To reach its target demographic – mainly millennials and Hispanic-Americans – H&R Block is enlisting the help of NBA player Anthony Davis and Latin reggaeton musician Wisin to appear in branded integrations and on-air spots early on in the tax season.
“The combination of TV and digital works really well for us” in reaching both demographic targets, Collins added. “We do a lot of media-mix modeling and TV still serves as our foundation, which we layer in with on-air radio and a mix of digital and local marketing.”
Right now, TV and digital each account for 30% of the brand’s total media budget, while 10% goes to cause marketing programs to inspire altruistic achievements such as financial literacy, while the remaining 30% go to miscellaneous marketing expenditures, like radio.
H&R Block isn’t prepping a Super Bowl TV ad this year. Instead it will invest in three more TV spots to run through the end of April to reach self-filers, as well as the brand’s second target audience set – “procrastinators,” or those who wait right until the April deadline to file their taxes.
Although you might think of H&R Block as a brick-and-mortar financial brand, given its 10,000 tax service centers in shopping malls across the country, the company is expanding its brand offerings, which is why television remains an important investment focus to aid in ongoing awareness.
The company revealed Thursday a new retail brand called “Block Advisors,” 300 new retail outlets to be rolled out this year that will cater more to the small-business owner than the everyday consumer.
Instead of operating only throughout tax season, Block Advisors will be staffed year-round with “our most tenured tax experts,” to serve a more business-focused demographic.
And H&R Block launched a digital, do-it-yourself tax service last year, which it priced at $9.99; about 60% of people prefer help with their taxes, while 40% prefer to do it on their own, Collins noted.
The big-picture focus for the 60-year-old brand is staying relevant and figuring out what the future of tax prep looks like, Collins said.
“We do a ton of tests in digital media, but the most important thing we’ve discovered is learn quickly and fail fast,” she said. “Even beyond marketing – it’s staying one step ahead in the category. What if an Uber for tax prep arrives tomorrow and suddenly H&R Block isn’t as relevant anymore? You have to worry about how you stay top of mind as a brand and the rest falls into place.”