Advisors who aren’t using podcasts and flash briefings to communicate with their clients should seriously consider doing so because they can be enormously effective, especially when reaching out to affluent clients and prospective clients, according to TD Ameritrade.
After all, affluent clients and prospects are listening to podcasts, according to the firm, which pointed to data indicating that 45% of monthly podcast listeners have an annual household income over $75,000.
Voice is arguably the oldest method of electronic communication, Dani Fava, director of institutional innovation, product strategy and development at TD Ameritrade Institutional, said Wednesday during the webcast “The Power of Voice, In Good Times and Bad.”
Podcasts and also flash briefings, which are short informative pieces of prerecorded audio, are among the voice options that advisors have at their disposal. They can also use smart speakers and voice assistant devices, including those powered by Alexa or Siri voice control, Fava noted.
“TD Ameritrade really got into the voice arena last year,” she said, noting the firm “realized that this is just a growing space — an emerging trend.” The firm noticed, for one thing, that finance is an increasingly popular use case when it comes to smartphone voice assistant productivity, she said, pointing to data showing consumers are increasingly using those devices to conduct banking or manage their finances.
She cautioned that if you are an advisor who tends to only communicate with clients via email, FaceTime or some other form of video conferencing, that means “the only time you are interacting with your clients is when they are sitting in front of a screen.” It is a good idea to avoid “screen lock,” she said, adding: “We wanted to be in our users’ ears while they are doing things that they enjoy” and ask Alexa for their balances and positions while they are making dinner or drinking coffee, as examples.
Fava conceded she was not a voice expert and the firm “had no idea” how to enter the voice arena. Therefore, she and Vanessa Oligino, managing director of business performance solutions at TD Ameritrade Institutional, teamed up to find a solution for advisors to communicate with clients via voice, Fava said. The two of them started subscribing to flash briefings using the TD Ameritrade Alexa app, she noted. In the process, she learned what kind of information she wanted to hear and what she didn’t like, and that gave the firm ideas on what it wanted to do and not do with its own voice solutions, she said.
“I suggest you do the same thing,” Fava suggested to advisors, noting those interested in starting a podcast should start listening to existing podcasts to see what they like and don’t like. Fava and Oligino also gathered a pilot group of advisors together to find out what content they were interested in, Fava said, suggesting advisors looking to start their own voice solutions do the same thing with a select group of their clients to test the waters.
Based on what TD learned, Fava provided one more bit of advice to advisors looking to dip their toes in the voice waters: People want “brevity, levity, and familiarity,” so “be brief, get to the point — nobody wants to listen to a 20-minute flash briefing while they’re drinking their coffee.