Advisor Engagement Insights

Knowing Is Growing: Identifying Your Ideal Target Advisors and Influencers

Effective advisor engagement begins with an understanding of the ideal advisors and influencers for your investment products and offerings.

Your marketing success will depend on strategies and programs that rely on accurate identification and targeting of market segments. Depending on your business model, you will target a variety of different advisor audiences. You might consider the top-level groups like  Wirehouse FAs, Independent BD firms and independent/Fee Only RIAs and Hybrids. But these groupings do not go far enough to properly tailor your advisor engagement strategy. Engagement strategies will vary significantly across these groups and even further within each group. There are a wide range of advisor types and styles that you must consider when crafting an engagement strategy.

An effective advisor engagement strategy requires a deep understanding of how your investment offerings fit with the target groups, subsegments and the size and economics of each sector.

Yet too often, our marketing and communications efforts are not targeted towards the most promising target segments. The benefit of improved segmentation is the ability to drive sales by crafting differentiated communications, deploying customized marketing programs, aligning distribution strategies and improving marketing and sales focus.

So how do we identify our ideal advisors and influencers?

The answer is to segment the market around criteria that matter.

Understand segmentation and the factors in your business model that should determine the ‘ideal advisors’.

  • Segments should have similar preferences within each segment and distinct preferences between segments.
  • Segments should be actionable for purposes of marketing planning and sales execution.
  • Segments should consider a range of factors that matter to your offerings, (e,g.  financial viability in terms of size, scale, margins; investment style, e.g. discretionary vs non-discretionary, etc.)

Go beyond groups (like Wirehouse, Indy, RIA) and consider factors that distinguish advisor’s likely interest, fit and engagement styles. Examples you might consider are:

  • Advisor business model
  • Advisor value proposition (e.g., wealth manager, investment manager, stock picker)
  • End client interaction – proactive vs reactive
  • Portfolio Management Approach: discretionary vs non-discretionary
  • Product/Market Mix – expansive or niche/limited vs full portfolio
  • Current relationship – established vs new
  • Position among peers – opinion leader vs trend follower
  • Stage in career: Ramping up, established, finishing up
  • Organization: Lone wolf, small team, office
  • Specialization within team: relationship vs product leadership
  • Channel preferences: wholesaler vs online/self-directed
  • Communication preferences: email vs letter/newsletter vs brochure
  • Education: direct/wholesaler vs webinar/video/TV
  • Awareness model: advertising vs product search

Identify and focus on the segments that work for you

  • Reviewing existing and/or planned segments in light of your business model
  • Identify and measure Total Addressable Market (TAM) so you can better measure awareness and engagement levels
  • Prioritize your target audience (e.g., by discretionary/non-discretionary, firm size/AUM, shared attributes, etc.)
  • Identify target audience buyer composition (e.g., personas, DMUs (decision making units) and influencers

Next Up: With your ideal advisors identified, it’s time to understand their world so you can effectively reach them and foster engagement.

Note: the author of this post is indebted to the work of Keith Sullivan in his comprehensive guidebook, “Exposed: The False Promises of Revenue Marketing” and the deep insights he provides into the 9 principles of buyer engagement.

Reaching Advisors by Addressing Their Urgent, Visible Problems

These are words every marketer should tattoo on their foreheads:

“It’s not about us – it’s about them.”

Too often, those of us in marketing reach out to the market by touting our companies’ capabilities. In other words, we talk about ourselves – what we do, how we do it, why we’re better at it than our competitors. But just because we do it doesn’t make it effective. In fact, we all stand to benefit by recognizing that the best marketing isn’t about us; instead, it’s about our prospects’ needs and pain points.

By looking resolutely at everything from our prospects’ point-of-view, we put ourselves in a better position to accomplish our goals.

What does this mean?

It means understanding where our prospects are in their buyer journey and communicating with them in a human way. We need to deliver content and messaging through coordinated campaigns that focus on their most urgent, visible problems. “Urgent” suggests that the need is important and immediate; “visible” assumes it’s close to the surface or can be raised through provocative messages.

