3 ways RIAs can attract new clients for long-term success

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This post was authored by Jen Micklow and originally appeared here on FinancialServicesMarketing.com


“The times they are a-changin’.” Bob Dylan first crooned these lyrics in his 1964 title track to acknowledge a mass cry for social reform. Listen closely now, and you’ll hear echoes of the song’s core message underscoring some of today’s most newsworthy issues: the polarizing presidential race, an unraveling of corporate scandals and the ongoing fight for gender parity. Similarly, looking at the lyrics through a financial services lens elicits visions of policy reform, industry skeptics and the generational shift in wealth that have awoken a renewed need for change from Wall Street to Main Street.

If you want your RIA to succeed, you need to maintain or grow your client base. To do that, you must welcome the changes being demanded by the public. So how can RIAs see these demands as opportunities to position themselves for long-term success?

By now, you know that the fastest-growing RIAs must understand millennials – we’ve shared several observations of this new target audience on this blog. You also know how to employ effective marketing strategies that will help promote your brand. But the real key to attracting new clients and building long-term success lies in how your RIA is positioned to take advantage of evolving demographics and trends within the financial planning marketplace. Here are some considerations to get you started.

  1. Look beyond current income. Big-league RIAs aside, gone are the days of requiring potential clients to have millions of investable dollars before signing on to your client roster. Today, it’s all about potential earnings – meaning that professionals with high earning potential are equally as valuable to the sustainability of an RIA as their high-net-worth counterparts. Ditch the income requirements and consider how attracting millennial and Gen-X clients today will contribute to your firm’s AUM over time.
  1. Make it a family affair. Earning potential aside, younger individuals are set to inherit a massive amount of investible dollars. Over the next 30 years, approximately $30 trillion will change hands from baby boomers to Generation X and millennials. The generational shift in wealth has made younger investors a desirable demographic for not only growing a firm’s AUM, but also maintaining it as wealth leaves existing clients’ hands and is left to this new group of investors. If your RIA is not already looking at ways to capitalize on this future asset base, now is the time to start. Begin the process by building relationships with your current clients’ children or heirs.
  1. Recruit new talent. The industry is experiencing a talent shortage, and the need to attract new advisers has never been greater. The number of financial advisers over age 70 exceeds the number who are under 30, according to a recent piece by Financial Planning. A new wave of talent will help your business attract new clientele, producing a snowball effect of opportunity for your RIA to grow AUM as these young professionals pick up steam in their careers and, simultaneously, their investable wealth. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of diversity. Women control more than half of American personal wealth, and 70 percent of women would prefer to work with a female adviser. Not sure where to start? Revisit our post on tips to attract and retain millennial female advisers.

Adapting to society’s evolving demands will help your firm traverse the great generational shift in wealth and carry your business to new heights long after your own retirement. But only the RIAs who know how to position their business to attract new clients will survive these changing times.

RIAs, take heed, “for he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled. There’s a battle outside and it’s ragin’…for the times they are a-changin’.”


Authored by: Financialservicesmarketing.com

Twitter: @joeanthony

Do Financial Advisors Need LinkedIn Premium?

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This post was authored by Claire Akin and originally appeared here on GuideVine.

We know that LinkedIn is a powerful networking platform for advisors, given that one in three professionals worldwide have profiles. The Pew Research Center surveys show that the average user is 44 years old, the average income is $109,000, and the average investable asset value is over $250,000.

If your new client account minimum is above $250,000, consider that 26% of ultra-high-net-worth investors also use LinkedIn. As the Great Transfer of Wealth begins, LinkedIn is becoming more important for your legacy plan, with the fastest growing segment being Millennials.

LinkedIn offers four main uses for advisors:

  1. It’s your online resume
  2. It’s an online Rolodex of your network
  3. It’s a powerful search tool to find and connect with qualified prospects
  4. It’s a publishing platform that allows you to share your expertise

The Problem that LinkedIn Solves

Remember the old days when you would exchange business cards with a contact at a networking event or on the golf course so that you could refer business to one another in the future? The problem with that practice is that once your contact changed companies, the business card was rendered useless. Because workers change jobs more often today than they did years ago, this problem has been magnified.

