Don’t Make This Financial Advisor Digital Marketing Mistake
Every financial advisor has a website in this modern day and age, right? They would be conspicuous if they didn’t. Based on our recent surveys, more than 80% of financial advisors who contact us regard their websites as nothing more than substitutes for sales brochures.
After working with our digital marketing agency for financial advisors, instead of sending clients a brochure in the mail, firms proudly email them links to their websites with a clear call to action (CTA).
This highly valuable digital resource (their user-friendly website) delivers information about the firm and the professionals who work there that clients actively seek. Less than 20% of the financial advisors we talk to about digital marketing say their websites produce a steady flow of leads and contacts.
Why is this happening and what can motivate advisors to do about it? This article will answer the critical questions you have in regards to digital marketing for financial advisors:
- How the minimum asset requirements of financial advisors impact their digital marketing strategies
- How advisors calculate the assets of investors
- How financial events should impact digital marketing strategies of investors
- Types of personal events that create marketing opportunities for advisors
- Who the best targets for financial advisor services are
- Why investors prefer specialized financial advisors
How do the minimum asset requirements of financial advisors impact their digital marketing strategies?
Let’s say financial advisors have a minimum asset requirement of $500,000. And, let’s also say, based on the information in their ADVs, that this is a hard minimum (not negotiable).
Consequently, any investor who contacts a financial advisor and does not meet the required minimum is not a qualified lead. In fact, the investor may be wasting the advisor’s time due to the advisor’s requirement to meet hard minimums.
The bigger issue is how the minimum asset requirement drives the digital marketing strategies of financial advisors. Case in point, the advisors’ goals are to sell their services to any investor who happens to meet their minimums.
Is this a carry-over from obsolete outbound marketing strategies?
Is this the best strategy for reaching investors on the Internet and convincing them to contact financial advisors (inbound marketing)?
How do financial advisors calculate the assets of investors?
In general, a $500,000 minimum asset requirement relates to liquid assets that are available for immediate investment by financial advisors. This requirement excludes a lot of assets that define the net worths of investors but are not available for investment. For example:
- Assets that are currently invested in 401(k) plans
- Equity in homes
- Valuable collectibles
- Real estate investments
- Insurance contracts
- Ownership of businesses
These assets define the net worths of investors, but they are illiquid since most investors have no intention of selling them. The real target market can be defined as investors who have $500,000 of liquid assets that are available for immediate investment.
What is the immediate marketing issue? The above statement drastically reduces the number of investors who can meet the financial advisors’ minimum asset requirements.
This also means that financial advisors should refine their marketing approaches to fit the marketplace in the 2020s.
How should financial events impact the digital marketing strategies of investors?
It could be luck, but a lot of financial advisors say they were in the right place at the right time when a liquidity event impacts one of their prospects. For example, they are in deep discussion with a business owner who just made the decision to sell a business for cash and retire. The timing was impeccable and more than likely very lucky.
The challenge is developing a digital marketing strategy that reaches business owners that want to sell and are seeking professional help to manage the proceeds of the sale.
What is a major marketing concern for financial advisors?
Many advisors have told us they are concerned about missing out on business opportunities when investors visit their websites. For example, if they say they work with retirees on their websites, they may risk losing younger investors who visit but are decades away from their retirement dates.
How can financial advisors reach baby boomers and millennials on the same website?
How do we know advisors are concerned about missing investors who can afford to hire them? The descriptions of investors on their Who We Serve website pages are very vague, and they rarely publish their minimum asset requirement. They make the Who We Serve page more about the financial advisors than about the investors visiting their websites.
This leaves investors questioning whether they have found the right financial advisors for their situations.
What types of personal events create marketing opportunities for financial advisors?
There is no question certain types of events create major financial advisor marketing opportunities. Following are five of the more frequent events that create demand for the services of financial advisors. They could be investors who are:
- Seeking replacements for their current advisors
- Retiring and rolling assets from 401(k) plans into IRAs
- Relocating to new cities and want local advisors
- Recently widowed or divorced
- Changing jobs and rolling 401(k) assets into IRAs
The investors could be first-time users of advisor services or replace a current advisor. What triggered the need for first-time users? What caused investors to replace their current advisors?
Who are the best targets for financial advisor services?
The generalists might say they will work with anyone who meets their minimum asset requirements. This makes it more about the financial advisors’ requirements and less about the current needs, circumstances, and goals of investors. In fact, the best financial advisors marketing strategies will be based on the needs and goals of their prospective clients.
The specialists might target investors based on one or more of the following criteria:
- Life events (retiring, changing jobs, relocation)
- Age (Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y)
- Professions (business owners, executives, professionals)
- Location (local, virtual)
- Other criteria that cause investors to hire financial advisors
Note: the target markets of specialists are based on criteria that impact investors. Since generalists will work with anybody who meets their minimum assets requirements, their criteria are frequently more about them.
Which strategy would work best for you?
Why do investors prefer specialized financial advisors?
If you were a pre-retiree, do you believe you would be better off if you selected a financial advisor who specializes in working with pre-retirees? Or, since most financial advisors provide similar services, does it not matter if they have specialized skill sets for well-defined markets?
An example is how people select their doctors. There are general practitioners, but when you need a knee replaced, you find a surgeon who specializes in replacing knees. You expect the surgeon’s specialized knowledge to benefit you. Physical and financial well-being are two professions that benefit everyone.