Are Financial Advisors Immune to Inbound Marketing?
In recent years, Digital marketers have invested in “inbound marketing” techniques including SEO, social media, content marketing and PR in order to modernize their marketing mix and attract new customers. However, these techniques alone do not drive significant revenue. This outcome is causing considerable consternation among executives over their annual spending on potentially under-performing marketing channels.
The question is, how can digital marketers revive revenue generation by connecting new inbound marketing methods with more traditional outbound marketing efforts?
Utilize a “Closed-loop” Sales and Marketing process
The limitation of inbound marketing is that it cedes too much initiative to financial advisors who, as we know, are over-scheduled and faced with competing demands on their time. Waiting for an advisor to identify that they have a portfolio problem and/or hoping they’ll google terms that land them on your website (or see one of your LinkedIn updates) is a very passive revenue generation system! It must be paired with a rather traditional marketing methodology that connects your marketing strategy to your efforts in a rational, closed-loop process that connects Marketing efforts and integrates with Sales activities. The goal is to establish end-to-end, full-funnel campaign performance using a “fail-fast” iterative approach and data-driven methodology.
Creating a closed-loop Sales and Marketing process
The process aligns marketing and sales in a continuous engagement profile.
Who we talk to:
Activate existing advisor personas, which may only exist in strategy documents, using a lead scoring and grading system to put them to work. Modern Marketing Automation systems provide digital marketers with tools to measure potential advisor profitability (lead grading) along with advisor interests (lead scoring) based on your firm’s criteria. This process will provide Marketing and Sales with clarity on which advisor prospects need to be nurtured and which advisors are Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) ready for Sales to review and accept.
What they need:
Asset Management digital marketers know the common challenges facing financial advisors.
Common Financial Advisor Challenges:
- Differentiating themselves from their competitors
- Justifying their fees and navigating an accelerated shift from commission-based to fee-based accounts
- Growing their client base
- Adapting their behavior, digital tools and agenda to their clients’ way of life
Analyze your financial advisor customer segments and identify their urgent and visible problems. Let’s use an example. Iet’s imagine your best advisors are nearing retirement themselves and may be thinking about selling their book in the next few years. How does their need impact what you say and how you say it?
What we say:
Too many asset managers still have materials and digital properties that read as a brochure about their firm. Rather than utilize an “inside-out” approach, start with an empathetic approach to increase the relevancy of your messaging. Using our advisor retiring example, we’ve studied the copy, design, voice and tone used by vendors that assist advisors in selling their practice (e.g. Succession Link and FP Transitions) and we’ve adopted this style for our specific customer segment.
How we talk to them:
Now, finally, you re-introduce inbound marketing into the picture. Our closed-loop process has allowed us to identify and measure our ideal, ready-to-be-nurtured audience of advisors. You understand their challenges, and you have several hypotheses as to what messaging they will find relevant – in other words, you know what to say to engage them. It’s time to implement marketing channel tactics by determining the type, sequence of timing for deployment of integrated demand engagement programs. Remember, digital engagement is enabled by a complex technology stack. Websites that are effective in lead development and advisor engagement depend on a range of tools and processes that consume, generate and share data. And while this revenue systems layer underpins advisor engagement, the visual experience advisors have remains as important as ever. Good marketing still depends upon good design.
This leads one to question “How can I measure results?”