A fresh year ahead often brings that “new year, new you” mindset and it’s certainly making its mark in the financial profession. Our inboxes at Private Advisor Group are filled with inquiries from advisors seeking guidance on various fronts – from structuring investor outreach to refining marketing strategies and essential practices, website optimization, new tactics and more.
Looking ahead to the vast wealth transfer on the horizon – with Generation Xers, millennials and other heirs expected to inherit $72.6 trillion in assets by 2045 according to Cerulli Associates advisors must implement an effective, creative marketing strategy that resonates across broad demographics. To accomplish this, below are three key marketing trends for advisors to prioritize in 2024, accompanied by tips for sustained success.
AI’s Transformative Potential
Given the profound impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on business in general, advisors cannot afford to overlook the opportunities it can unlock for their marketing. AI is and will remain a massive driver of ideation, content creation, audience targeting, creative development, meaningful utilization of data and so much more for advisors.
For instance, countless advisors have attested to the significant efficiency boost provided by ChatGPT in personalizing investor outreach, offering nuanced communication aid during challenging life events, strategically positioning content for podcasts or video scripts, and even assisting in crafting annual client letters. One advisor shared that her staff member who speaks English as a second language found it very useful in proofing client correspondence for tone and style.
Additionally, Canva’s generative AI capabilities are enabling advisors to streamline design and elevate graphics and brand positioning for marketing collateral.
While most AI platforms are user-friendly, it’s crucial to proof the output to ensure accuracy. In addition, reinforce adherence to standard cybersecurity protocols within your team and stress the importance of avoiding entry of any personal identifying information to safeguard clients’ confidential data.
Balancing Personal Connections With Targeted Messaging
Investors want to know that their distinctive goals and aspirations are not only understood, but acknowledged. This is why advisors should deploy strategic communications that encompass one-to-one approaches. Brand loyalty gets stronger when advisors demonstrate genuine care in personal and timely communications.
But personalization doesn’t only involve tailoring the message – an advisor also needs to be able to deliver the message the way the client would prefer to receive it, whether that’s in person or via email, compliant texting or phone. The capability to show clients they know what they are going through and will be there for them, and deliver that message in accordance with their preferences, separates advisors from auto-send.
According to LinkedIn, 33% of retail investors would be glad to hear from their advisor on a weekly basis. A marketing strategy and infrastructure allowing advisors to produce personalized communications on topics of interest at least once a week can assist advisors in strengthening client loyalty.
Outsourced Marketing Can Be Beneficial
As the demands of running a practice continue to increase in scope, many advisors find a strategic advantage to outsourcing their marketing. In fact, in recent years, we have seen advisors in our community choose from a wide variety of options – from the complete outsourcing of marketing strategy and execution to agencies and other third-party providers, to outsourcing on a project basis for specific initiatives.
Some advisors have invested internally by hiring marketing specialists. Those that invest in marketing can better position themselves to stay competitive, track campaign effectiveness, optimize strategies and adapt swiftly to evolving business and regulatory landscapes.
For those looking to outsource, consider aligning with a provider who understands the complexities of marketing in a highly regulated environment. Seek out recommendations from peers, discuss needs and goals with providers and take advantage of curated provider lists.
Tips For Sustained Success
Just as advisors customize financial plans for investors, they can channel that skill and insight into creating a tailored marketing plan for their practice. Such a plan can position advisors to proactively engage targets and adapt that engagement to retain clients. It can also give advisors the parameters they need to evaluate responses to their marketing communications and delineate how advisors can utilize data to make better-informed business decisions.
Much like in a financial plan, diversification is essential to a marketing plan. While staying abreast of current trends is critical, it’s equally important not to overlook the effectiveness of traditional tactics and revisited strategies. You may discover that time-tested methods are often worth doubling down on, or a refresh of a prior tactic might yield better results. For example, post-pandemic, many businesses are revisiting QR codes for marketing and advertising after their resurgence in popularity.
After constructing the plan, I recommend advisors add marketing meetings as a recurring item on their team agendas. This not only ensures that marketing remains a top priority throughout the year, but also encourages the entire team to actively contribute to the overarching strategy. By doing this, you can divvy up who on the team is ultimately responsible for executing components of your plan.
As you delve into your strategy, consider this: LinkedIn found that 31% of retail investors are contemplating a change in their advisor within the next 12 months, with 24% attributing their decision to a perceived “lack of communication” from their current advisor. A finely tuned plan not only charts a path to success with strategic initiatives, but also intricately weaves a thoughtful communication strategy throughout those initiatives.
Kelly Coulter is Head of Marketing at independent wealth management firm Private Advisor Group.