LinkedIn offers a solution to this problem, allowing you to virtually exchange business cards and stay in touch no matter the career transitions that you or your connection make. In fact, LinkedIn will let you know each time one of your connections changes companies so you can reach out and congratulate them, keep in touch, and perhaps ask if they have rolled over their old 401(k).

By connecting with your network on LinkedIn, you can stay in touch, grow your influence, share your expertise, and ask for introductions. But if you’ve spent any time on LinkedIn, you’ve probably been solicited with offers to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium.

What is LinkedIn Premium?

LinkedIn Premium is a paid LinkedIn membership that offers benefits above the free version. There are four versions of LinkedIn Premium, depending on if you’re a job seeker, a sales rep, a recruiter, or an advertiser. Fees associated with LinkedIn Premium accounts range from $30 per month for job seekers to $150 per month for recruiters.

LinkedIn Premium is a subscription-based service that “unlocks” special features on LinkedIn including:

  • An enhanced profile with a larger photo and headline
  • The ability to see who has viewed your profile
  • Advanced search criteria
  • Between 3 and 30 InMail Credits
  • Up to 10 saved searches

Should You Upgrade?

The drawback to LinkedIn Premium for financial advisors is that the features focus on connecting with those you don’t already know. For most advisors, cold messaging on LinkedIn is not as effective as relying on referrals from their network or asking for an introduction from someone they know.

Advanced search capabilities are helpful for identifying qualified prospects, but the free version of LinkedIn allows you to search by criteria including current company, industry, and job title. LinkedIn Premium search criteria such as function and seniority level can be accessed for free by using keywords like “executive” or “manager” to target those segments.

InMail Messages are undoubtedly valuable and can be used to contact prospects or centers of influence that you’re not connected with. However, InMail Messages are easily ignored and LinkedIn no longer credits back InMail Messages that are not answered. At a price of $10 per message, advisors may have a higher ROI with other marketing efforts.

Some experts point to the LinkedIn Premium profile badge as a vanity cost and data on the renewal rates for premium subscriptions has not been published. However, because the LinkedIn platform was built primarily for job seekers and recruiters, it makes sense that they would benefit the most from LinkedIn Premium memberships.

For financial advisors looking to expand their network, a better use of time and resources may be to use the generous Basic LinkedIn features and to send thoughtful connection requests to members with a mutual acquaintance, which continues to be free.



4 Key Takeaways as Financial Services Go Modular

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This post was authored by Martin Yan and originally appeared here on Liferay.com


Since the late 90s, banks and other financial institutions have witnessed a steep decline in customer loyalty. With high fixed costs due to branches and personnel, the traditional options are no longer as appealing to consumers as they once were before.

The financial industry as a whole is becoming more modular, which means that in any major transaction, no single supplier will have sole ownership over a customer—clients will be able to pick and choose from multiple providers. Customers are taking advantage of digital technology to reduce costs of transactions while using mobile applications or platforms to achieve greater levels of familiarity and convenience. Already, some firms are having to make adjustments by settling for smaller roles in a customer’s purchasing journey.

So, what does this all mean for big banks, challenger start-ups and consumers? We offer 4 key takeaways for the financial sector.

1. Operating platforms must undergo transformation

Many large banks and insurers are operating with legacy systems that are costly and outdated. These old, inflexible processes will drive costs through ongoing maintenance and additional “add-ons,” ultimately proving to be unsustainable in the long run. Of course, some firms will attempt to outsource this work for standardized processes (e.g., loan payments processing), but the majority will be tasked with having to completely rebuild their internal systems from the ground up. The challenge is great, but there’s certainly great upside to this—everything from cost savings due to reduced IT maintenance costs to less operational risks moving forward. Either way, firms will need to find an answer for their platforms or risk becoming obsolete.

2. Organizational leadership needs to evolve, too

We’ve explored this point in other posts. A transformation doesn’t merely occur with a new product offering or IT implementation, as important as that is. But a real transformation involves a complete shift in business strategy, and it has to impact the organization from top to bottom, starting with the top executives. They’ll need to embrace a customer-centric mindset that puts a premium on customer experience over immediate ROI. This includes everything from rearranging teams and hiring the right talent, to rewiring business operations across the entire organization. It could also mean determining overall weaknesses and strengths, then seeking opportunities to invest, expand, and strategize with external partners to achieve greater revenues.

