7 Important Key Steps Australian Financial Planners Must Take In Order to Grow Their Business & 3 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Picture courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald – Financial Planner Spins a Social Media Web….

Is business growth for financial planners hard to come by? Without well-thought out strategies in place to solidify market presence and relevance, the challenge can prove to be enormous. Game-changing consumer trends and rule-defying consumer behavior characterize the present market dynamics – and increasingly demand financial planners to keep up.

As provider-consumer dynamics are changing, the core idea is for financial advisers to go where the clients are. Here are some ideas to make this happen:

Become social network-oriented

Latest statistics reveal that approximately 147 million people from the 4.8 billion in 2015 interact globally on social networks via their mobile phones. This number can balloon to up to 1 billion within five years, as the trends indicate.

In Australia alone, there are 2.7 million Twitter users to date – up by 1,000% from last year. Australians spent 37 hours on the Internet in March 2015, of which 7.4 hours of that is spent on Facebook. As trends reveal, social media is permeating the lives of typical individuals, serving as convenient their go-to solution and essentially shaping their decisions. To this end, it is important for financial and investment advisers to utilise social networks as an outreach tool and to keep core clients in the loop.

Reshape Brand Messages

Given the rapid economic pullback, the financial services sector is undergoing fast-paced changes. Such situation calls for financial institutions continue to reshape their brand at the pace of rapidly changing consumer perception. Innovation should drive organisations to keep their brand message evolving in a market where volatility is the new normal. Branding is a key step to ensure marketing efforts capture the attention of new leads.

Whether online or mobile, significant changes in new client acquisition strategies must now be hinged on the prevailing practice of consumers, taking into consideration the growing dependence on mobile devices and services for banking transactions. Smart financial institutions decide to adapt to this change by building adviser and distribution channels into these new platforms.


Leverage Off of New Peer-To-Peer Behavior Trends

Now more than ever, the new financial consumer is becoming highly reliant on social networks in making financial decisions. Peer-to-peer social-driven advice through sites such as TradeKing – a service that allows people to share stock tips and research through extended social networks – is coming to the forefront. While seen as a threat to financial institutions’ conventional advisory services, this trend demands players in the field to embrace such changes.

The reorientation of distribution channels is also a key component of this change. Kevin Murray, EVP and CIO at New York-based AXA Equitable, particularly underscores how the younger generation of financial professionals “will almost demand online self-service . . . from their mobile device” and “an online collaboration tool to  . . . find answers concerning product or questions from their customers” – capabilities that financial institutions should provide.


Reduce Churn through Electronic Relationships

Consumers these days tend to be far less loyal, and far more likely to jump ship at the drop of a hat. In October 2009, Chief Marketer revealed this fundamental finding in a study conducted: “The average brand saw one third of highly loyal consumers in 2007 completely defect to another brand in 2008“. These facts strengthen the call for continuous innovation and transition to new technology platforms to reduce that churn in the provider-customer relationship.


Aim for a More Focused Niche Marketing

The new era of analytics and analysis ushers in opportunities for advisers to reach out to markets previously unattainable.  The Money Management Executive noted in October 2009: “Financial advisers generally prefer to manage a small number of high-net-worth clients rather than a large number of small accounts, but recent advances in automation technology could change this dynamic.”

Innovating with the next generation is imperative, given the staggering $12 to $18 trillion in estimated inter-generational wealth transfer. In the next 12 years (US GDP is $12 trillion); and by 2053, some $130 trillion will have moved from one generation to another. That’s a lot of money sloshing around — and much of it is going to this new, tech-savvy financial consumer.


Rethink the Importance of the Boomer Market

In Australia, 51% of the nation’s wealth will be controlled by baby boomers that are highly influenced by Facebook and continue to more aggressively integrate technology into their lives.  The Australian Boomers are researching health care, insurance, retirement planning and investment advice online. The way for financial institutions to keep up is to keep their advisers where this market segment is.


Evolve the Approach and Enact Change through Technology

Technology is a powerful enabler that frees advisers from having to focus on the mundane, routine, time wasting stuff. In order to effectively provide guidance, there is a need for financial advisers to focus on the core role.

Organisations in the financial sector need to get out of their comfort zone of established routines. Attempting to be innovative will help existing advisers focus on the opportunity and the benefits that come with rapid change, rather than being fearful of the change that technology is bringing to the industry.


3 Common Marketing Mistakes to Avoid


Mistake No. 1: Targeting “Preferred Clients” with Profiles that Don’t Fit

“Preferred client” profiles may be exactly what they are – the kind of customer that should buy a product or avail of a service.  However, without the seller’s or the service provider’s matching skills to win these clients over, the task may prove to be a perennial challenge.

In order to paint a clearer picture of the “preferred client” that can be won over, these questions should be asked:

  • What are your areas of genuine technical expertise?
  • Of your existing clients, with which types do you relate to best?
  • Which client types most easily agree to become your clients?
  • Which types of clients are most likely to be happy paying your fees?


Mistake No. 2: Not Measuring Marketing Initiative Success

The famous John Wanamaker quote says it all about advertising: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Several financial planners will make the same costly mistake. Meanwhile, others who are on top of their game avoid it because they know exactly what’s working and what isn’t. Measuring the results of each marketing initiative is vital to refining their marketing mix accordingly.


Mistake No. 3: Deciding Not to Outsource Marketing Tasks

While most financial planners are natural marketers who know about the marketing strategies that need to be in place, not all of them know how to implement the because of a lack of skills or perhaps the inclination. Write compelling seminars, advertisements, articles, direct mail and so on may work as strategic marketing methods – and should fully executed by a capable marketing team.

Mind Carnival works with Financial Planners to help grow their digital customer base, increase brand awareness and help keep existing clients engaged.

For more information contact us info@mindcarnival.com.au

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