Financial advisors need a blend of conventional outbound marketing along with inbound, or digital marketing, methods. Is AI part of inbound, outbound, or digital marketing, or are they all different?
It is important to distinguish between outbound, inbound, digital marketing and AI as each of these tools has its own unique nuances and purposes. Digital marketing and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way financial advisors conduct their marketing strategies.
Here is a quick look at the importance of digital marketing and AI along with an explanation of the differences between the two.
Why Digital Marketing is Essential for all Financial Advisors
Financial advisors who launched their careers decades ago often relied solely on traditional outbound marketing channels such as cold-calling. Though these avenues were and can still certainly be effective, they only make so much headway in the battle to win market share.
Digital marketing channels ranging from social media to search engine optimization (SEO), blogging and beyond have quickly become quite important for financial advisors as well as other professionals. Many outbound marketing techniques have been replaced by inbound methods.
Take a moment to think about how few people resort to opening a phonebook when looking for local product and service providers. Now consider the number of people who use their smartphone, tablet or other computing devices to search the web for financial advisors and other businesses. Local Search Association reports 8 in 10 residents of the United States turn to search engines to find information about local service providers. A whopping 87% of those surveyed stated they used a search engine in the past month.
It is clear that digital marketing channels will continue to become that much more important as we transition to a tech-dominated age in which the internet is used in a seemingly ubiquitous manner.
Financial Advisors’ use of Artificial Intelligence is on the Rise
Artificial intelligence or AI for short is a science centered on creating highly intelligent machines that compute massive amounts of information in surprisingly little time. There is no sense paying marketing professionals and administrative staff to solve the problems faced by your financial advisory firm when AI can do the work for you. After all, AI does not require a salary, benefits or other costly work-related niceties. AI is now capable of performing automated marketing such as the generation and transmission of email marketing messages.
AI has advanced to the point that this technology pinpoints those most likely to require financial advisor services. This is made possible with the in-depth analysis of user information ranging from personal interests to specific demographic information such as birthdate, location, etc.
A reliance on AI to automate the process of identifying new clients is more efficient and cost-effective than paying a team of in-house employees to do the work. After all, if competing financial advisors use data-mining software to scan social media networks and other information to pinpoint potential clients, why would your business pay humans to do the work for comparably more money?
It no longer makes sense to chew up your firm’s limited time and resources to:
- Search through address books
- Purchase contact lists
- Perform door-to-door sales
- Cold call prospects
Instead, tap into the power of AI to zero in on prospective clients most likely to need your financial services. As an example, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool makes it much easier to identify those most likely to need financial advisor services. This technology automatically transmits introductory messages to target clients so your team does not have to do the work in a manual manner.
AI Chatbots, Homepage Design, and More
Financial advisors and other businesses are using AI-powered chatbots to facilitate the process of generating automated responses to prospective clients’ most common inquiries. Chatbots make it that much easier for service-seekers to sleuth for specific offerings. In fact, AI has advanced to the point that chatbots are even capable of answering open-ended questions. Such bots are built with the ability to perform learning processing and machine learning to generate accurate responses. If you are interested in using a chatbot for your financial advisor business, consider Facebook bot tools such as wit.ai.bot that train chatbots on your behalf with simulated conversations.
Though it might be hard to believe, financial advisors and other professionals are now using AI to help design homepages and other website components. As an example, Grid relies on AI to perform website designing on your behalf based on provided text, pictures, calls-to-action and more. The benefit of relying on Grid and similar AI-powered programs for website design is AI does not require the salary and benefits of the typical web designer. Furthermore, AI does not require any sort of costly or time-consuming onboarding process.
The Difference Between AI and Digital Marketing
Though AI certainly facilitates digital marketing efforts in a multitude of ways, it is not exactly the same as digital marketing. It is best to think of digital marketing as primarily web-based avenues used to create digital-based exposure to a financial advisor’s value proposition.
While the financial advisors of yesteryear typically relied on conventional outbound advertising methods such as newspapers, magazines, and TV, digital marketing is primarily centered on the web. The moral of this story is if your financial advisory firm does not have a strong web presence, website that dazzles, and an extensive online footprint, you will gradually lose market share to the competition.
The primary difference between digital marketing and AI is AI is built to replicate the learning process and perform labor in a super-human manner. AI is now capable of processing an abundance of data in shockingly little time, serving as an incredibly efficient tool to facilitate marketing challenges as well as other components of labor.
Explore the many ways in which your financial advisor firm can use AI and you will find this seemingly futuristic technology ameliorates the mundane aspects of marketing, data entry, and other office duties.
AI and Digital Marketing Will Continue To Shape Financial Advisor Marketing
It is best to think of AI as a complementary tool to enhance digital marketing campaigns and other office tasks. The prudent use of AI helps financial advisors understand prospective clients’ needs in a truly comprehensive manner. AI is now capable of performing an in-depth analysis of upwards of a trillion online search queries along with activity across seemingly innumerable websites.
This precise analysis makes it that much easier for financial advisors and other professionals to understand client timelines on the “buyer’s journey”. Use this helpful data to bolster your digital marketing efforts with carefully timed surface ads and as otherwise appropriate and you will gradually forge that many more meaningful connections with your target audience.