Top Women Rising Stars Winner Jacquelyn Marchand Recommends Listening to and Connecting With Audiences, Clear Messaging and Displaying Expertise in Communications
As early as middle school, we learn that the most profound insights and knowledge mean nothing unless we effectively communicate those thoughts to another person. Over time, essays and book reviews turn into powerpoint presentations, academic papers and press releases but the core remains – we must engage an audience and transmit ideas.
For those who embark on communications careers, the passion to connect with an audience turns into an art of listening, gauging reactions, developing ideas and presenting information in an engaging and thoughtful manner.
In her nine years at Commonwealth Financial Network, WSR Pathfinder Awards – Top Women Rising Stars winner Jacquelyn Marchand executed a wide array of marketing and communications duties while rising to the top as Director, Corporate Communications. She currently leads the firm’s public relations, media relations and social media functions.
Marchand contributed to the launch of Commonwealth’s first Instagram channel in 2021 and largely due to her influence Commonwealth experienced steady growth in media coverage of key business lines and a deepening of the spokespersons bench.
We spent time with Marchand to ask how she chose communications as a career, her thoughts on digital marketing support for advisors and trends in wealth management communications.
WSR: How did you decide on a career in communications and how did you choose the wealth management industry?
Marchand: I’ve always been interested in finance, and I think the initial spark came from learning financial literacy from my father at an early age. Specifically, saving for the things that matter and making sure the money you work hard for is working for you. I believe those skills lay the foundation for good decision-making and personal well-being regardless of your career path.
As I studied and gained experience in business, I was drawn to marketing and communications. Understanding and connecting with your audience and developing messaging that resonates with them is powerful and became my passion, so pursuing this field within the wealth management industry was a natural fit for me.
At Commonwealth, I’ve been privileged to work alongside other avid marketers who want to share the Commonwealth story of what makes us different and how we support today’s advisor. This narrative is often told through the lens of our community members who achieve success and continue to grow in this ever-evolving industry.
By forming relationships with advisors who focus on the client experience, I found new ways to amplify their voices and share how Commonwealth empowers them to have more time to do what they love.
WSR: Tell us about the role that the home office can play in digital marketing, social media and communications for financial advisors.
Marchand: Your firm partner is your starting point and ongoing resource for digital marketing. Commonwealth’s professional marketing resource, Brand Studio, is run by our Advisor Marketing team and provides three areas of key support: 1) strategy and marketing education, 2) content and 3) access to reviewed third-party marketing tools.
Brand Studio helps advisors build their digital marketing strategy based on their business goals, offers ongoing marketing education, and provides a library of materials to use or repurpose for clients, prospects and centers of influence.
Having access to marketing technology is also important for efficiency and effectiveness. Commonwealth carefully reviews vendors and makes them searchable with our other resources. So if our advisors are looking for an email vendor, they can search “email” and see all reviewed email vendors in one place.
The home office’s role is to support advisors by providing an infrastructure to rely on while offering the flexibility to support their strategy and goals.
WSR: What are the greatest trends you see in communications in the wealth management space? How should communications professionals prepare for the future?
Marchand: I see integrated digital experiences and storytelling as profoundly engaging ways to share your message. There’s a lot of noise to cut through, so having a clear, direct message for your intended audience should be your top priority.
Regardless of the medium, showcasing your authentic self makes you more relatable and allows you to form a strong human connection and build trust with your audience. It’s important to embrace all that makes you you.
Additionally, listen to your audience and lean on data to better understand what they’re looking to consume and where. Performance metrics, such as engagement, audience growth and impressions, can show you how to reach and grow your targets.
Lastly, be ready to react if an opportunity arises where you can show your authority. Seek out those opportunities to flex your expertise, strengthen your voice and tie your communications back to your values and vision.
Janeesa Hollingshead, Senior Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org