Even Data-Driven Marketing Requires A Human Connection
Recently, I was fortunate to be among 15 executive thought leaders gathered by Worth to talk about “data-driven marketing” in the financial services industry.
It would be impossible to recap such a robust discussion as it covered everything from AI and different targeting methods to selective email marketing, so here are 5 key takeaways:
1. Serving a specific market is one of the best ways for an advisor to differentiate themselves.
Offering “comprehensive planning” or unique fin-tech interfaces and tech-supported capabilities are becoming ubiquitous and are no longer the differentiators they once were. But, being able to clearly recognize an advisor who serves “people just like me” still offers a strong pull for new clients.
2. Referrals still rein as king.
While larger-scale marketing efforts can create awareness and a positive impression, nothing bridges trust faster than a personal endorsement or an introduction from a trusted source.
3. Advances in data availability, accessibility, and accuracy are happening faster than advisors can integrate them.
While there are emerging tools that link information and public data to create strikingly complete and hauntingly accurate consumer profiles, many advisors don’t yet have the systems or adequate resources to utilize these tools efficiently, if at all. However, solutions to bridge this gap are rapidly improving.
4. In the most sought-after markets (HNW and UHNW clients), personalization will become increasingly critical to success.
As data quality, availability, and usage advance, the expectations to have highly personalized, individualized offers will grow, narrowing the margin and patience for generic or mis-targeted marketing efforts.
5. The future of financial services marketing is still human.
If one thing was agreed upon, it’s that AI cannot replace the need for human connection. This is especially true for important decisions surrounding HNW risk protection, generational financial planning, wealth accumulation, and stewardship. Thus, to be successful, “non-human” marketing efforts need to lead back to an opportunity for advisors to connect with potential clients directly.
While better data might improve the efficiency of this relationship-based business, it will not replace the human element anytime soon.
Christy Charise, Founder & CEO of Strategic Advisor