Financial Services Trends to Watch in 2016: #FinTech & Robo-Advisor Disruption


It is safe to say that the FinTech revolution is happening.

FinTech, put simply, is financial technology. It refers to the technology that is becoming increasingly important in the world of financial services, and is beginning to disrupt the way businesses operate. FinTech can include everything from mobile banking to modern compliance to digital investment advisory.

According to Accenture, global investment in financial services technology ventures has more than tripled during the last five years – from under $930 million in 2008 to more than 2.97 billion in 2013. The number of investments in FinTech is increasing year-over-year at an unbelievable rate. The growth of investment in FinTech signifies how technology and the Internet are changing the nature of financial services. From the ways that people pay their bills, to the way they use the Internet to invest their money.

So, what are some of the things that FinTech can accomplish for the general public?

  • Educate consumers to make smarter financial decisions
  • Digital investment advisory
  • Mobile payment
  • Provide compliance assistance
  • Enhance online shopping experience
  • Offer new avenues for loans
  • Speed payments
  • Investment management
  • Bank Technology
  • Protect assets from fraud
  • Crowd funding
  • Trading

In this article, we will focus on digital investment advisory, and what this means for traditional financial service institutions and advisory firms.

What does the #FinTech disruption mean for Financial Advisors?

The rise of FinTech is particularly significant for traditional financial services brands. We are seeing a rise of new companies offering technology-based programs that provide a complete suite of financial services and investment advice – also known as robo-advisors. This has lead to many questioning, why pay to see a Financial Advisor when you can get financial advice online for a fraction of the price?  And, why not question it? These platforms offer many sophisticated tools at a third or less of the price of a Financial Advisor.

Financial Institutions and Advisors need to ask themselves, what is in it for the client? Where can a Financial Advisor make the customer experience and human touch worth going with a traditional Advisor over a robo-advisor? With the #FinTech disruption in full swing, the online presence of Financial Enterprises and their Advisors has never been so important.

One of the best ways for traditional financial service companies to beat the robo-advisors is through developing an effective online presence and client experience.

The Future Investors

Almost 80 million Millennials will stand to inherit $30 trillion in personal wealth and grow their earnings in the coming years. Financial institutions and Advisors who have embraced the digital revolution will be the ones to thrive, and this is evident in research conducted by Fidelity. Fidelity’s research confirms that emerging affluent investors are nearly twice as likely as millionaires to find a new Financial Advisor through Internet research and more likely than millionaires to find a new Advisor through social media.

Fidelity’s research also finds that 58 percent of emerging affluent investors have a significantly more positive impression of Financial Advisors who have a good website (key word here is good.  There are many Advisor websites out there that are as non engaging as a business card). Thirty-eight percent of those investors follow their Advisor on social media sites and 30 percent say they are more likely to relate to a Financial Advisor who has a social media presence.

If the Financial Enterprise does not enable the Advisory firms to have an online presence in order to communicate with clients and prospects, the financial institution risks making their Advisors irrelevant because they are not connecting with the next generation of investors. An active and compliant online presence for Advisors is the human and real life touch that sets them apart from the robo-advisors: the ability to educate, interact and engage with prospects and clients.


Financial service institutions have traditionally been slow to embrace digital marketing trends. In a regulated industry, it is important to make compliance and legal a part of your digital and social media teams so you have approval from the beginning of campaigns. But, the time has come for Financial Institutions to stop using compliance and regulations as an excuse to grow their brand and Advisors’ businesses.

2016 Business Growth for Financial Advisors

This post was authored by Marie Swift and originally appeared here on GuideVine.


As Financial Advisors, we start another New Year full of possibility and hope. Most of us have probably already hit the ground running, focusing on accomplishing great things. We can increase our chances of success and growth, by setting our objectives and creating measurable goals to develop a robust plan that attracts the right clients and brings in new business.