3. Modular markets won’t be immune to difficulty

Fintech start-ups and other challenger banks have been capitalizing on this movement, but the fact remains: big, traditional firms still hold an advantage. The barrier of entry for new entrants is high, especially when you consider having to deal with current regulatory compliance, existing customer bases, secure environments and proper distribution channels. The firms that are looking to stay one step ahead will need to manage their operations and invest in creative strategies that allow future flexibility. This could mean partnering with new capital and infrastructure suppliers, lowering overhead and operating costs, and discovering new ways to access more potential clients.

4. Customers are the clear-cut winners 

As the entire industry becomes modularized, it will also be more streamlined and accountable. Firms will become more transparent about their pricing, which will invite competition from both new entrants and old stalwarts. This means business will be driven towards those who simply offer the best overall product or service experience. With lower costs, faster operations, and better service in the horizon, consumers certainly stand to win the most.

Granted, it’s hard to predict just how much of an impact modular services will have on the financial sector. Factors such as consumer behavior, regulatory compliance and disruptive technology are key variables that must be considered.

But what’s for certain is that staying stagnant is no longer an option. Companies need to undergo a ground-up evaluation and reconstruction of their strategy, starting with their legacy systems and back office operations.

The industry is changing—the customers are no longer waiting.

Improving Customer Experience: Mobile, Online Self-Service, Content Targeting

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Did you know that 88% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience? In fact, it is predicted that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key differentiator (Walker). Take a moment to think, how does your customer experience (CX) stack up to your biggest competitors?

What is customer experience (CX)?

CX is the product and perception of an interaction between a customer and an organization. These perceptions affect how customers interact with a company, from their buying behaviours to what they say about you. A good CX can lead to higher customer loyalty. In other words, if their experience with you is positive, they’re more likely to continue doing business with you and recommend you to others.

In order to give your customers a positive experience, you’ll have to put in the work. You should know who they are, what they like, and how they interact with you, and use that knowledge to create and deliver personalized experiences that will enhance their experience. Gaining this in-depth knowledge isn’t something that happens overnight – it takes both time and effort. You’ll need to collect and sort through a lot of customer data and gain valuable insights from it. But, at the end of the day, a good CX will lead to an increase in sales and customer loyalty.

customer experience chart


So, what are some areas that you should focus on to improve your CX?

Self-service help is a must

Have you ever called a company and were immediately put on hold for 15 minutes to upwards 2 hours just to get your questions answered? Gone are the days where people are willing to wait on hold to have their questions answered. The data below demonstrates that 56% of customers either leave or go to a competitor because of website issues, this includes not having a self-service option on your website.self-service-matters statistics

Self-service is a way for customers to find answers to their questions using an assortment of options. This is important considering that 50% of customers think that it’s important to solve product or service issues themselves (zendesk), and 70% expect a company’s website to include a self-service application.

Different forms of self-service include:

  • E-Support: This is a web-based version of customer service. The customer can access information and perform routine tasks over the internet by searching a knowledge-base or reading a company FAQ.
  • Apps: A software program on mobile devices that is used for carrying out specific tasks. This could be like your mobile bank application to transfer funds or check your balance.
  • Interactive voice response: The customer can interact with an automated telephone system to perform specific tasks
  • Chatbots: This is a program that serves as an online customer service representative for a company. They have the ability to combine artificial intelligence (AI) with a graphical representation.

Is mobile in the picture?

When it comes to providing experience across different channels, ensuring that you have a good mobile customer experience should be at the top of your list. A bad mobile experience can do serious damage to your brand and could result in loss of business as 52% of customers are less likely to engage with a company because of poor mobile experience (Think with Google). If you want to improve your customer loyalty, retention, and overall CX, ensuring that you have a good mobile experience should be a focus for your organization.

