Betsey Chung named global CMO at TD

The former Canadian CMO led the launch of the bank's financial advice hub during the pandemic and is deeply involved in D&I.

Betsey Chung_Green_headshot2TD Bank looked internally for its next global marketing leader, appointing former Canadian CMO Betsey Chung to the role at one of the country’s largest banks.

She replaces outgoing EVP, global chief marketing, citizenship and customer experience officer Theresa McLaughlin, who has accepted the role of EVP, global chief marketing officer at U.S.-based State Street.

Chung’s appointment comes as Canadians’ needs for digital banking services and financial advice remain strong due to the pandemic and as organizations across the country continue to examine their efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion.

As the bank’s former global chief digital marketing officer, Chung spearheaded the launch of TD Ready Advice – its online advice platform erected in response to the pandemic – and has served as a key member of its Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Council, in addition to representing the group on the Enterprise Women in Leadership and Visible Minority Committees and chairing the TD Marketing Black Colleague Network.

In her new global role, Chung will lead all marketing activities and the development of TD’s North American “purpose-driven strategy.” She will report into Norie Campbell, group head and general counsel.

TD has yet to name a new Canadian CMO, according to the spokesperson. In September, former VP of global brand Tyrrell Schmidt moved stateside to serve in the North America-wide role of U.S. CMO and head of global brand.

Chung says one of her top priorities will be to continue to meet customers’ needs in the channel of their choice. “It’s been really useful for us to have that customer-first mindset,” she says. “That’s what we need to continue to dig into as a marketing organization.”

The bank reported a 57% increase in digital adoption among its customers since the start of the pandemic. As of January last year, it had 13.7 million active digital customers, with 5.4 million mobile users in Canada and another 3.4 million in the U.S. By October 2020, active digital customers reached 14.5 million and mobile users increased to 5.9 million in Canada and 3.7 million in the U.S.

To date, the TD Ready Advice site has generated more than 2.5 million unique views – giving it the largest share of voice related to COVID-19 related financial advice, according to the bank. Chung says the platform, which covers both personal and small business needs, was developed in nine days and features three new articles per week based on the top finance-related Google searches. “We approached [the platform] in terms of the full funnel, from considering TD as the source of financial literacy and financial advice, right through to one-to-one tactics,” such as follow-up emails, she says.

Offering financial advice to customers has been a central focus for banks since the crisis began. RBC added new features and content to its MyAdvisor platform, originally launched in 2017. In September, Scotiabank launched Advice+, a platform bringing together new and existing services, which it supported with a campaign by Bensimon Byrne. CIBC – which last week hired Tammy Sadinsky to lead its marketing – created Advice for Today in April, while BMO launched its “Financial advice you can count on” hub in May.

Outside of Canada, Chung expects the U.S. to continue to be a “strong growth engine” for the brand. TD will continue to take a localized approach to the market, where its two-year-old “Unexpectedly Human” platform has helped build a strong brand, she says. The platform emphasizes its customer-centric approach and its commitment to community and convenience. In Canada, the bank continues to build on its “Ready For You” platform launched in 2017, aimed at building the financial confidence of its customers.

As part of the senior leadership team, Chung will continue to lead various diversity and inclusion efforts within the organization. The need to break down barriers for racialized groups and to make workplaces more inclusive, particularly for Black, Indigenous and people of colour, has been highlighted repeatedly over the last year. It’s an issue most major financial institutions have promised to address through various initiatives.

“There are very few people who look like me in some of the banks,” Chung says, adding that TD has worked to make diversity and inclusion a part of its culture. “It’s not just lip service. It’s action-oriented. And I’m probably a good example of that.”

Moving forward, the marketer says diversity and inclusion will also play a larger role in TD’s external communications as it looks to remain relevant to its customers. “It’s going to be an area that I’m going to personally lean in on,” she says. “It’s a passion of mine.”

Chung, an accountant by trade, has more than 25 years of financial services experience. Prior to joining TD in 2017, she was CMO for personal and commercial banking and wealth management at BMO and a strategic consultant at KPMG and Coopers & Lybrand.

As the fifth-largest bank in North America, TD serves more than 26 million customers across more than 2,300 retail locations. For the fourth quarter ending October 21, 2020, it reported $5.1 billion in earnings, up 80% year-over-year; adjusted earnings were $3 billion, up 1%. The bank spent $740 million on marketing during fiscal 2020, down 4% from $769 million in 2019 and down 8% from $803 million in 2018.