The idea of urgent, visible problems is a key concept in effective advisor marketing.

Unfortunately, marketers too often neglect it in favor of self-centered messaging.

It’s easy to get caught up in inflated rhetoric that actually may be irrelevant to the typical advisor with specific, tactical problems to solve. This person simply doesn’t have the time or inclination to think in terms of grandiose concepts—not when they’re facing the pressure of addressing such challenges as their need to:

  • Enhance their relationships with current clients
  • Justify their fees and defend active management
  • Reach out to a broader demographic of potential clients like women and Millennials

Not only do you need to show how you offer valuable insights that can help advisors address these challenges. You also need to demonstrate conclusively why it’s in their best interests to engage with your company in particular.

Inspire the next step.

Your content and messaging needs to focus on getting your prospect to engage – download, register, view a video or Webinar or otherwise raise his or her hand.

Relevancy is all-important here. Give your target audience information they judge to be less than pertinent to them, and they’ll quickly close their browser tabs. But give them a compelling reason to engage by making them an offer of content that promises useful insights on the business problems being solved, and you’ll be able to effectively move them to the next stage in their buy cycle.

Again, don’t lose sight of the singular objective of your efforts – generating inquiries and sustaining interest throughout the buying process. That’s how you’ll convert them to the point of sale-readiness. Continuously motivate them to take the next step, with as much content as is required to whet their appetites and keep them hungry for more.

Trying to persuade? Just answer the questions advisors are asking.

Understand what advisors are asking at each stage of their journey. And remember, prospective buyers’ questions are not linear. Rather, they can come in virtually any order.

  • They may be wondering what they can do to bring the next generation of investors into the fold.
  • They may be challenged by the need to be more digitally adept and looking for a solution set.
  • They may have concerns about market volatility or heightened P/E ratios and wonder what steps they can take to minimize the consequences.
  • They may simply want easy-to-digest literature they can share with their clients.

A good rule of thumb is simply to assume that the questions will probably be associated with the pains and challenges your prospects face.

What better opportunity for you to provide worthwhile solutions?

Next Up: Now that you understand your advisors, you can dive in and understand their challenges so that you can earn their business.

Note: the author of this post is indebted to the work of Keith Sullivan in his comprehensive guidebook, “Exposed: The False Promises of Revenue Marketing and the deep insights he provides into the 9 principles of buyer engagement.

Feel Their Pain, Secure Their Business

Advisor Pains — Urgent, Visible Problems

To understand an advisor’s point-of-view and to engage with them, you must have a deeper understanding of their pain — their urgent, visible problems, even those they may not be aware of. From a high level you might generalize their pains as:  

  • Differentiating themselves from their competitors
  • Justifying their fees and navigating an accelerated shift from commission-based to fee-based accounts
  • Attracting broader demographics and segments
  • Adapting their behavior, digital tools and agenda to their clients’ way of life.

However, this is likely too generalized to your total market. For example what are the comparative pains of indy advisors vs. wirehouse advisors vs. independent advisors/RIAs – as well as for the major segments within each.

Pain Maps – Foundation of Advisor Engagement

There are  four interdependent and sequential elements or building blocks that make up an effective Advisor Engagement Strategy.  It is likely no surprise that pain points are the foundational element. 

Advisor Pain Points


    • Pain Maps™
    • Engagement Personas™
    • Pain Ladders™
    • Message Maps™






Organizing advisor pain points in Pain Maps™  will enable the ULTIMATE goals of creating Engagement Personas™ and informing the message development process. Engagement Personas™ should represent an excellent buyer-centric perspective and be rich with pain points relative to your solutions.

Further, it is important to organize and prioritize the pain points for each segment (e.g., RIAs, Wire Houses, Indys) in order to connect them to the larger narrative in the context of segment-specific demand engagement initiatives. As you go through this process, you’ll see there’s often overlap between segments/buyer types, thus allowing for the most efficient message, experience and content development processes possible.

