Myths About Marketing Post-Pandemic

Individualized products may be more costly, but the lack of frustration may be more valuable to the client now than prior to the pandemic, meaning marketing about individualization may be better received than lower cost options.

Any professional involved in client services may feel like the pandemic overhauled major parts of their industry. Financial advisors are no different. They lived through a wild market swing of volatility, and just when they thought the pandemic might cause folks to store up their cash in savings, the pandemic ushered in a wave of investing in stocks that was partially unpredictable. Given all of the unpredictability, it might be tempting for advisors to follow some common myths about what marketing might become post-pandemic. Here is a look at a few of the most common post-pandemic marketing myths we’ve seen and an eye on what’s fact versus fiction.

Myth: Marketing will go 100% digital in the near future.

Reality: Many marketers find that offline marketing is still the most successful, and have roughly 60% of their marketing efforts directed at direct marketing efforts. In fact, as one marketing guru mentioned “social media without strategy is just noise.” Turn the volume down on that noise and stick to strategic social media posts, including responding to posts by others. Brands can interact with social media users who seek out information. A query like “How do I know when to invest?” might be a great time to respond in the comments with an invitation “We’ve got your back! Check out our website for more information about investing timelines.”

Myth: Social media isn’t effective at selling actual services.

Reality: Assuming that your marketing can meet all Department of Labor, SEC, and state laws concerning advertising for financial services, this myth is both partly true and partly false. It is true to the extent that folks get turned off from sites that sell too much or too often, and partly false because calls to action or educational pieces that lead to your website or your newsletter are not a faux pas. Additionally, marketing experts suggest using social media as a way to conquer client retention issues. Every business must focus on keeping the clients they have, and a savvy social media strategy can help those clients continue to experience the values and integrity of their financial advisors. Many CEOs now share that their companies are expected to be clear on their values and articulate them to customers. A smart social media strategy can be proactive in answering questions by current and potential customers.  

Myth: Google is God; spend all your time optimizing your search functionality.

Reality: While google searches took off in the pandemic, not everyone relies on Professor Google to solve their problems. And while appearing high on a list of query responses to a financial question might seem like optimal placement, it doesn’t ensure that the searcher will click through to your site. Instead, having content that is responsive or thought provoking is a better strategy. So stick with your strategy of creating useful, easy to read content rather than stuffing your metadata with highly optimized SEO.  Additionally, many CEOs suggest ensuring that once a potential customer is on your website that they have a human touch interaction available to them, like a live chat option. Instead of pinning your hopes and dreams on Google search position, CEOs suggest that you hone in on the story your marketing data is telling you about who interacts with your site and strengthening that connection.

Myth: Once the pandemic is over, clients will want to come back into our office.

Reality: False. Clients are still sticking close to home and preferring to use their homes for many services, rather than visiting professionals’ offices. Services that allow clients to interact with their advisors from home will continue to be attractive. One marketing expert suggests that clients may be looking for service providers to partner together for more seamless interaction, using the example of food delivery sites pairing with health companies. Advisors may want to ensure some seamlessness with other providers, like accountants or attorneys, provided however that all financial regulations can be met. Work from home has also moved clients into using home as a hub, meaning that they rely on Alexa or Siri for more than a grocery list. Financial advisors can help clients by suggesting ways they can use those home devices, such as by sending emails or to create lists of questions for the next meeting they have with their advisor.

Myth: Working from home gave clients more time, and they are less interested in convenience-based products or services.

Reality: False. Working from home made clients more busy, and they became highly interested in time saving products or services. Analogously, clients did more ecommerce shopping and may now have a higher expectation for your website and its user interface. Now may be the time to ensure that your website is as easy and convenient to use as possible. This may be tied in with the last myth.

Myth: Pandemic concern with cash flow caused folks to focus on cost-saving, so I should market my lowest-fee products.

Reality: False. According to Accenture, most Americans are actually increasing their purchases of premium brands and services. This could be because during the pandemic, Americans valued services that were more tailored to their needs and thus saved them more time or effort (or frustration). Any time a client has to create a workaround to make a one-size fits all product work for them, they lose time that could be spent with their families or on other projects. Individualized products may be more costly, but the lack of frustration may be more valuable to the client now than prior to the pandemic, meaning marketing about individualization may be better received than lower cost options.  

These articles are prepared for general purposes and are not intended to provide advice or encourage specific behavior. Before taking any action, Advisors and Plan Sponsors should consult with their compliance, finance and legal teams.

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