Advisers need to grasp the “Facebook era” of clients who will praise or damn them online in the blink of an eye, according to discretionary investment management comparison service Discus.
Abbie Knight, director of marketing and community at Discus, told advisers gathered at an FTAdviser roadshow in Guildford today (16 March) that the marketing techniques of old are not what will attract and retain clients today.
Speaking at the FTAdviser Redefining Safe Havens roadshow, in association with fud house Gam, Ms Knight said: “We are in a new world disorder – clients are changing and as a result your marketing needs to change as well.
“Ten years ago, smart phones did not exist as they do today.
“Product development can now happen in real time. People give feedback on products in real-time. This is really the Facebook era. We are hostile to long-term investment and have a resistance to permanency. This presents a challenge to business.
“We are in a smart phone society. What we are seeing in the UK is four out of five people have a smart phone. In 2005 mobile searches overtook desktop searches.
“A third of those searching for a local service use a smart phone as the primary tool to seek advice. Eight out of 10 people searching online will take action based on what they find online.”
Ms Knight pointed out Google’s algorithm favour LinkedIn over an adviser’s own company website.
As a result, Ms Knight said advisers need to make sure contact details, a professional headshot and expectations for the client are clearly spelt out on this social media channel.
Instead of using the marketing practices of old, pushing out information and hoping it sticks, Ms Knight said advisers need to understand people now look for information through their personal connections on social media.
Ms Knight said advisers must therefore look at how to draw your clients’ connections in to your business.
Advisers gathered at the event at Holiday Inn, Guildford, were told to consider influencer marketing, which is very similar to strategies they have already used.
In the digital age, Ms Knight said this is where brands are finding people with a strong social media following and paying to be part of their stream.
Ms Knight said: “These people are brand advocates. Even though there is #ad people still buy into it.”
Another approach Ms Knight recommended is marketing automation.
She said marketing automation creates a funnel for your marketing material – such as a thought leadership paper on what you need to do to invest tax efficiently – and often starts by registering people who want to receive such a paper.
The system then sends follow-up emails to check people received it and whether they wish to take action.
As the emails are heavily personalised, Ms Knight said people do not realise these emails are automated.
Omnichannel engagement is also important, she added.
According to Ms Knight some firms, recognising email inboxes are overflowing, now use WhatsApp to set up meetings.