Uh, Hello? The Advisory World Has Changed…For Good.
Best Practice Advice & Sales & Marketing for Professional Services & Strategic Issues

Uh, Hello? The Advisory World Has Changed...For Good.

March 27, 2015

by Tony Vidler  CFP logo   CLU logo  ChFC logo 

Amazingly, many advisers appear not to have noticed that their business world has changed from 10 years ago.


Many of the business building methods we successfully employed then in financial services are struggling to generate the traffic and interest in the marketplace that we need to maintain profitable and viable practices. But then….you knew that.  Or should have.


What a lot of professionals haven’t figured out is why.


Why do a lot things that we used to do that worked, just struggle to produce results today?


Well…the world has changed.  Here’s a snapshot of the key changes for professional services firms, and how they inter-connect.


Market noise/clutter

  • The average consumer now receives over 3,000 advertising or marketing messages per day.
  • There are virtually no positive media messages regarding financial services or financial advice (at least here in NZ).
  • There is a lack of trust in the industry, and in advice, generally


Compliance & Regulation

  • Delivering advice is, and will become even more so, time consuming & increasingly expensive
  • Advisers carry personal liability now, in an era of the “victim culture”.  That is, someone should always be held to blame for any outcome the consumer did not desire.
  • Evidence of advice & service delivered is critical to survival


Digital communications

  • Email still rules, and is preferred communications – but it is 1-to-1 that matters now. Mass marketing is dying.
  • The rise of mobile data use & consumption changes content preferences and effective channel selection
  • Websites & blogs configured or SEO results mean “experts” are everywhere…and they are 0.4 seconds away from any consumer


Speed & service expectations

  • Increased technology access, use and speed accelerates consumer service expectations
  • Increased consumer protection, complaints and redress facilities drive up expectations and service overheads


Social networking

  • Are the preferred consumer channels for brand engagement, and often, brand research
  • Social media is driving the demand for ever-increasing high quality content
  • Peer-toPeer recommendations and content sharing is now a critical support function for any referral or word-of-mouth marketing strategies


Engagement marketing

  • Customers will decide who they use on the basis of relevant & appropriate engagement
  • Quality content combined with efficient & timely delivery drives up engagement levels
  • Building trust over time before physically meeting prospects is now the norm


Value of advice

  • The global trend to separate advice from product leads advice businesses to find new service models
  • The rise of pure product delivery business models is coming at the expense of traditional distribution models.  Robo’s are doing simple product sales better than advisers can.
  • Value is constantly challenged and questioned by even long-standing and loyal clients.


Marketing Facts that matter:

  • 79% of marketing leads never convert into clients
  • Those who NURTURE leads generate 50% more in sales, at 33% less marketing cost
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than newly qualified leads
  • Businesses using social media for marketing report closing 72% more business from the social media channels.
  • Business using social media report 52% increase in lead generation results.
  • 64% of customers will purchase products or services from brands they follow on social media
  • Customers are 3 x more likely to buy from brands/business that they know and trust

The system required today looks like the “sales funnel” pictured above.


The global trend to separate advice from product together with greater control of the purchasing timeframe by consumers means that professional services businesses need to evolve their service models rapidly.  This includes creating patient, highly personalised, lead nurturing systems where the emphasis is upon allowing prospects to gather information and engage in the decision-making process at the speed which suits them.


Potential customers can spend a long time in the yellow zone….

…and this is where the successful businesses will place their greatest marketing emphasis.


We still need to create opportunities with marketing and prospecting to get people into the red zone of course, so they remain a very high priority.  However, with the right systems in the yellow zone we can convert a much higher proportion of those potential customers over time, meaning there is a greater ROI on lead nurturing systems than on pure lead generation systems.


Patient investment in patient engagement systems is the key to more client engagements in the future.  Because the world has changed – just in case you hadn’t noticed.


You may also find this post useful:
The 6 Necessities of Modern Marketing


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