Partaking with advisers in a brand new digital world

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The relationship between financial advisers (FAs) and their clients have long been based on face-to-face meetings, long-term relationships and a trust that develops over time. For marketers in the industry looking to influence that relationship, traditional tactics from events to trade press advertising, have been the mainstay. This year that changed.

The global pandemic has meant many things for many industries, but in the case of financial advisers it has changed how they manage client relationships, perhaps forever. Building a virtual and responsive approach to client management has coincided with an at times incredibly volatile market environment – impacting the adviser and client relationship in more ways than one. Advisers have had to upskill teams, communicate fast-changing complex financial information remotely and support often emotional decision-making through technology.

Unsurprisingly, this has changed what advisers look for from asset managers – and of course where they are looking for it. Our new research in partnership with Greenwich Associates shows that advisers have stepped up to these challenges, broadening their skills and the sources of information that they look to for advice, information and inspiration. For marketers, this is an opportunity to expand your role as a valued partner to advisers. You can step into this by leveraging creativity, storytelling skills and providing access to knowledgeable experts to provide the content and upskilling that advisers need now more than ever.

Five insights that will help marketers expand their role as valued partners to adviser

1. Advisers as content publishers

Maintaining relationships is even tougher in uncertain times and nervous investors have turned to advisers for immediate, trusted advice on how to respond to the market turbulence that has dominated the year. As a result, almost half of advisers have spent more time discussing market movements in the past six months than previously. And it’s in this key area where advisers themselves have been working hard as DIY marketers with a third spending more time producing content, including white papers , articles and newsletters, to keep clients informed and reassured. In your role as a marketer, creating content that is ready to serve to end clients can help them in their role, buying brand affinity and keeping them focused on the day job.

2. The role of asset managers

As FAs turn their hands to content publishing, who and where they seek information from is changing. When asked which is their primary source of financial information outside of the news media, nearly half of FAs said asset managers are equal to independent research firms, and second only to industry publications. For most, this means relying on both research and perspectives from fund managers and we are increasingly seeing forward-thinking marketers deliver this in new formats to create cut through and impact.

3. New trusted sources

Information has been king in 2020 and advisers have had to keep up.  While industry ‘bibles’ such as the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal are still important, their dominance has been challenged by new media, such as LinkedIn, which is now ranked as a fast growing news source among FAs. The line between industry publications and social media has blurred. This is likely to increase in the near future, with LinkedIn named as the top source most likely to see a rise in engagement in the coming two years. What we are beginning to see is marketers taking advantage of this growing trend – from test and learn pilots to full blown campaigns – ensuring they are active where their clients are and putting our platform in the mix with other more traditional media outlets.

4. New clients, new ways

As the great international wealth transfer is anticipated, moving assets from Baby Boomers to Millennials, social channels are helping FAs to target a new generation of investors. Advisers targeting growth are increasingly using social media and online advertising to build their book. LinkedIn plays a critical role for financial advisers when engaging with their own community.  While personal referrals might still make up the majority of the new business pipeline, social media and online advertising aren’t far behind as a way of driving growth. For these advisers, the content that supports conversations with end clients is key – enabling them to use the platform to open up new relationships and opportunities.

5. The role of brand

In a B2B2C world, the influence of the end client can easily be overlooked when we’re focused on FAs. But our research found that retail investors are being hugely influenced by brand campaigns and content from asset managers. It found that three quarters of advisers have had their clients request a specific fund or product because of brand awareness, likewise many said that their clients are more likely to accept a recommendation if they know the brand. For many intermediated brands, the role of the retail investor as an influencer poses a rethink of marketing strategy and content production to invest in brand awareness alongside engagement and action.

This new digital world delivers new opportunities for strategic marketers looking to engage with and influence advisers. As the industry adapts to the digital transformation that 2020  has accelerated, forward-thinking marketers are already ahead and using these emerging trends to their advantage. Download the EMEA playbook today to uncover more trends and insights: Connecting with Financial Advisers. 

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