How Financial Advisors Can Use Technology to Get More Effective Marketing in 2012

By Cynthia Stephens, VP of Marketing on Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

I am in the midst of developing the ByAllAccounts’ marketing plan for 2012.  Since I am a self-professed analyst who enjoys working with data, it is not developing the numerical forecast for next year that keeps me up at night.  One of my biggest marketing challenges is a lack of time (in fact as I write this post it is already well after work hours).

This lack of time is why I am an advocate for leveraging systems and technology.  Let me explain why.

Whether you intend to acquire five more clients in 2012 or 15 clients (like 26% of advisors we recently surveyed you can use technology to jump-start your marketing.  In the next few weeks I will offer you five reasons why you should consider technology to help you with your marketing activities in 2012.  What’s the number one reason?  In my opinion it is scalability.

Scalability (Do More with Less Staff)

Lack of time was the number one marketing challenge cited by 31% of advisors in our recent Q3 marketing survey.  If you are a mobile advisor or don’t have a dedicated marketing person or team, then putting the right systems in place can allow you to scale without adding staff.

Do you spend enough time communicating with prospects that you are trying to acquire?  Thirty-nine percent of those we recently surveyed communicate with prospects less than once each month.  If the plans for your practice involve acquiring new clients in 2012, consider the ways a customer relationship management system (CRM) could help you or your advisors manage communications to prospects without adding a dedicated marketing person.

Moreover, once you have acquired the new client many of these systems also offer the ability to see positions for their accounts within the interface (including held-away assets) for all the data you need right at your fingertips.  (For additional information on CRMs you might want to read Advisors and CRM Technology: How Does your Firm Stack Up?)

Would you like to rely less on referrals and word of mouth for attracting new clients but don’t have the in-house expertise for other marketing activities?  You aren’t alone.  In fact, I think this is why we’re seeing so many advisors outsource marketing activities such as website design, email marketing and content creation.

In addition to outsourcing, you might consider marketing automation technology.  Most advisors have never heard of it.  It is worth taking some of your scarcest resource (time) to educate yourself about marketing automation software for financial advisors.  I can tell you from firsthand experience that without marketing automation I’d need at least two more dedicated marketing persons.  (To learn more about marketing automation technology for financial advisors, check out our on-demand webinar replay: Marketing Techniques and Technology for Today’s Advisor.)

How important is it to grow your practice?  How important is it to look at the biggest picture you can for your expanding client base in order to deliver advice?  If you aspire to join the $1 Billion Club among RIAs, then at some point you’ll simply have too many accounts to monitor and report on manually.  You can add staff to handle the increased workload, or add temporary hourly help.

However this comes with the added burden of oversight.  For some advisors managing people isn’t how they want to spend their time.  Consider a technology solution that electronically gathers hard-to-reach accounts and formats this account information for your portfolio management system or CRM.  With such a solution in place, you will have more time to expand relationships with your existing clients, and hone your marketing initiatives in order to acquire new ones and hit that client acquisition goal for 2012.

In the next post in this series:  Reason #2:  Better Targeting New Clients:  Shift from a Shotgun to a Laser Scope. 

You Might Also Be Interested In:

comments powered by Disqus