in community giving by 2030.

A Financial Partner with a Soul

The ROI for TD Bank's charitable giving marketing tactic can be seen in the sheer amount of attention it has acquired across social media. The new video already has 2 million views and is being shared across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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To build momentum, McLaughlin explains that the campaign was split into a "launch" and "sustain" phase, and the strategy developed with a cohesive focus across earned, owned, and paid media to drive brand awareness. "The launch phase had the primary objective of making #TDThanksYou a marquee event with mass reach and scale and to create retargeting pools. The sustain phase was meant to continue the momentum of the campaign through sequential delivery of different stories and formats that leveraged signals and interests from audience pools built from the launch window."

The campaign racks up millions of views for good reason - it fosters emotional connections that create and maintain a devoted customer base for the organization. This, ultimately, is the pay-off for TD Bank - by building an image of itself as a bank that cares about communities and gives something back, TD Bank is branding itself as a bank that consumers can trust, and that's sure to earn big loyalty in the long run.

"The world is moving to a place where it's all about personalization," said McLaughlin. "People are choosing brands with purpose. As the world goes more and more digital, our customers are telling us that they want to stay connected and have an emotional connection and work with a financial partner with a soul. TD has always had that soul, and this is bringing that common ground to life."

You can hear Jonathan Prendergast, SVP Head US Payments Strategy at TD Bank, speak at Future Digital Finance 2019 this coming February at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island, FL.

Download the Agenda for more information and insights.