FinanceMalta an important part of
Malta’s national Brand Identity.
With the country’s entry into the EU in 2004, financial services stakeholders in Malta sought to shed the old image of an offshore tax haven. By 2010 the island had successfully transformed itself into a stable EU jurisdiction in the Mediterranean as a credible stepping stone for those companies seeking entry into the EU. Growth of 14% of GDP to 2010 from 1% in 2001 was recorded for Malta in its emerging role as a European Financial Centre (EFC). FinanceMalta’s raison d’etre as the agent of that change is to fulfil the Maltese Government’s vision of Malta’s financial services sector achieving 25% of GDP by 2020. The reputation of the new Malta financial services jurisdiction continues to be articulated by FinanceMalta in cooperation with the local business community in a number of trade delegations, trade fairs and conferences. The result of these activities continues to present more business opportunities for Malta as the jurisdiction grows.
Against this backdrop, the challenge was to build the strategic input necessary to develop the FinanceMalta brand within the local community with little or no market positioning except by nature of its function as a public/private partnership foundation. The challenge was also defined as communicating FinanceMalta as a stand-alone organisation with its own reputation to build rather than subsuming its role through its mission: ‘to strengthen the leadership of Malta as a financial services brand globally’. Ogilvy’s response was to recommend and deliver what has become known as the FinanceMalta Affiliate Members Programme. This programme was set up to provide a more holistic approach to marketing the jurisdiction, including endorsing 60 local firms to act as a virtual relocation agency. The benefit of the Programme added value to existing and prospective members by giving them direct access to best-of-breed product and service providers in Malta. This will enable those domiciling here, or those already domiciled here, to find partners that exemplify Malta’s qualitative advantages as a jurisdiction.
This opening up of the Affiliate Programme to non-financial service providers provided a healthy, non-financial perspective to what would otherwise have become a restricted definition of FinanceMalta’s role in building Malta as a reputable financial services jurisdiction. It gave FinanceMalta a more holistic organisational dimension, not just as a representative organisation for the purposes of enabling foreign direct investment, a tax structure and passporting facility to the EU zone but as a virtual relocation provider, offering 152 licensed, international, financial services companies and corporate members of FinanceMalta the non-financial products and services they need to make Malta a more effective place to work and a more pleasurable place to live. In a strict selection process, those that were chosen as the 60 non-financial service providers have added value to the FinanceMalta’s marketing of the Malta jurisdiction.
An online campaign told the inside news story of where the jurisdiction was being successfully marketed across the world, showing the activity base of the FinanceMalta as a secretariat.
It sought, too, to identify the achievements of FinanceMalta as a support organisation for Malta as a solid jurisdiction with a growing reputation in key markets, organisations and institutions around the world. In these press stories penned by Ogilvy, the results of FinanceMalta’s activity in different country markets and sectors of the industry and the growing recognition of Malta as an EFC (European Financial Centre) were identified and communicated by Ogilvy, incorporating the viewpoints of both the Chairman and Board of Governors to lend gravitas.
The Results: Ogilvy organised a launch event for the Affiliate Programme at The Villa in Ballutta Bay, St. Julians. It was well attended, the main reception room containing a branded backdrop and collaterals. This event was supported by press activity. In addition, the link to the press strategy is the enhancement of FinanceMalta’s mission and reputation in the local market. On average, a press story a week for six months from June to December generated 3,399 column inches and over euro €22,000.00 in the financial value of that press coverage across a number of on-line and off-line portals, newspapers and publications.