Here are some of the objectives many top Financial Advisors have included in their 2016 marketing plan:

  • Visibility: Raise profile through sponsored events and other visibility tactics on a local (or regional) level
  • Awareness: Build share of mind with the right people through targeted communications
  • Credibility: Enhance reputation by consistently being seen in credible media outlets as a subject matter expert and financial professional
  • Thought Leadership: Build thought leadership status through publication of unique insights and forward-thinking concepts
  • Digital Presence: Improve search engine ranking and become more discoverable through social media use and a strong online presence

Goals, of course, should be specific and measurable. Look at the table below. Which set of goals do you think are easier to plan for, track progress against and achieve?

Vague Goals Specific and Measurable Goals
  • Host more events
  • Host two lunch-and-learns, six affinity dinners and two client appreciation events in 2016, generating a total of thirty new high-value prospective clients, resulting in ten new clients and $10 million in AUM
  • Grow my team
  • Attract two new people to the firm, younger professionals who have the potential to become partners over time, and start grooming them as part of the succession plan, through visibility in national industry trade publications and local business community (also work with a matching / recruiting service and explore opportunities at colleges with financial planning programs)
  • Expand social media activity
  • Establish a company Facebook page to supplement our company LinkedIn page, adding one new post per week to each while staying true to the social media guidelines suggested by our marketing consultant
  • Improve website effectiveness
  • Increase website traffic by 50%, drawing a total of 2,000 unique visitors per month to the home page, with 200 of those visitors watching our signature video and 100 per month entering their basic information before being allowed to download our special report and going into our automatic six-touch nurture campaign



Aside from creating a tactical list of marketing activities, it can be helpful to take a step back and revisit the 3 M’s: your Market, your Message, and your Mediums. It’s always good practice to have a clear sense of these areas as it can help drive how you approach each of your marketing activities.

Your Market – Everything you do should center on your target market (and it’s okay to have 2-3 of them). Who are you targeting and why? Develop an Ideal Client Profile for each market segment and be specific – where do these people congregate, where do they get their news and information, who do they trust or distrust, what commonalities do they have, what keeps them up at night? Share your Ideal Client Profile with strategic partners and internal stakeholders. Post it where you and your team will see it on a daily basis.

Your Message – Revisit your value proposition and refine key messages. Have you added a robo advisor-component or another new service offering? How does it help people, who is it good for, why did you add this new element or option? Have you added staff or new capabilities? Why is this important? If you could only say one thing about your company’s value in a clear, concise sentence, what would it be – would it be short enough to be a 140 character tweet and memorable enough that others could repeat it without racking their brains? Once your have your primary value statement figured out, think hard about the top three benefits your clients enjoy as a result of working with you; those three benefits can form the three pillars of your positioning statement.

Your Mediums – What tactics and methodologies will you use to bring your message to your ideal target market(s)? Perhaps this is the year you step into a leadership role or begin writing that book (which can open all sorts of new doors and opportunities). Event marketing is almost always fruitful if a thoughtful approach is used to create the right mix – people, content, setting, purpose and tone. Relationship marketing could include a client survey to unearth hidden attitudes, assets and referrals. Credibility marketing might include appearing on television and radio stations then sharing those clips via your website, email and social media communications. Content marketing could hinge on writing a blog once or twice a month, which you’d publish on a company-branded site and buzz up on social media, mention in speeches, etc. Once you have generated a list of potential activities and tactics, prioritize what you will actually do based on the potential return-on-investment and swing your budget in that direction.

With robo advisors, eAdvisors, and other competitors nipping at your heels, there’s no time to waste. Hammer out a marketing plan while remembering the 3 M’s – you’ll be glad you did.

8 Web Design Trends That Will Take 2016 By Storm [Infographic]


Web design has come along way since the early 1990s when the first web page (www) was created. It is quite impressive to see the amount of progression that has been achieved in the field in the last 25 years. Web design today is undoubtedly more advanced than ever.

As we start 2016, the design and development world is already showing signs of interesting and exciting things for designers and website visitors.   What are some of the web design trends that will take 2016 by storm?

The Infographic below, courtesy of Coastal Creative, rounds up what’s in store for web design trends in the next evolution of design.

8 Web Design Trends That Will Take 2016 By Storm [Infographic]