Linda Descano has an impressive title. She is Citibank’s Managing Director and Head of Branded Content and Social; President and CEO, Women & Co. Linda is also President Elect of New York Women in Communications, and works closely with Liz Kaplow, founder of Kaplow Communications and current President of NYWICI. Linda recently spoke at The Speaker’s Bureau, part of Kaplow’s Outside/In initiative, and shared her incredible journey of bringing to life Women & Co, Citibank’s content marketing program that provides life, career, and financial advice to women.
Linda described Citibank’s initial less successful attempts at connecting with women, including creating a pink credit card! As a result, the bank did some serious listening to better understand their female customers and the value Citibank could deliver to them. Linda landed on a rich content plan that includes Women & Co., a website with a blogger series from a variety of thought leaders and experts, and, Connect, a professional women’s group on LinkedIn.
Through trial-and-error, Linda finessed the brand voice and crafted relevant content that delivered a value exchange with women, both virtually and with real-time, in-person meet-ups. She also shifted the Citibank voice from third person to first in order to create a more relatable brand, seeing a direct result in engagement. She then began to partner with like-minded brands to socialize Citibank’s women-focused point of view and to foster broader conversations in a way that didn’t marginalize women or make them feel overly marketed to by the bank.
The results have been impressive! Connect has over 175,000 active members and the brand has been able to show that women who interact with branded content tend to be more loyal and better Citibank customers.
See Linda Descano speak about Citibank’s Women & Co. vision: