Does your firm’s target market consist of Boomers, Gen X-ers, or Millennials? What about Generation D?
According to a recent study by Accenture – Closing the Gap: How Tech-Savvy Advisors Can Regain Investor Trust – Generation D is the “Digital” generation, a heterogeneous group identified by their adoption and regular use of technology. I have also recently seen this group referred to as Generation C – as in “connected”.
Either way, it is a consumer group that is represented by more than 75 million people with $27 trillion in assets.
The Accenture online survey of 400 financial advisors, completed in the fall of 2012, demonstrated both successes and failures for the Financial Services industry in communicating with Generation D.
Participating Financial Advisors reported many successes as a result of using social media for marketing:
- 75% of advisors currently share the same command of digital technology as the Generation D group.
- 60% of advisors have daily contact with clients through social media channels
- 77% of FAs that use social media reported that it helped client retention.
- 74% of social advisors agreed that social media helped them increase assets under management.
- 73% of social FAs reported that social media use has led to an overall increase in client interaction.
- 54% responded that they have found or converted clients using social media:
- 40% through Facebook
- 25% through LinkedIn
- 12% through Twitter
One of the primary problems that the survey revealed was described as a “Perception Gap” that existed between advisors and investors. Despite the increased communication possibilities that exist on the internet, there are still areas of common misunderstandings:
- Advisors tend to seriously overestimate investor knowledge, believing 42% are “extremely knowledgeable” about investing, while only 12% of investors actually see themselves as “extremely knowledgeable”.
- Advisors also tend to misunderstand their clients investment style, often assuming their clients want to invest more aggressively than they actually do. This is particularly prevalent when working with Millennials as they tend to be among the most conservative investors.
- Gen X-ers and Millennials are less trusting of advisors and perceive their relationships with advisors as less personal and more transactional. They tend to be more results rather than relationship orientated.
Advisor Marketing Take-A-Ways
The biggest take-a-way is that social media marketing can work for financial advisors. Not only is it great for easy client “touches” throughout the year, but it can result in new client acquisitions as well.
- If you are not using social media regularly, consider adding it to you marketing plan. Start small, using the platform that seems the most comfortable (probably LinkedIn for most). Consider Google+ as well as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Investors want education! Blog articles or videos are great ways to educate perspective clients, while also driving more traffic to your website, allowing visitors to “get to know you” better , and helping to establish you and your firm as an industry authority.
- The extra “touches” allowed through social media can help evolve your advisor – client relationship from a transactional one to one that is more personal. Make sure that some of your messages are of a personal nature. Wish your clients happy birthday, congratulated them on their anniversary, or comment on their trophy fish. Share some of yourself in your messages occasionally as well – talk about your hobbies, family, business trips or your hometown.
Are you using Social Media for Marketing? If not, why? If so, what has been your experience with it so far?