In recent years, online marketing campaigns have become second nature to advisors as they interact with their clients through technological mediums. Telephone calls are now being performed via the Internet voice-over phenomenon Skype; advisors are updating their clients of current financial trends by way of 140-character messages on Twitter; and advisor/client relationships are being strengthened through professional social networking sites like LinkedIn. With these advancements it’s easy to say that technology will continue to be a primary method of communication in the financial sector, yet it’s the relationship between the client and technology that advisors will need to foster through effective marketing.
According to research by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, older generations are becoming more comfortable with Internet usage. Between 2005 and 2008, the amount of 70 to 75-year olds actively using the Internet rose from 25 percent up to 45 percent — the highest increase of any age group. Tapping into this growing comfort-zone can be a strategic plan for any tech-savvy advisor. However, though the senior market is rapidly becoming more familiar with the particulars of technology, a few questions must be addressed when building an online campaign:
1. How do seniors find the site? For clients over the age of 65, only 29 percent of search engine users report being confident about using the tool. Additionally, only 9 percent indicate that they find what they need from a search engine on a regular basis. Addressing this concern means taking a look at how your product comes up in searches and researching ways to increase your visibility and relevancy. David Martino, president of communications firm Martino & Binzer, suggests that services like Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help in this area.