For example, an Independent persona’s pain points may contrast as well as overlap with a wirehouse advisor as illustrated below.

Illustrative Pain Points

Independent Advisor 

  • Fund companies that don’t understand me or my business 
  • Need insight and perspective that can be used with clients

Wirehouse advisor

  • Help positioning alternatives and “unconstrained” funds
  • Keeping up on products and the markets

Independent / Wirehouse Advisors

  • Portfolio advice / 2nd opinion
  • Broadening client demographics

Both Pain Maps™ and Engagement Personas™ are created through interviews with key stakeholders, primary and secondary research, surveys and, most importantly, interviews with your target audience.

The next step is to create Message Maps™, which provide the insights required to build compelling advisor experiences and content. Developing content aligned with the buy cycle will enable you to ultimately validate the various content components of a true advisor engagement strategy.

Note: the author of this post is indebted to the work of Keith Sullivan in his comprehensive guidebook, “Exposed: The False Promises of Revenue Marketing” and the deep insights he provides into the 9 principles of buyer engagement.

Mapping Your Way to Greater Advisor Engagement

“The failure to follow a well-established development process is causing many organizations to miss the mark when it comes to designing content and campaigns that resonate strongest with their customers and prospects.” -Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy & Marketing Office, Corporate Visions

Everyone will agree that building demand is one of the primary goals of marketing. In fact, it may well be Goal #1. The question is, what can asset managers do to create stronger demand for their products with advisors?

In the world of demand-generation marketing, we hold that creating Message Maps centered on a Pain-Empathy-Insights approach is a critical step in the process.

Building Message Maps is a great way to bring structure to the development of communications assets designed to escort prospects through the buying cycle.

Before we describe them in more detail, let’s consider a serious challenge Simon Sinek issued to conventional thinking about prospect engagement.

Simon got it right.

For those of you who haven’t read his books or seen his Ted Talks, Simon Sinek is a highly regarded marketing consultant and educator who has inspired tens of thousands of people to turn his concepts into action.

Simon says companies that do marketing right create overtures that focus on why they do what they do rather than on what they produce.

This only stands to reason, he says, because it corresponds with how people behave in the marketplace. They buy based on why they need not on what they get.

How does this apply to you and the messaging you create?

Relevance is the answer.

Focusing on the why allows you to speak to your ideal audiences in their own voice and to create communications that are specific and pertinent. That’s the way to maximize your impact and fulfill one of today’s marketing’s most important missions – relevance.

To develop high impact, content-driven demand marketing and persuasive selling, start by focusing on the buyer’s pain, offer up empathy by describing and understanding their individual role, then provide insights in the form of thought-leadership content.

Here’s an example of what this looks like in a Message Map model:

Engagement Persona: Time Strapped Independent Advisor

Message Maps 3

Before you begin any coordinated communications campaign, we suggest that you build Message Maps targeting your ideal advisors.

Remember, a Message Map approach is designed to get your prospects to take the next step. You want to incent them to deepen a dialogue with you.

That’s how true engagement is created.

Next Up: How to create content that advisors will engage with.

Note: the author of this post is indebted to the work of Keith Sullivan in his comprehensive guidebook, “Exposed: The False Promises of Revenue Marketing and the deep insights he provides into the 9 principles of buyer engagement.

Engage, Advance, Convert: the Mandates of Effective Content

Content is the thread that connects marketing and selling.

Done correctly, content gives you the ability to:

  • Engage with your prospects
  • Advance their understanding that what you have to offer can make a difference to them
  • Eventually convert them into buyers

Only by fully understanding your prospective buyers’ pain points, key challenges, intents, preferences and more can you create content that truly resonates with them.

Let’s review some simple pointers that can help you create content of this kind.


Ask yourself if the content you’re creating, and the experience it engenders, is relevant, valuable, unique, compelling, provocative, exclusive and/or enticing. In short, do something different.

