What is your firm's digital footprint?

February 8, 2017 by Matt Marcum

A group of financial professionals talking about their firm

About the author:

Matt Marcum

Sales trainer

Matt is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan and has worked in multiple roles at Advicent. He loves talking about financial planning and the value it brings both to advisors and to their clients. When not discussing FinTech trends with advisors, he enjoys spending his time outdoors with his wife and their dog.

How much thought have you given to your digital footprint and digital strategy? Most advisors and financial institutions agree that online brand identity is important, but the extent to which it plays a role when consumers decide with whom to work may surprise you.

 

According to Financial Planning, "up to half of the financial advice market" would be willing to switch to advice provided by Amazon, Google, or Facebook. This is a startling statistic, especially when considering it polled nearly 33,000 people worldwide, about 10,000 of which were already financial advisory clients.

The importance of providing an exceptional digital experience

While there are many reasons why Facebook or Amazon are not immediate threats to the industry, such as the regulatory hurdles that are placed on financial institutions, there are a number of lessons that you can take from this study.

 

First and foremost, advice continues to trend towards a digital experience. This can incorporate anything from robo-advisors to client portals and personal financial management (PFM). As technology is becoming a larger part of a consumer’s life and decision-making process, they overwhelmingly expect digital experiences for their financial needs.

 

Second, firms need a strategy to provide online experiences to all generations. According to Capgemini, 64.2 percent of HNWIs globally expect their future wealth management relationship to be mostly or entirely digital. Too many advisors believe that their clients, especially Baby Boomers, are not interested in a digital experience. This is inherently false as study after study has demonstrated the increased adoption and utilization of technology in all age groups.

 

Finally, ask yourself what constitutes financial advice or financial planning for different demographics in your client base. While you may still have clients that appreciate a printed report, it is also likely that you have clients utilizing sites like Mint.com for their PFM needs. If your clients are using tools like this, then they are likely receiving advertisements and advice to switch to competing firms or robo-advisors. Are you prepared demonstrate your value to clients through an exceptional digital experience?

 

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