Having a good mobile experience goes far beyond just being responsive. Companies have been a bit slow to adapt, with 90% of customers saying that they have had a poor experience seeking customer support on mobile (Software Advice).


Mobile experience issues graph

With a higher number of consumers looking for online self-service, it’s important that they are available to the consumer through several different channels, including mobile. Whether it’s a mobile-friendly FAQ, a phone application, or interactive voice response through calls, it’s important to ensure that you are keeping your target customers in mind, and how they would want to interact with your business.

Content Targeting

It is important for marketers to capture insights and information about their customers in order to provide effective customer experiences. With technologies such as Liferay, you’re able to create and track highly targeted marketing campaigns that present the right message to your visitors at the right time, based on social profile, behaviour and browsing history. Having a single-dashboard to view each customer’s behaviours, interests, and patterns can help you push out the right content to each customer. This can improve your customer experience and further build trust, loyalty, and engagement.


By forming a better understanding of your customers, you’ll be able to build a customer experience that resonates with your audience. Tailor your website to the needs and preferences of each individual with targeted information and segment identification, giving your visitors exactly what they’re looking for. By creating user-friendly self-service options, having a consistent mobile experience and targeting your content – you will be able to improve your overall customer experience. If you ensure that your customer interactions with your organization are consistent, convenient, and evolving, you will continue to drive brand loyalty.

he Business Case for the Liferay Digital Experience Platform

Omnichannel is the Key to Optimizing Customer Experiences

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What does Omni-channel mean?

Historically, companies were focused on providing customers with the ability to transact in the channel of their choice.  Organizations were organized around channels, and each channel’s department had their own reporting structure and goals.  The departments often encouraged channel competition, but the end result was confused customers who experienced different offers, pricing and processes in each channel.

Omni-channel is a multi-channel approach that provides the customer with aseamless experience, whether they are transacting online, from a desktop or mobile device.

Today, companies are focusing on creating omni-channel experiences to ensure that no matter where the customer is located, or on what device they are interacting with, the experience is the same.

Online, mobile, and social media platforms have enabled customers to not only switch between channels quickly but to also use them simultaneously. It is a regular occurrence to see people in store aisles looking at product reviews and pricing on their mobile while deciding between products on a physical retail store shelf. They are using mobile, in-store advertising, and in-store sales representatives combined to help with their decision making process.

Why Omni-channel?

Unfortunately, there are way too many examples of companies that fail to deliver good omni-channel customer experiences. A few years ago, I called my bank’s 1-800 number to secure a car loan. Everything (or so I thought) was confirmed over the phone.  I faxed in my signed documents, and was told I could go and pick up my cheque at my local branch. I waited in line at the branch only to get to the counter and be told, “Oh no, you cannot just pick up the cheque”. I asked how they could be so disconnected and their response was, “Well, we are not the same as the call centre. We have different rules”.

The result was a very negative experience. I walked away thinking that the bank does not understand me as a customer, and clearly does not realize I have a mortgage, GICs, RRSPs, RESPs, etc… Not only were they at risk of losing my car loan, they now faced the risk of losing my business to one of their competitors.

Having been in digital since the days of Netscape, I am definitely a digital advocate, interacting digitally is my preference. But, there are certainly times when I prefer face-to-face interaction. Human interaction is a vital factor in a positive customer experience even in the digital age.

In fact, a study done by Accenture found that only 36% of customers believe digital channels are better than non-digital forms of interaction. Additionally, 58-73% prefer dealing with humans to get quicker answers, resolution on issues, and to get advice[1].

Omni-channel is the key to optimizing customer experiences statistic

Many studies have found that customers who engage across multiple channels are  more valuable customers. In fact, multi-channel banking customers purchase 1.4 times the products and are 15% more likely than digital-only customers to serve as advocates for their providers.[2]

Digital does not always offer marketers the ability to up-sell or cross-sell based on the customer’s needs. Digital can ‘recommend’ based products you are looking at in real-time. Sometimes, we see up-sells based on our previous buying behavior – but I still get irrelevant Minecraft recommendations because my son and I surf on the same computer. And rarely do I see up-sells and cross-sells based on my ‘stage of life’ or my ‘in the moment’ needs.
The ability to truly understand the customer is lost if their only interaction is online.