To evaluate the quality of your content, ask yourself these telling questions:

  • Will our content help prospects address key problems and challenges they’re facing?
  • Will it provide them a framework to better evaluate their challenges and begin assessing approaches to solving them?
  • Will they interrupt what they’re doing to acquire and interact with our content at the point of our presenting it to them?

Unless your answers are yes, yes and yes, you’ve got more work to do.


60% to 80% of companies today, including those that pay homage to the importance of content, fail to experience success because they consign content strategy and development to Product or Corporate Marketing. In turn, those marketers allow product and brand messaging to define content’s composition. They develop creative messages which often are product- or brand-centric, and then they promote the content in calls-to-action across a host of digital and social media channels.

They’re creating monologues, not dialogs.

Our recommendation – invert the approach. Determine who to target and what’s important to them (their pain points, for example) and then develop your content before the campaigns and creative process begins. Then, and only then, develop creative that’s intended singularly to promote the content asset(s).

And always make sure that it’s your Demand Generation people who are leading the charge.


Content “atomization” allows you to extend your content into component parts, thereby reinforcing your narrative and messages by serving up “bite-sized chunks” of information.

Using this technique, a single “pillar” content asset such as a white paper and be re-used in hundreds of different ways – as blog posts, infographics, webinars and more.

It’s the smart way to feed the machine.


Effective content marketing is a function of nurturing a prospect from interest to commitment. In that context, it’s worth spending a minute on a concept known as Equitable Exchange – what are you going to give to your prospects and what are they willing to give you in return?

At the beginning of the buying cycle, you’re looking for permission to continue the dialogue. The prospects award you this in exchange for a non-obligatory content asset of perceived value. It may be a white paper or a sales aid – something that helps prospects gain insights, build knowledge and ultimately do their jobs more effectively.

Going forward, you’re looking for qualification and readiness, while your prospects are looking for solutions and credibility. The equitable exchange shifts to an often more obligatory value equation. Content can be case studies, tools and other assets of higher perceived value that can move the process along.

Just remember, content isn’t a tactic – it’s a strategy. It’s the strategic element that inspires your target audience to carry on a dialogue with you.

Next Up: Create logical pathways to lead the advisor through the customer journey.

Note: the author of this post is indebted to the work of Keith Sullivan in his comprehensive guidebook, “Exposed: The False Promises of Revenue Marketing” and the deep insights he provides into the 9 principles of buyer engagement.

What Comes Next: Creating Logical Pathways

Creating Logical Pathways™: How to build a clear engagement path via content – to advance buyers and increase conversion through the buy cycle by 300% or more!

It’s crucial to buyer advancement and conversion to seed content in logical, sequential parts of your buyers’ UX (user/visitor experience) by using your various digital assets/properties. It allows you to use “guided selling” techniques to capture additional depth of understanding via progressive profiling. One good content asset deserves an even better one, and then an even better one after that.

Or…to put it another way: By providing increasingly attractive incentives on each successive page of your digital properties (website, registration, thank you or landing pages, etc.), you’ll be able to focus prospect behavior and streamline data capture. It works very simply: upon their registration for an initial asset for which you ask for only minimal information, pull prospective buyers further into your pipeline with an even stronger content offer of higher perceived value — provided, of course, that they take the “next step” you’ve guided them towards.

See for yourself how this is a powerful tool for engaging prospects and collecting essential information about their companies, current situation, challenges, pain points, needs and stage in the buying process. The value in monitoring and analyzing their “digital body language” will be priceless.

It’s all about leaving bread crumbs along the conversion path you want your prospective buyers to follow. And ALWAYS, define calls-to-action everywhere (social media, blog posts, landing pages, on your website, in automated lead nurturing e-mails, via links within all types of content assets such as eBooks, guides, etc.). What do you want the buyer who consumes content to do next? (Below is just one simple example of the practical application of this principle.)

