The latest Advertising Age profiles the 40 hottest brands in the United States. In the current climate, I wasn’t expecting to see a financial brand. But there was a one financial tech company that made the list.
Intuit’s TurboTax. It even made the cover photo montage (see inset), although you have to look carefully to see the box laying flat in front (note 1).
Who would have thought tax prep software could be cool? Part of the reason: TurboTax’s marketing VP, Andy Young, has been pushing the envelope looking for novel ways to market tax prep services. For example, last year TurboTax was the first company to use a Google program that displayed an Intuit tweet stream on AdSense partner sites such as Facebook, MySpace and VentureBeat (see screenshot below from our previous post). Clickthroughs went to Intuit’s Twitter page, rather than its main website (note 2).
And things were clicking last year for TurboTax with 11% growth to 18 million units, despite an 11% decline in boxed-unit sales. The growth driver? Online of course, up 36% year over year.
Implications for FIs: Banks have driven users to TurboTax for years earning a slice of revenue under affiliate deals. But the potential to provide TurboTax services is set to grow exponentially. As announced in September’s Finovate, tax prep/TurboTax will soon be integrated directly (e.g single signon) in Digital Insight’s FinanceWorks.
VentureBeat home page (9 April 2009)
1. I might have missed the TurboTax box, because I was too fixated on the Five Guys cup on the left, which is coming to Seattle very soon.
2. For more info on leveraging Twitter, see our report published in May, Online Banking Report: Connecting to Customers with Twitter.