Formally introduced in the spring of 2011, Prudential Financial’s Signature Research Studies is a series of branded thought leadership research reports focused on the financial practices and literacy of multicultural markets.

The research explores the financial attitudes and behaviors of the African American, Hispanic, LGBT, and women’s markets. The research has not only proven to be smart and insightful, but it has established a benchmark for the financial services industry, a space that traditionally lacked deep insights into these markets.

“The Signature Series originated as part of a communications campaign designed to enhance Prudential’s reputation as a company that values diversity and inclusion,” said Bob DeFillippo, Chief Communications Officer for Prudential. “At its heart, the Signature Series epitomizes the strength of Prudential’s corporate character and reinforces who we are and what we care about.” “In the process, it helped us ‘up’ our cultural competence and deepen our own understanding of topics that enable us better reach and serve our customers,” said Alicia Rodgers Alston, Vice President, Global Communications. “They are at the heart of our multicultural market outreach.”

These attitudinal and behavioral surveys help Prudential Financial identify trends, gaps, and preferences, and give the company insights into key communities and how well these groups relate to, trust, perceive, and navigate the financial industry. And, through broad distribution among media, government, community, sales and marketing, and industry organizations, the series has become central to changing perceptions of the industry, while positioning Prudential as a clear thought leader.

Although this communications program was not designed to drive sales or provide overarching market intelligence, the Signature Research Studies set the stage to help Prudential’s financial professionals better understand and meet the needs of these communities. The series’ insights have not only helped open doors for additional business opportunities, but have also spurred the formation of a new multicultural marketing department, and the development of targeted strategies to reach diverse audiences.