What questions are buyers trying to answer at the early and middle stages of their buying process? Your content should help specific audiences (i.e., Engagement Personas™) answer questions like, “do I have a problem?” or “do I have THIS problem?” and “how should I solve it?” You’re attempting to surface latent pain and demand long before the conversation shifts to what solution is best. Your solution is obviously the best, but TRUST is what makes it obvious to a discerning buyer.

To that end, one of the most valuable aspects of Engagement Personas™ when they’re constructed effectively is to anticipate and answer the questions a buyer would ask at each step of the process. If you have content that answers them in a way that’s relevant to the specific prospective buyer, fantastic. If you don’t, then that’s where you start. The other suggestion for enabling Engagement Personas™ to drive strategy is to develop engagement scenarios.

Next Up: Rethinking the metrics you can use to measure advisor engagement.

Note: the author of this post is indebted to the work of Keith Sullivan in his comprehensive guidebook, “Exposed: The False Promises of Revenue Marketing and the deep insights he provides into the 9 principles of buyer engagement.

Revenue First: Rethinking the Metrics That Matter

The easiest metrics to measure are not always the most meaningful

When evaluating asset management marketing programs, indicators such as response / registration rate, open / click-through rate may be among the metrics you look for.

In an example of a narrower view, search marketing providers are measuring clicks, page visitation and navigation, length of visit, and the value of a “lead” based on what you paid for it.

Metrics are useful when they’re used for the tasks they’re best suited for, such as:

  • Testing which message/content combinations are working best,
  • Reviewing the types of content that prospects find most appealing,
  • Understanding where a prospect started in buyer journey and how they progressed through each stage to become a new advisor client (organic search, PPC, display ads, site sponsorship, social media, etc.)

These data are important but meaningless in the context of stand-alone metrics, without additional context for what happens next. They are irrelevant if you’re not engaging your ideal accounts or prospective buyers. You may consider them as leading indicators.

How do you re-think metrics, differentiate the best metrics that matter?

Differentiating between individual metrics and the KPIs that Matter.

Consider a revenue-first approach to re-think the metrics that matter, that is, metrics that are predictors of qualified account or sales opportunities and ultimately revenue delivered.

  • Start by defining KPIs or Key Performance indicators, that is, measurable values that show the progress of your business goals for your Asset Management Marketing and Sales
  • Gain a clear understanding of the importance of the KPIs, their hierarchy and how to align efforts to maximize performance in each.

advisor engagement metricsSee illustrative metrics, listed hierarchically from most important to least important

  1. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  2. Supporting Metrics
  3. Supporting Metrics


Sales Activity Attributable to Marketing.

One of the key challenges is calculating sales activity attributable to marketing.  The Supporting Metrics, e.g., cost-per-sale, cost-per-qualified-lead are often much easier to track and report on than the core KPIs – e.g., sales activity attributable to marketing.

While new software tools are helping to bridge the gap, there’s still a bit of “black magic” to the matter. Let’s consider a this scenario for sales attributable to marketing:

You’ve targeted a prospect through multiple media. What activity do you “credit” for the inquiry if they’ve responded to a direct message via LinkedIn or an e-mail campaign, enter a landing page through paid search, or click on a link in social media—? After all, it may have been the display ad or landing page that did the bulk of the selling, even if the response/registration initialy came through via e-mail. Last click attribution can be quite misleading at times. This suggests the need to measure return-on-marketing spend by (i) individual activity AND (iI) in the aggregate.

In the end, attribution will be an important thing to solve for in establishing a revenue first hierarchy predictors of qualified account or sales opportunities and ultimately revenue delivered.

Next Up: Activate your metrics to track advisors through the revenue producing process.

Note: the author of this post is indebted to the work of Keith Sullivan in his comprehensive guidebook, Exposed: The False Promises of Revenue Marketing” and the deep insights he provides into the 9 principles of buyer engagement.

Build, Measure, Refine, Repeat: How to Maximize Advisor Engagement

Have you Calibrated Metrics-Driven Advisor Engagement?

