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How Financial Advisors Evolved into Full-Spectrum Marketers

Ready to spend more on marketing, top-performing advisors also do a better job of managing growth by measuring ROI.


Challenged by shifting demographics, mounting fee pressure and adjustments to new digital delivery models, financial advisors registered a surprising degree of agreement recently in boosting their marketing spend across 11 key marketing channels.

Four hundred-plus financial advisors were surveyed in Broadridge’s Marketing Practices of Growth-Focused Advisors about their business goals and target markets to distinguish between the practices of high performers and everyone else. This new data provides a behind-the-scenes look into the business development practices, marketing budgets and success metrics of RIA firms and independent broker-dealers in their battle to win new business.

Every innovation adopted can’t help but boost a firm’s data volumes and analytical complexity. Yet, both current and future client acquisition spending showed a marked increase – with one major difference: Growth-focused, digitally savvy advisors spent more on marketing to acquire new clients. Under 50 and numbering only 21% of participants, these confident high achievers spent more than $5,000 on marketing annually. However, average advisors also vowed to increase spending to catch up with their top-performing peers.

Across-the-board, survey participants said they deployed most of their budgets to five channels:

Websites Critical for maintaining a firm’s 24/7 digital presence, websites make it easier to analyze prospect behaviors and tap into their interests. Already well-developed for top firms, websites are expected to see modest spending increases for both growth-focused advisors and their peers.

In-person events To manage client concerns about market downturns, advisors say they are ramping up hybrid approaches that combine robo-advice with a human touch. Accordingly, advisors said they intended to increase spending by 7% to 12% on average.

Social media With a focus on Facebook and Linkedin to keep pipeline full, 59% of self-described digital innovators converted a social media lead to a client versus only 19% of digital laggards.

CRMs Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are also a natural repository for analyzing sales and marketing data across platforms. Growth-focused advisors, already well-invested in CRMs, said they planned to increase spending 5% versus 7% for those peers of theirs trying to play catch-up.

Digital advertising Digitization not only transforms data into market insights effortlessly, it also bolsters accuracy of ROI measurements. That’s one reason advisors upped their planned investment for both organic and paid digital advertising significantly; 15% for growth-focused advisors versus 13% for everyone else.

Discover more about what's working and why when you download your copy of Marketing Practices of Growth-Focused Advisors. Gain the actionable intelligence you need to make bolder, more confident decisions too when you include the right blend of analytical tools and metrics to sync up with your marketing efforts.

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