Ironically, many companies are also finding that the selling expense associated with digital exceeds the value of their digital investments. The savings from the efficiencies of customers transacting online are often offset by the necessity to offer lower prices through promotions and discounts – to compete in the one click away environment. Rate comparisons or insurance quotes are always 5 seconds away. Digital is further commoditizing financial products; foreign currency exchange, insurance quotes, and loans are available online.

Omni-channel is the key to optimizing customer experiences Statistic

In fact, an Accenture survey found that more than ½ of customers want their bank to proactively recommend products or services that would help them financially. And 55% said it would strongly increase their loyalty to the bank. Many would even pay for budgetary advice.

A simple idea such as the Investment Advisor making notes on a client’s life changes into an omni-channel CRM, could positively impact revenues. The in-branch bank manager would better understand the client and be able to make recommendations and offers of true value to the client.
Barriers to Omni-channel.

Offering proactive digital financial advice and counselling to help clients better manage their financial needs can provide valuable insight and offer huge incremental revenues and increased loyalty.

Barriers to Omni-channel

In order to embrace omni-channel strategies across the organization, companies must first understand the economic benefits of providing customers with the ability to interact seamlessly across channels. The silos need to begin to blend and they must agree that a one-size-fits-all approach to customer experiences will not work.

The story about how my telebanking institution did not communicate with my branch nor have the same rules for picking up my car loan cheque, was probably due to technology and/or the lack of desire to improve their processes. Omni-channel requires a focused customer-first agenda – a strong understanding of customer data and a willingness to change. Barriers include:

  • Inability to provide all divisions with a single view of the customer across channels
  • Inability to understand the customer beyond their buying history
  • Lack of system integration
  • Lack of training, education, processes, and inadequate change management

How to get started

The core of an omni-channel strategy is the ability to understand the customer.  Omni-channel warrants an outside-in view and a mapping of the customer experience from the customer’s perspective. The omni-channel approach puts the customer, not the business units, at the centre.

For financial institutions, a front-end portal or “window” into the back-office, can help bridge the silos. Starting with a single view of the customer, you can direct the client standing in the branch, help the bank manager understand the value of the client, the call centre to appropriately service the client, and give the Financial Advisor a better indication on which products to recommend. A portal is not as big of an undertaking as re-building the back office and it can create and connect personalized digital experiences across the omni-channels.

Considering the customer journey from an omni-channel experience instead of just one department or a branch’s interactions is a start. Understanding customers beyond the personas is the next step to creating fantastic omni-channel customer experiences.

Valerie Jones will be at the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit on the Power PanelOmni-channel Surmount Barriers to Transform your Omni-Channel into a Customer Centric, High Performance Digital Ecosystem.   June 2, 2016 at 9:15 AM.


[1]  https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-digital-disconnect-customer-engagement.aspx

[2] https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-digital-disruption-banking-north-america-consumer-survey

Financial Advisors: Take Advantage of Local Marketing

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In such a globally connected world, people try to market to anyone and everyone. Although, in the process of doing so, they lose sight of their local audience. When strategizing your marketing, a one-size-fits-all approach is not the way to go. According to a study done by the National Public Radio (NPR), localized content had 6 times more Facebook shares than non-localized content.

In today’s digitally-centric world, there is an overwhelming amount of online content at our disposal. Consumer needs have shifted; when searching for a product, they now look for the most personalized, relevant and relatable information that meets their interests

According to Search Engine Land, 67% of smartphone users want ads customized by city and 61% want ads customized to their immediate surroundings.

Now, more than ever, local marketing will benefit your business. Here are some ways a localized marketing strategy can benefit you:

Less competitors

When you focus on localized marketing – you are targeting a smaller audience. However, you are also competing against a smaller number of businesses. Less competition means a higher chance of attracting and landing clients!

Increase in traffic

Not only will you get business from people passing by your office, localized marketing can help you better reach your local target audience through search engine optimization (SEO). For example, if you are a Financial Advisor within the Toronto region – you are more likely to appear in search engine results if someone were to search “Financial Advisor Toronto” as opposed to just “Financial Advisor”. Optimizing for local SEO will help you increase your online traffic, which in turn, can help improve your global SEO rankings as well.

