News & Insights

31/01/2019

7 digital strategies to win the hearts of advisers: A checklist for asset management firmsby Craig Morris



All asset management firms are facing a highly competitive landscape. This is also a time of significant change and stress for the financial adviser community.
 
To survive and thrive in this environment, asset managers need to work harder than ever to communicate with and support advisors in the digital sphere – as independent financial advisors continue to be a critical distribution channel for most asset management firms.
 
However, a recent research study by the Living Group highlights that close to 80% of US asset management firms are not effectively using digital communications across their websites and social media to engage with financial advisers and intermediaries (a percentage that is probably equally as significant among asset management firms in Australia as well).
 
Successful asset managers will win with clearly differentiated value propositions, rather than a focus on outperformance. Asset managers must employ a cohesive, compelling and user-first digital experience to support financial advisers and intermediaries in order to win the hearts of advisers.
 
Established asset management firms that do not adapt and invest in their digital strategies and client experiences accordingly could find themselves at a significant disadvantage in the marketplace.
 
Based on my reading of the report, here are seven winning digital marketing strategies need to win the hearts of advisers in 2019.
 
1. Does your firm have a well-articulated proposition for financial advisers?
Looking at how different asset management firms position their brand, it is obvious that most use very similar brand promises. One of the biggest areas in which asset managers ‘fall down’ is most don’t clearly define a value proposition that is specifically relevant for financial advisers. This includes a lack of detail on how the asset management firm will specifically work with financial advisers to add value to their businesses.

2. Do you have a dedicated financial adviser channel on your website?
Some asset management firms are investing in their digital storefront, but they are in the minority. One of the key digital strategies to address the above issue (articulating a clear proposition for advisers) is to have a dedicated channel for financial advisers across a responsive website, social assets and apps. Financial advisers have specific needs, and these should be addressed via dedicated channels.

3. Is your content strategy aligned to the current needs of financial advisers?Have you identified the biggest issues financial advisers are facing today – and are you helping to solve those issues?Your content marketing strategy for financial advisers should be educational in nature, addressing relevant and current issues rather than acting as another salesman for your company. While content marketing has been around for a while now, many asset management firms still lack a well-structured editorial process that identifies strong content ideas and aligns their thought leadership program to the specific needs of advisers.Content pieces should also be well written, provide a clear value to advisers, and be visual in nature if possible—and they should not be too long. Ideally some content pieces should be able to be repurposed and used by financial adviser for their individual clients .There is often too much focus on providing forward looking views on market - this is a very crowded and over serviced content strategy.

4. Are you using strong SEO strategies across your website?Does your website have a strong search capability?
SEO is  pages, but it is not an exact science and is constantly changing. It might sound simple but one of the main strategies that has always been part of the Google algorithm is content that’s of strong interest to customers (see above). 

5. Are you integrating your content across your social media channels?
Financial advisers expect asset management firms to be present on social platforms and to be active participants. But asset management firms need to ensure their content marketing and social media are addressed in a single strategy, providing a unified brand experience to financial advisers. This should include a channel plan, which will detail how you’ll use various social media platforms. Asset management firms also need to have a genuine and personable voice on social channels in particular, discussing issues in an authentic way to create real connections. 

6. Do you provide interactive online tools for financial advisers?
Interactive content is engaging and often more helpful for financial advisers than a static image or block of text. This could include tools for advisers that helps them project a client’s finances into the future and breaks them down into income, taxes, assets and debt. Also of use are tools to gather client information efficiently online, educate clients, or model strategies live.

7. Has your firm strongly embraced film/video to further enhance your content?
Visual experiences, in the form of short clips and animations, should now be a critical element for any asset management firm wanting to engage and entertain financial advisers.
 
It is clear that digital will play an increasingly important part in creating a strong connection between asset management firms and financial advisers. The question is – how well is your firm executing on each of these 7 digital strategies?
 
Honner provides Marketing programs focused on driving business results. At Honner we also believe the foundations of a successful marketing campaign is to clearly understand and manage the end to end experience customers will receive. If  you’d like help in developing strategies, please contact Craig Morris, Honner’s Head of Marketing Solutions, at craig@honner.com.au
 

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