Financial tool launch leverages media, executives

NEW YORK: William O'Neil & Co. launched its new MarketSmith product last week with a media event in New York.

NEW YORK: William O'Neil & Co. launched its new MarketSmith product last week with a media event in New York. The campaign is targeting individual investors to promote the new tool, which is web-based and provides institutional quality data, as well as stock charts.   

"It's a brand new name and product, so we needed to build the brand," said Paul Gin, SVP of marketing for William O'Neil & Co. The message of the PR is about promoting how MarketSmith is a "powerful equity research tool" with high-quality data.

William O'Neil & Co. worked with MS&LGroup, which handled media relations and PR, and Razorfish, which designed the site.

The MarketSmith product incorporates both data and stock charts, explained David Schraeder, VP in MS&LGroup's corporate practice, so "we had to identify the right online journalists that understood research in making stock choices, and understood and had an interest in stock charts."

The company and MS&L hosted an event at per se restaurant on September 15 for about 20 financial and investing online journalists. They were introduced to MarketSmith's president Scott O'Neil and Steven Birch, president of William O'Neil & Co., who gave a product demonstration. O'Neil also made an appearance on CNBC's Fast Money later that day.

Going forward, Schraeder added, "One of the most important pieces is to build the reputation of the product itself, and also to start creating a visible presence in the marketplace for Scott O'Neil." As the son of well-known investor William O'Neil, Scott O'Neil will need a reputation "separate and distinct from his father's presence" to properly represent MarketSmith, he said.

Online, the MarketSmith product includes its own social network, for users of the product, and the company will monitor that to decide how best to approach social media platforms in future outreach.

"We'll have a number of other elements we're adding to the product," Gin said. This includes both product enhancements and elements like iPhone and iPad apps, which will also get a PR push.

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