To engage advisors, you are using various communications tools/media channels roughly based on their ability to help you target your audience, but you may not have a good feel for their effectiveness.  And perhaps there isn’t a cadence to your ‘touches’, that is, a systematic communications plan with some frequency to maximize impact.  Further, you may not have a feel for your Revenue Funnel and budgets.

This is an indication that you have not:

  • Evaluated available communications tools / media based on their ability to help you target your audience, deliver cogent messages, control costs, and provide the highest yield potential.
  • Planned programs that emphasize frequency to maximize impact of systematic communications and touch individuals, at their moment of readiness when they’re ready and able to volunteer themselves as prospective buyers
  • Connected revenues and budgets

Metrics-Driven Methodology

To build a metrics-driven advisor engagement strategy, the first step is to connect your business model / budgets with your goals.  The next step is to build a good understanding of your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or measurable values that will show the progress of your business goals.  Examples include:

  • Number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
  • MQL conversion % to  Sales Qualifed Leads (SQL)
  • SQL conversion % to new clients
  • Client Lifetime Value

Second, create a high-impact, results-focused marketing plan, choosing tools and media channels in the context of:

  • Target Audience Reach (how many)
  • Frequency of Reach (how often)
  • Impact (engagement/response potential)
  • Intimacy (relevance, resonance & personalization)

It’s advisable to test and recalibrate your plan and media mix over time. Testing will help to determine the optimal number of impressions or touch points that should be factored into your plan before you begin to see significantly diminishing returns. Testing is also essential to understanding what tactics, messages, content, formats and media are most effective AND cost-efficient.

Start small by using a few key metrics that are easy to track using your marketing automation / CRM; then build from there, ultimately incorporating predictive and other data-driven business intelligence.

Revenue Funnel Metrics

To give your plan a real litmus test, consider reverse engineering your Revenue Funnel and do the “funnel math”: From impressions and leads created at the top-of-funnel all the way through to revenue and ROI at the bottom-of-funnel.

At a high level, there are three steps:

  1. Establish an effective understanding of the engagement potential for each of your funnel segments and channels  
  2. Tie it back into your hierarchy of metrics (see related post)revenue funnel
  3. Then model your revenue architecture, that is, the channels and target spend based on top-down market budget and goals.

Taking the Revenue Funnel Metrics approach further, consider the alignment and integration of your Marketing and Sales teams in a ‘closed-loop’ revenue architecture (See related post.) Optimally marketing / sales will:

  • Work together to orchestrate the customer experience end-to-end and generate leads, nurture opportunities in the pipeline and ultimately convert sales and
  • Track / measure this end-to-end so marketing / sales can attribute revenue to marketing programs and campaigns and see what is working and not working.  We call this a ‘closed loop revenue architecture’.

Bottom line: a closed-loop revenue architecture and metrics-driven methodology will help you measure and optimize a high performance advisor engagement strategy. 

Next Up: Bring it all together.

Note: the author of this post is indebted to the work of Keith Sullivan in his comprehensive guidebook, “Exposed: The False Promises of Revenue Marketing” and the deep insights he provides into the 9 principles of buyer engagement.

It Takes Four: the Foundation of Stronger Advisor Engagement

Do you have the right foundation for advisor engagement?

We break down the resources and systems that asset management firms need for effective advisor engagement into four categories: 


  1. Brand: Do our firm’s brand positioning, visual communications and branded channels provide a communications platform for advisor engagement?
  2. People: Are our organization and talent prepared to effectively engage advisors across the end-to-end advisor lifecycle?
  3. Processes: Are we executing a closed-loop process to engage advisors across the end-to-end advisor lifecycle?
  4. Technology: Does our solution include the right “stack” of revenue technologies including digital channels, marketing automation, salesforce automation, data management and business intelligence/analytics?


