It’s a challenge our clients constantly face, how to reach and stand out amongst financial advisors whose preference and recommendation of products is paramount. The FA audience is inundated with materials from providers touting everything from new products and incentives and receiving them both in the form of print and electronic communications. Well there may be some good news, at least for financial marketers.
Advisor marketing has hit a five-year low according to the marketing firm Market Strategies, Inc. a financial industry marketing research firm in Boston, Mass.
Providers are easing up on the volume of advisor communications. This year, advisors report receiving an average of 10% less monthly touches on average. That may not seem like much but coupled with the fact that advisor visits are down as well, the opportunity is ripe to amp up your outreach to advisors right now. Equally as important the opportunity is also in communicating to this important audience in the way they prefer in order to reach them. Like in all marketing, it comes down to the following: communication, reachand frequency. The right frequency of touchpoints and type of touchpoint is key. Advisors cite email as the most effective way to reach them.
However, in what appears to be an unmet opportunity, nearly one-quarter of advisors prefer external wholesaler visits, a touchpoint that has seen a decline since 2015.
With the continuing decline of financial advisors in the United States (down 4% from 2015), reaching every individual matters in marketing to this high-in-demand, low-in-supply audience. After independents, the national warehouse channel remains the second largest advisor base, based on number of advisors. And national advisors maintain substantially larger books of business than their peers in other channels. Firms that can more efficiently reach advisors in this high-value channel will have a leg up on their competitors in building business throughout the purchase funnel.
To truly gain the most value, providers must further align their outreach to the unique needs of each channel. This can mean creating programs specifically geared towards these national firms- utilizing their branding and their language, so as to stay in keeping with their brand communications. National producers are also most likely to value face-to-face interaction and be energized by external wholesaler visits, while Bank producers want the ability to reach an internal wholesaler on standby. Other notable distinctions include Retirement Investment Advisors (RIAs) who prefer email and have a tendency toward visiting and engaging with provider websites. This audience also favors webinars. More on that in our follow up article on how to produce compelling content for FA’s.
Providers need to take into account the wide variety of ways to segment and customize advisor outreach to maximize brand engagement and future consideration. The key to success lies in not just communicating with advisors in the way they prefer but also in creating content that resonates and helps them to differentiate their brand. In doing so, providers can build on advisor trust and loyalty. Thought leadership content, in the form of articles and webinars, may be the key differentiator when it comes to reaching financial advisors.