The study is the second in a four-part study, Best Practices Study Series. Best Practices: Business Development focuses on how advisors market and which strategies work best. Part one, Best Practices: Business Performance, was published in 2009.
Top-quartile advisors see a much greater return on investment than other advisors, the report found. For every $1.00 spent on marketing, top-quartile advisors make $1.63, compared with other advisors who just break even.
More than half of firms depend entirely on principals to attract new business, while one-quarter say they are "highly-dependent."
"The most critical finding is the shift away from relying on market appreciation and client referrals to drive growth towards more proactive marketing solutions," Natalie Doss, research manager for Quantuvis, said in a press release.
The top strategies advisors expect to use include investing time (73%) and money (51%) in marketing. Seventy-one percent said they would develop a marketing plan, and more than one-third said they would grow their business through acquisition.
"With changing market conditions, advisors who want to continue double-digit growth implement active strategies to highlight their value and bolster business development," Doss added.