Gillian Browne

AMERICAN EXPRESS: CHIEF FUTURE OFFICER

Finalist AC&E Awards 2015 – Customer Acquisition Campaign

American Express had their sights set on targeting mid-sized company CFOs. We tried mailing them. We tried advertising to them. We even tried calling them. But American Express just wasn't on their radar. The problem was, the CFO’s focus had shifted. They’re no longer just concerned with a company’s day-to-day finances. The CFO is now in charge of future proofing – and the rest of C-suite is leaning on their knowledge more than ever.

So the brief was clear. In order to sell more corporate cards we needed to shift the perception of American Express from an everyday payment method to an essential future-proofing tool. So we shifted our approach from marketing to thought leadership. Changing the CFO’s job title from Chief Financial Officer to Chief Future Officer was simple and effective. By switching one word we said so much about the evolving role of the CFO and our understanding of it. Crucially, it also appealed to the CFO’s ego.

We used direct mail to invite the Chief Future Officer to Prophet, our future proofing thought leadership event in both Sydney and Melbourne. The invite drove the CFOs online to RSVP and gave them the opportunity to benchmark their current future-proofing skills against their peers. At Prophet, we invited journalists, futurists and American Express representatives to talk about the changing role of the CFO and what this means for everyone in the room. After the event, the benchmarking results drove the CFOs back online to our new website. We teamed up with Fairfax to transform the site into a content hub filled with infographics, articles and videos.


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