These four resource categories make up what we call a “revenue system”. They form the foundation for advisor engagement and sustainable revenue execution. These resources need to be in place at a sufficient level of maturity to enable revenue teams to attract, nurture, deepen and expand advisor relationships and convert asset management sales.  Yet few asset management firms have the right mix of capabilities across these categories. Brand channels and communications, messaging and voice are often not competitively distinguished and consistently communicated. The organization and talent approach is often siloed, creating disjointed advisor engagement for self-directed advisors and revenue processes are not “closed-loop” where marketing activities and programs are tracked through sales, informing what’s working and how to re-shape program tactics. Finally, technology systems are often not fully integrated, thereby resulting in poor data quality and less-than-ideal automation effectiveness.

Today’s advisor lifecycle experience is fluid and self-directed. Messages and experiences must be consistently delivered across marketing and sales. Leaders recognize that marketing and sales teams come together to manage non-linear advisor journeys. So, what are the resources required for an effective revenue system?

We break down resources into a checklist of four systems categories for world class advisor engagement.



Pervasive experiences, impressions and visual communications that reinforce a differentiated position.

  • Consistent brand identity and visual communications including logo design, tone and imagery colors embodied in a consistent brand standard
  • Brand enablement of 3rd party distribution and direct channels including digital and direct.
  • The digital presence across web and social media – with consistent copy, content and visual identity


Organization and talent that bring a holistic understanding of the integrated front office and teamwork.

  • Revenue-first organization that puts advisor experience first
  • Collaborative culture
  • Innovation focus
  • Technology and digital savvy
  • Recruiting and talent development
  • Metrics and incentives to reinforce the right behaviors


A continuous closed-loop process that eliminates “marketing” and “sales”  language in favor of a revenue-focused approach and process.

  • A closed-loop process that recognizes the continuous and non-linear engagement of today’s financial advisors, teams and influencer communities
  • Embracing the concepts of equitable exchange and permission marketing to deliver value in exchange for value
  • Orchestration of advisor engagement strategies for high profile/high value accounts
  • Closed-loop tracking and intelligence about what is working and not working across the lifecycle engagement model
  • Enabling content and resources that support real time aadvisor engagement and that addresses true persona needs and pain points.



Marketing and technology stack that includes applications for marketing, sales and data management.

  • Channel Platforms (web, social advertising, PR)
  • Marketing Automation & Tools
  • Sales Force Automation
  • Data Management
  • Business Intelligence Analytics


Note: the author of this post is indebted to the work of Keith Sullivan in his comprehensive guidebook, “Exposed: The False Promises of Revenue Marketing and the deep insights he provides into the 9 principles of buyer engagement.

This post addresses the 9th and final Principle.

R Stands for Relevance: Marketing Automation That Works

Financial advisors are an amazingly difficult prospect to engage. They are incredibly busy and already have a wealth of resources available to them; in fact, it may be fair to ask if they even need to engage with wholesalers? That’s why we say the best way to convert financial advisors to customers is to build your marketing automation program around them.

Lead generation starts with effective segmentation

Before focusing on key strategies, Sales and Marketing must have defined a set of engagement personas and customer segments. Marketing has worked with personas for at least a decade, but only since the advent of marketing automation software have engagement personas become empowered and brought to life.

Defining financial advisor segments for lead generation

Creating clarity with Sales is a two-step process:
  1. Lead scoring – a measure of how active a financial advisor is on your digital properties
  2. Lead grading – a measure of how profitable the financial advisor is likely to be


Advisor Marketing Focus


While it may take several iterations to get lead scoring and grading optimized, the process should be fruitful for Sales and Marketing. It crystallizes Marketing and Sales perspectives around which advisors are most profitable and which digital behaviors are believed to be most relevant to a sale. Some marketing automation vendors have one score that represents profitability and interest. However, being able to separate advisor behaviors from profitability factors simplifies discussions by clarifying customer segments by profitability as seen in the above graphic. As an example, Pardot applies a numerical value for an advisor’s lead score and a letter grade (A-F) for an advisor’s expected profitability.

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