Marketing Support Providers:

What Advisors Really Want
from You

Last time, I may have given a few people a heart attack. As I mentioned, according to The Penton’s surveys, companies that provide value-added marketing support to advisors are wasting millions of dollars. Because they’re providing elaborate educational platforms and practice management programs that 75% of advisors don’t even use.

This week, I want you to calm down. You don’t have to cancel all your programs or tell the team to pack up their family photos and cat magnets. You just have to focus your investment dollars where they will make the biggest impact.

What is making an impact these days? Turnkey marketing programs. While your 50-page white paper pdfs sit around unread, advisors are gobbling up quick, easily executed solutions.

  • Riskalyze offers an engagement tool for advisors to plug into their website that lets prospects take a Risk Questionnaire. Advisors don’t have to build the questionnaire, Riskalyze develops the code and supporting marketing assets (like animation) to engage website visitors. The leads just land in their inbox
  • Redtail CRM added a compliant text-messaging feature that ensures everything is recorded and archived. It’s a brilliant value-add, because it reduces friction between advisor and client and lets them connect more easily—exactly what advisors want
  • Principal sent out a camera crew and recorded a full day of video for one retirement specialist’s website. That will translate to six finished videos of custom content all about the advisor, their process and their clients—not about Principal. I’m sure Principal doesn’t do that every day, but on that day, they won a relationship for life

Take this opportunity to renovate your own marketing.

You don’t need to send out camera crews to every advisor. You don’t need to throw away all the assets you’ve already created. Just refocus your spending on helping advisors execute.

For example, think about how you could repurpose that gigantic library of white papers you’ve written. Maybe you could still keep the full 50-page tomes as email offers, but redesign them to be visually rich with graphics, charts, sidebars and pull-out quotes. Then repackage the long-form content into more snackable formats. Pull out all the cool bar charts and turn them into five separate takeaways. Give advisors ten visuals to use on their social media channels. Make the main storyline into a fun infographic to share on Twitter or Facebook.

One complaint we hear all the time is that value-added programs always stop with the advisor. Let’s face it. It’s hard to differentiate yourself with yet one more practice management PowerPoint. But if you give advisors something they can use with their clients, that’s where you can score a win. Advisors love white-label materials. JPMorgan puts out a quarterly market commentary flipbook. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard advisors say, “If I could just get this chart on page 16 to show to my clients!” Those are the kinds of resources advisors actually use.

Let your imagination run wild. Break white papers apart into multiple client-facing two-pagers. Create fun online widgets advisors can drop into their sites. Build forms that advisors can use to make their sites more interactive. Make it easy for investors to complete checklists online. There are so many possibilities.

I’m sorry if the survey data gave you a coronary last week. But isn’t it better to know what advisors really want rather than to waste your investment on things they don’t? Give advisors turnkey, ready-to-execute tools—especially tools that reduce friction in their client relationships—and they’ll flock to your door.

Next time: One last look at the survey, and something that vendors really need to think about.