The world in which every business operates is evolving dramatically and two of the biggest changes are the way in which technology has become part of our business DNA and the rise of a new generation of consumers: the Millennials.
We are now firmly in the internet age with close to 3bn of us online and according to the latest research, more than half the planet now owns a mobile phone, with unique users now exceeding 3.6bn.
Mobile social media use is also on the rise, with 77 per cent of all social networking users now accessing through mobile devices.
Technology has moved at such a pace, that any business which does not have a mobile friendly website or a social media presence is at a clear disadvantage when dealing with their clients.
Use of the right technology can not only educate and upskill the knowledge of clients but it can also be a cost effective way in which to reach and service clients who at first glance do not appear profitable.
The successful businesses of the future will be those that have a mobile friendly social media element which can be used to engage, inform and educate their existing and future clients.
Another change is the type of clients that businesses may have in the future.
You have heard of Baby Boomers and perhaps you are aware of Generation X but the market of the future for any business here for the long-term, are the Millennials.
These are the people born between 1980 and 2002.
They are vitally important for UK financial services and we need to understand what makes them different.
The clear marketing difference between the Baby Boomer generation and the rising Millennials is this. Baby Boomers are the Google generation. They will research their issues. They will Google your business before meeting.
Millennials have moved on from Google. They value engagement, they seek debate and they watch rather than read. They seek answers not through websites but through YouTube videos and on social media from debate formers and thought leaders.
So with these changes what can an advisory business do to engage with their clients more effectively?
I would like to look at three areas under-used by UK financial services firms: effective strategic relationships; business blogging; and Twitter.
Most strategic alliances fall at the first hurdle because people forget to have a plan to promote their solutions and services to each other’s clients.
You may have heard of product placement, the art of including your product in the narrative of a story or in the background of a television program or film. These days, most blockbusters are heavily influenced and even funded by product placement from an array of major brands.
You don’t have to be a super brand or help fund a blockbuster to take advantage of product placement. Any business can and should use this marketing tactic as part of its interaction and communication with clients.