Improves client experience

As digital as our world is today, consumers still like to have face-to-face interactions – it helps to build trust. Today’s consumers prefer to work with someone that is easily accessible, online and off. As a Financial Advisor, providing your clients with different options for interaction with your business will improve their overall experience with you.

Helps build referrals

Just as people refer local mechanics to their friends, they will do just that with Financial Advisors. By building strong relationships with your local clients, the chances of them referring your services to their friends and family increases – or even better, referring your business to an online audience by leaving a review.

Increases your online reviews

According to Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. With an increase in consumers searching for information on a local level, having numerous, positive reviews can set your business apart from the rest. One positive review can convert a prospect into a client within seconds.


Consumer needs are constantly evolving. Localized marketing can help you target the right clients, on a local level, while helping you build a more trusted and valuable relationship with them. Overtime, localized marketing can help you grow your relationships and business.

When It Comes to Digital Strategy, Are You a Leader or Lagger?


This post was authored by Martin Yan and originally appeared here on Liferay.com


Though every industry is different, there is something all companies are dealing with: a quickly changing sales landscape. With the rise of mobile and highly-connected customers, the days of cold calling and “batch-and-blasts” are long gone. Traditional sales methods simply won’t cut it.

Most buyers are now doing research on their own, some without ever consulting a sales person in the process. According to Adweek, 81% of shoppers conduct their own online research before purchasing a product. What’s more, about 60% begin their research on a search engine and/or read a product review.

With detailed information about every product or software available at their fingertips, shoppers don’t need to feel beholden to believe every sales pitch. Think about all the various outlets available to the shopper. There are search engines, product reviews, user reviews, buyer’s guides, social media and forums. If something sounds fishy, they can simply look up the facts on a device and verify any dubious claim.

The web has become the single most important place for prospective buyers to visit. As customers become more digitally-experienced, they will look for a familiarity and convenience with your brand regardless of channel. They will be interacting with you on social media, mobile apps, or in-person when they walk into your store.

Now the question is, how are you meeting these new customer expectations? Are you leading the charge to transform the way your company does business, or are you still reluctant to change what’s already comfortably in place?

If you’re not driving innovation, your current business will sooner or later be susceptible to disruption. In the meantime, your customers will be looking for a satisfying, more personal experience elsewhere. As Lisa Arthur, a Forbes contributor, writes: “Our research shows that consumers welcome personalized offers, such as price-matching and loyalty points. Soon, they’ll not only welcome it, they’ll expect it.”

Your company should assess the user experience across all channels. How does your website communicate what your service or product is about? Is the user experience the same on a smartphone as it is on laptop? See how the content, layout and web functionalities change when your site is accessed on different devices.

A good digital strategy will bring those interactions together and translate them into a great user experience. And if you’re providing users a great experience, chances are you’ll earn their trust and keep them coming back for more.

Infographic: 5 Reasons Financial Advisors Should Use Video Calls for Client Meetings


This post was authored by Kristin Harad and originally appeared here on GuideVine.


Do you use video calls for client meetings?

Almost every Financial Advisor will agree that in-person meetings with clients and prospects are the most powerful way of connecting with them. However as lives grow hectic, demands on everyone’s time increase, people move and practices expand across geographies, many Financial Advisors are turning to video chats. Here are five reasons why.

Infographic: 5 Reasons Financial Advisors Should Use Video Calls for Client Meetings

Why Should Advisors Care About the New Buyer Journey?

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In 2012, the Corporate Executive Board performed a study to determine just how much buyer behaviour was affected by digital media. As it turns out, 60% of the sales cycle is completed before a buyer makes first contact with a sales person. What’s happening in that 60%?

Any good buying decision must first start with research. The proliferation of digital media has made content so readily accessible that it’s now possible to do most of your due diligence online without the need to speak to someone to make a buying decision. So, why should you care as an advisor? Well, have you ever walked into a meeting with a client and been put on the spot because your client read something online, pertinent to your business, and spent time trying to correct the conclusion they came to by reading that article? Buyers are becoming more knowledgeable and it’s re-shaping the role of sales and marketing professionals.  Understanding the buyer journey can help you adapt to these changes.

