April 2014 Trends & Highlights – Heartbleed, Smartwatch Investing Apps and Record Site Revamp Activity

by on May 07, 2014


  • Site RevampRecord Number of Site Revamps – April saw the highest number of site revamps for a single month, surpassing last month’s record number. Across all Monitor groups, we tracked seven main site revamps – among them, BlackRock, iShares, Citicard and Lord Abbett– and two private site revamps for MassMutual and Hartford’s P&C outlet.
  • Few New Apps– In another quiet month for mobile apps, Morgan Stanley launched a new iPhone app while Lord Abbett released a new Perspectives app for iPad to accompany its main website revamp.
  • Quiet Month for Social Media – Our research usually encounters a few social marketing campaigns or promotions, but this month we only found one example. John Hancock promoted the #WeRunTogether trend on Twitter to mark the running of the 2014 Boston Marathon and commemorate last year’s attack.


Heartbleed SSL Takes Center Stage
Numerous firms across all Monitor groups published new press releases, images and commentaries explaining the nature of the recent “Heartbleed SSL” security bug and reassuring investors that their account information is not vulnerable. Nevertheless, firms still advised customers to change their account passwords anyway as a general practice.

Fidelity “Watches” Out for Future Trends
Fidelity Investments announced the launch of a new application for the Pebble Smart Watch, allowing users to sync their smart watch with their Fidelity Investments app for Android phones. In keeping with the device’s name, the Watch app allows users to view their investment “Watch List” on their wrist. Fidelity Labs posted a new video that outlines the app’s current capabilities and looks to how the firm may develop new smart watch functionality for their mobile apps in the future. Fidelity Labs is a leader in developing investing apps for wearable devices, having released a prototype app for Google Glass last year.


John Hancock Celebrates Return of Boston Marathon
John Hancock launched an impressive new microsite – Boston Marathon World Run – dedicated to this year’s marathon and its participants. The site challenges supporters outside of Boston to pledge to walk, run or wheel any distance on or before the running of the Marathon on April 21. The site also encourages donations to The One Fund, which assists victims of the 2013 Marathon’s bombing attack. As of the day of the race, over 13,000 participants pledged over 740,000 miles and raised almost $30,000 for the fund.

Boston Marathon World Run Site (Truncated)
Boston Marathon World Run Site (Truncated)
Advisor Site Revamps Aplenty
April’s Advisor Monitor coverage was elevated by a wholly innovative site revamp from Lord Abbett. The site’s primary accomplishment lies in its radically different navigation structure, which informs a new approach to homepage design, page layout and content organization. For example, the homepage exists as rows of vibrant, full page images, which contain all links and content available; the homepage is only images. The main menu tabs feature almost full-screen flyouts that have a form and function more akin to full webpages than to traditional flyout menus. Almost the entire site experience is conducted in these flyout menus, which are quick to navigate, easily accessible, and economic in their presentation. Last month also saw the launch of revamped websites from iShares and BlackRock, marking a new stage in their ongoing product and brand integration.


New Lord Abbett Homepage
New Lord Abbett Homepage
Are You Type E*?
E*TRADE unveiled a new national “Type E*” marketing campaign that targets its audience of digitally-minded and self-directed investors. A new press release outlines the campaigns reach across new media as well as traditional outlets such as TV, radio and Print. Actor Kevin Spacy stars in the firm’s television ads.


Type E* Promotion
Type E* Promotion