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The Motley Fool unites purpose with performance

  Article , Financial services , Success stories

Reaches new audiences with Microsoft Advertising

A Motley approach to money

The Motley Fool’s mission is to make the world smarter, happier, and richer. It aims to do all that by providing outstanding business and investing advice — with a decidedly Foolish bent.

The Motley Fool logo

The company’s name is an homage to the court jester: a character in Shakespearean literature who entertained the king and queen and their court with humour that instructed as it amused. These fools of yore spoke the truth and were never afraid to question conventional wisdom, which is also true for The Motley Fool.

Despite not taking itself too seriously, The Motley Fool is serious about its purpose. As a company offering a variety of solutions to improve different areas of financial life — from investments and personal finance to real estate — The Motley Fool believes in treating every dollar as an investment in the future people envision for themselves.

Search is a good way to drive conversions because it has such high intent. You can find keywords specific to what someone could be looking for and target those.

— Danny Delaney, channel manager, The Motley Fool

Driving membership growth through search

The Motley Fool understands that growing its membership involves more than just creating effective content — it’s about delivering quality content to the right people at the right time with the help of paid search.

The Motley Fool paid search ad

Graphic of a The Motley Fool paid search ad

“Search is a good way to drive conversions because it has such high intent. You can find keywords specific to what someone could be looking for and target those,” says Danny Delaney, channel manager at The Motley Fool. “It’s about finding people who are interested in different types of investing and making sure they get content that could most benefit them and is tailored to their interests.”

The company also realised an opportunity in search engine marketing (SEM) amid a pandemic, discovering a higher volume of consumer interest in its products. As a result, 2020 was one of the strongest years for The Motley Fool and its best year of digital advertising yet.

“During the pandemic, a lot of people have more time on their hands, and because of some economic insecurity, people are more intent on finding ways to secure their financial future,” Delaney says. “That combination has made people more interested in searching for financial service products and getting to know more about how we can help improve their financial safety net.”

Advertising with purpose

This year, The Motley Fool is centering its efforts on increasing the diversity of its audience and being more inclusive. “A lot of our focus will be on diversifying our advertising and the content we’re publishing,” says Delaney. “We want to take a more holistic approach that won’t only benefit our business but will also serve more people. There are so many more people we want to reach with our financial services and products. And that is the whole point of why we are here: to make the world smarter, happier, richer.”

The Motley Fool Foundation infographic

Illustration of the story behind the purpose of The Motley Fool Foundation

In line with its purpose, the company is in the process of launching The Motley Fool Foundation, a public charity that aims to make financial freedom more accessible for all. The Foundation represents the culmination of The Motley Fool's philanthropic culture and initiatives over the last twenty years, with the company as a whole, individual employees, and customers working together to volunteer and raise money for the causes they believe in.

“The Motley Fool is a company that definitely lives by its principles,” Delaney says. “We’re constantly looking for ways to give back to the community, and that’s been highlighted in the creation of the foundation.”

Reaching new audiences and increasing conversions

The Motley Fool’s partnership with Microsoft Advertising has helped further its goals, especially when it comes to running campaigns, reaching new audiences, and increasing conversions. The company used the Microsoft Advertising Keyword Planner tool to find high-intent keywords around new areas of interest in investing and built out new campaigns around that.

Additionally, the company leverages the Microsoft Audience Network along with In-market Audiences and remarketing to boost conversions. “We run direct response campaigns to get people to directly convert off our ads — whether it’s signing up for our email list or purchasing one of our products — and we’ve experienced success with that,” says Delaney.

That success has translated into a consistently strong return on ad spend (ROAS), with Microsoft Advertising becoming an important component in The Motley Fool’s advertising strategy. “Microsoft Advertising has become one of our top advertising platforms in terms of how much scale and return on ad spend we achieve,” Delaney says.

The Motley Fool considers its relationship with Microsoft Advertising as a true partnership — one that continues to grow over time.

“There’s no comparison to the kind of support we get from Microsoft. I’ve had new advertorial ideas come from the team we work with, which is awesome — I’ve never had someone outside of the company suggest ideas before,” says Delaney. “There’s so much value I get from the Microsoft Advertising team and they’re really invested in our performance.”

Microsoft Advertising has become one of our top advertising platforms in terms of how much scale and return on ad spend we achieve.

— Danny Delaney, channel manager, The Motley Fool

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