So, just what is the Buyer Journey? A buyer journey consists of the mental stages a buyer experiences before making the purchase of a product or a service. In the financial or insurance advice space, this could be a mutual fund, a specific investment strategy, life insurance premium amounts and so on. There are 3 key stages: Awareness, Consideration and Decision. Let’s take a look at each one:


This stage isn’t about the awareness of your product or service. The title refers to the awareness of a problem that your buyer is experiencing. For example, let’s say you notice your child’s temperature is very high and experiencing severe stomach pain or, perhaps your client is noticing that their RRSPs aren’t growing at market rates. Buyers in this stage are identifying symptoms of a problem. They don’t know specifically what the problem might be but the symptoms are mentally or physically uncomfortable enough such that it compels them to “figure out” just what is happening.


In the consideration phase, the buyer is taking the inputs (i.e. the symptoms) and attempting to identify the problem. In the example above, you might go to a doctor or perhaps read some information online (or offline) and come to the conclusion that your child has the stomach flu. Your client with poor RRSP performance, could take a look at their RRSP portfolio, and identify the fact that one of the funds they’ve invested in is performing poorly and negating the gains of the other investments. A buyer will not move onto the next stage until they’ve gathered enough information and identified the specific problem.


As you might guess, the decision stage is the point at which a buyer gathers information to make a decision to select the best possible strategy or solution to their problem. Basically, they’re comparing different solutions. Having identified that your child has stomach flu, you’re next likely behaviour would be to try to find solutions that help relieve the symptoms of the virus (or, if you haven’t seen a doctor yet, going to see a doctor could also be an option). The most likely scenario with your client would, for example, involve selling that fund and either re-investing their savings it into an existing fund or perhaps investing the savings into a brand new fund or perhaps GIC. Buyers in this stage are collecting alternatives and options that they can choose from to solve their problem and will move onto the final stage which involves the purchase decision.

A good understanding of your buyer’s journey can help you adapt to the changing buyer and help increase the trust you have with clients. Increasing the trust you have with clients creates leads, opportunities and incremental revenue.


 What would your buyer’s journey look like?  How can you create content to follow that buyer’s journey?  Stay tuned for Part 2 which will focus on leveraging the buyer journey to increase your AUM.

How to Drive Sales Using the Customer Buyer Journey

Good Content vs. Good Enough Content: Insights from Ann Handley at #INBOUND15

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In case you missed our last article, here is a quick background to this series of articles.

Ann Handley (Author, Marketer, Chief Content Officer of Marketing Profs)

“The biggest missed opportunity with content is playing it too safe.” 

Ann Handley, author of “Everybody Writes”, was the world’s first Chief Content Officer; so you could say she knows a thing or two about content. In Ann’s talk she discussed how the biggest missed opportunity with content is playing it too safe. She pointed out the three things that every brand needs to bring content from good enough to really good and memorable content: bigger stories, braver marketing, and a bolder voice.  According to Ann:

BIGGER story puts your company in the larger context of what people care about. Use your bigger story to convert more people into your squad.

BRAVER marketing upends the status quo, telling a story that hits on specific challenges your audience has (but no one else is talking about in the right way for a certain audience).

BOLDER voice is a differentiator in a sea of mediocre content. Tone of voice is your gutsiest and bravest asset. Your voice reflects your culture, amplifies your story and communicates with empathy to the people you want to reach.

Ann’s presentation was full of inspiring examples of real companies who have used the three B’s to create engaging content. Ultimately, Ann tells the crowd: “everything that your customer or prospect touches is content. So, find ways to inject your brand’s personality and culture into anything and everything.” She challenges the crowd to think of their own marketing, “if you covered up your logo, would you recognize YOU?”

I loved how she closed with the following quote:


This quote speaks to creating bold and unique content. Sometimes, you have to steer away from the fairy tales and stories that are typical in your industry. Sometimes, you have to tell a different story, with a different point of view, in order to stand out from the crowd, and create a unique voice for your brand.