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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Clients Crave More Customized Communications From Advisors: Survey

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Investors want more engaging and mobile-friendly communications with actionable advice from their advisors, according to a survey released Friday by Broadridge Financial Solutions, which provides advisor marketing among other services.

Investors across generations have grown accustomed to highly individualized user experiences and client-centric customization in other aspects of their lives, Broadridge said, and it behooves financial advisors to adapt as they compete for clients’ attention and assets.

The findings were based on a survey fielded in March by the market research firm Engine of 502 individuals who currently use a financial advisor.

Advisors today have the ability — and an invitation from their clients — to be informed and a part of their lives as never before, according to the survey.

Nine in 10 millennial and three in five Gen X respondents said they were open to their financial advisor following them on one or more social media platforms, with Facebook being the preferred social media network for advisor-client engagement of 61% of millennials, 38% of Gen Xers and 19% of baby boomers.

The survey also showed that advisors have an opportunity to reconsider the content they distribute to clients in order to strengthen relationships.

Fifty-three percent of respondents called their investor communications “personally relevant.” Yet fewer than 4 in 10 respondents said they were “engaging,” and fewer than 3 in 10 called them “actionable.”

“As a result of technology transforming the customer experience, investors have come to expect a certain type and level of service no matter the industry or consumer relationship,” Chris Perry, head of global client solutions at Broadridge, said at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Private Client conference.

“It’s clear investors want to interact with their advisors on social channels and want high-quality, engaging and actionable financial advice. This presents a real opportunity for advisors to provide more personalized communication and experiences.”

According to Broadridge, 38% of millennials use their smartphone as a primary device when reading advisor communications, compared with 21% of Gen Xers and 7% of boomers. Just 37% of boomers, 22% of Gen Xers and 10% of millennials prefer to read investment communications on paper.

The survey appeared to give the lie to the long-held industry belief that clients will overwhelmingly follow advisors who leave their firm. Forty-seven percent of Gen X clients said they would stick with their current firm regardless of whether their advisor made a move, as would 39% of boomers and 33% of millennials.

Brand and customer experience matter in today’s world, Broadridge said. Forty-seven percent of Gen X and 42% of millennial respondents said an advisory firm’s reputation was more influential in their decision to work with a financial advisor than individual advisors in the firm.

— Check out The Top Reason Your Online Marketing Isn’t Getting Results on ThinkAdvisor.


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