In recent years, “Trust the process” has become a siren song for athletes, heads of state, and corporate behemoths. While the phrase can mean many different things to many different people, I have a particular distaste for it. More often than not, trusting a process is mostly akin to hoping a problem magically resolves itself, but that hasn’t stopped it from plaguing small teams, large departments, massive corporations, and even entire industries.
For me, it’s simple. If a string of procedures is preventing you from reaching your goals, then what good are those protocols in the first place? We should look for areas where we can improve efficiencies and minimize the busy work and red tape that so often occupy our precious time. We shouldn’t “trust the process.” We should simplify and streamline the process. Don’t trust it, but don’t throw it out either. Make it better, easier, and more effective.
Marketing is one profession that is notorious for an overwhelming amount of processes and procedures, especially in the wealth management space — where compliance plays such a vital role. And while I do firmly believe that process has its place in marketing, I’m also leery of its more paralytic properties. Luckily, I work for a marketing automation company, and we use our own software every single day — which means I’m one of those lucky marketers who has found a way to help improve our processes and make them work for me and our entire team.
Okay, enough stalling… let’s learn how marketing automation helps wealth managers and financial advisors streamline and simplify their processes while also minimizing busy work and cutting out red tape.
Track Behavior to Gain Investor Insights
Dated Process: Sticking to your gut and occasionally making decisions based on Google Analytics data
Modern Process: Tracking individual behavior online to deliver personalized and automated customer experiences
You probably have a pretty good idea of your target audiences’ interests and challenges, but this knowledge likely comes from previous experiences and gut instincts. With marketing automation, however, you can validate or disprove your suspicions by tracking user behavior on your website, landing pages, and emails. Once you understand how people interact with your digital content, you’ll be able to pinpoint where they’re at in the sales funnel and craft more personalized customer journeys. Not only that, but you’ll be able to turn anonymous website visitors into known leads.
You’re probably asking yourself how this is any different from your Google Analytics account. Well, GA is similar to digital behavior tracking in the same way that a back-up point guard on the JV squad is similar to Kobe Bryant. Whereas Google Analytics does allow users to measure the behavior of anonymous users, marketing automation tracking allows you to understand exactly who is doing what on your digital properties at all times and in real-time so you can respond to these actions with personalized messaging and offers. So if Jo Jo Siwa is browsing your site for a pair of rainbow-print shoelaces, you’ll receive a notification alerting you of that fact. You can then follow-up via email or retargeting on social media and Google with additional product recommendations.
Marketing automation can also help you track how your potential investors are interacting with your social media content, email messaging, and digital advertising. Suddenly, you have complete and transparent insight into actual key performance indicators that are unique to the individual user. And you can take things a step further by implementing lead scoring based on these behaviors, which will help you better understand how to treat and communicate with the lead as they progress (or regress) through the sales funnel.
Retain Clients and Grow Your Assets Under Management
Dated Process: Giving your clients the hard-sell over the phone and sending cold emails to uninterested prospects
Modern Process: Segmenting all of your audiences to deliver personalized marketing campaigns that drive asset management growth
This one got your attention, didn’t it?
Any financial advisor worth their salt knows that retaining, cross-selling, and upselling is the secret sauce to serious revenue, so you want to focus on your existing clients just as much (if not more) than your prospective investors. With marketing automation, you can properly scale your client roster and assets under management with more efficiency. And the best way to do this is through personalizing your content and messaging via segmentation and automated email drip campaigns.
You don’t have the time to send hundreds of individual emails to each and every prospect and client every single day. Even if you did, there’s no way you’d be able to keep it all straight and never send to the wrong address or attach the wrong link or attachment. With marketing automation, you can group all of your contacts into specific segments based on their demographics, behaviors, financial goals, and interests. Once everyone is placed in their proper faction, you can then deliver more targeted messaging that is uniquely suited to their personal characteristics and attributes. This way, you can get super specific about different investment opportunities depending on who you’re speaking to.
This is a serious game-changer for wealth managers and financial advisors, as a recent Salesforce study revealed that nearly 50% of investors would welcome personalized emails, texts, and other messaging related to their financial goals. And since one of the most common reasons that investors take their money elsewhere is because of their geographical distance from their wealth management firm, sending regular and relevant messaging and content is a good way to keep those relationships close — regardless of your proximity to the client.
Reach the Next Generation of Investors
Dated Process: Speaking with your client about creating a financial bridge between them and their next of kin
Modern Process: Attracting and nurturing younger generations directly in order to improve financial literacy and build trust
According to Forbes, roughly $30 trillion in assets are about to be passed from the Baby Boomers to younger generations. (Just writing that sentence gave me severe anxiety.) That is a lot of money to move from an educated, successful, and experienced group of investors to an unproven and inexperienced group of upstart beneficiaries.
The good news, however, is that what Millennials and Gen ‘X’ers lack in financial literacy, they more than make up for with their digital savviness. According to the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC), “Approximately 80 percent of Millennials use their smartphone for transactional purposes like paying bills and depositing checks, and 90 percent use their phones for informational activities like tracking their spending. However, the GFLEC report goes on to say that smartphone usage for financial services management doesn’t correlate with individuals improving their financial practices. Therefore, it’s up to wealth management firms and financial advisors to deliver the right content to the right medium to help these younger generations of potential investors better understand their responsibilities and opportunities.
Of course, the best way to establish and foster trust is through education. Long before these green investors inherit their parents’ and grandparents’ wealth, you and your colleagues should be grooming them for financial maturity through long-term lead nurturing. And since these youngsters are so familiar with the digital landscape, you can create exciting customer journeys that grab their attention, foster their interest, and improve their knowledge and understanding.
Here’s an example of what one of those journeys might look like.
- A young professional receives a promotion at work and begins exploring more advanced financial investment options
- After searching “financial literacy for Millennials,” she clicks on your website
- She does some light research but doesn’t request any further information or content
- Over the next 30 days, she receives retargeting advertisements as she browses online
- She clicks on an ad and is redirected to a landing page with a gated asset titled, “Improve Your Financial Literacy in 5 Easy Steps.”
- She reads the content and begins to sharpen her financial knowledge and skills
- Meanwhile, now that you have her contact information, you can place her in a custom segment and begin sending automated email campaigns
- Tracking her behaviors and interactions, you’re alerted when she hits a certain lead score
- At this point, you begin more direct and personal sales outreach with the hopes of securing her as a client early in her career
- Once your new client has begun her investment journey, you continue to provide relevant and regular content and messaging for potential cross-sell and upsell opportunities
Once you turn on all of the switches, you simply wait for the data to roll in and A/B test and optimize as necessary. Everything is simple, streamlined, and efficient. And instead of trusting the process, you’re proactively attacking the process with less effort and better results!
Explore How Marketing Automation Helps Wealth Managers Cut to the Chase!
By streamlining your processes using marketing automation, you and your team will have the time and resources you need to develop and distribute more personalized content, refine your brand messaging and external communications, and provide the tailored support your prospective customers and current investors so desperately want and need. And since most of your competitors are still fumbling around trying to get their ducks in a row, the sooner you start combining great strategies with great technologies, the sooner you’ll be able to distance yourself from rival firms and appeal to your target audience.
If you’re ready to learn more about Act-On’s marketing automation solution, please contact us today to schedule a free demo with one of our marketing automation experts.
If you’re not quite there yet, we think you should download our eBook, “The 4 Main Challenges Facing Wealth Managers.” It’s full of great marketing automation stats, key terms, and information about how to overcome major obstacles facing the wealth management industry with this dynamic software.