Advisory firms should step up their marketing and other communications initiatives to best serve their clients and take advantage of opportunities to grow their businesses during this difficult time, and they don’t need to be expert technicians or spend bundles to do so, according to RIA marketing experts who spoke Tuesday during the webinar “Marketing Secrets of Billion-Dollar RIAs.”
Advisors must, however, be open to listening to other perspectives and trying out new initiatives that can potentially help their businesses, they said. At the same time, it’s also a good time for advisory firms to shift their marketing away from business continuity issues and other COVID-19 crisis specifics in favor of new legislative and other information, as well as fun, lifestyle-oriented ideas that clients and prospective clients will find useful now that the situation has stabilized somewhat, they pointed out.
“I think generally one of the hardest things to get [from] a retail consumer is their attention, and we’ve absolutely got everyone’s attention through this time,” according to Jud Mackrill, chief marketing officer at Carson Group. After all, he noted: “They’re uncertain, they’re afraid, they’re opportunistic. There’s all sorts of ways that advisors” can help them. “It’s been a huge opportunity for our partner firms to seize on that [by being] really proactive” and educational.
That is “especially” the case as legislation continues to pass that impacts small-business owners and other clients, he said, adding: “We have to be available. We have to be doing the research as marketers to create resources and assets” to deliver to clients to “give them clarity and confidence and help them more optimize their financial plan or make key decisions.”
The Hunger for Information
Agreeing, Christa Spencer, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Mariner Wealth Advisors, said clients were “really hungry for information” and very appreciative when advisors return their phone calls to answer their questions and address their concerns. This is especially a great opportunity to land new clients or even get more business from clients who may be working with other advisory firms, including larger ones, that “just aren’t taking the time to communicate” with them, she noted.
One important key in attracting new clients is for advisory firms to have content prepared to address investors’ concerns and “then putting it out there,” such as on social media, so that they see there’s a place to get their questions answered about new legislation and other issues, she said.
Focusing on the effects of COVID-19 right now is a much better theme for advisors’ marketing than the virus itself, she went on to say. For example, “if you have clients who have been furloughed or laid off,” it would be a great idea to reach out to clients to help them resolve such issues as what to do with their 401(k)s, she noted. Helping clients deal with the “new normal” of being out of work for a while and “being their partner through it so they know that they can rely on you for more than just their investments” is a great route to take, she suggested to advisors.
Stressing the fact that it doesn’t necessarily have to cost a whole lot to enhance marketing initiatives, Spencer said lifestyle events including virtual yoga classes, as well as webinars, have been effective ways to continue meeting with clients.