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Who Says You Can't? 5 Relatively Friction-Less Ways Even ...


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  1. 1. Who Says You Can’t? 5 Friction-less Ways Investment Management Marketers Can Take Part in Social Media May 5, 2009 First revision: May 6, 2009
  2. 2. Introduction This was going to be just another post on my blog. Earlier in the day, I’d skimmed through a handbook on Twitter for teachers and then I came across a whitepaper about digital strategies for pharmaceutical companies. My instinct was to draft a post that would seek to appeal to financial services marketers’ sense of shame: Really? Do we really want to be the last industry that embraces the power of social media? I say “we” because I worked for many years inside investment management companies and I work for them today as Contents a consultant. I understand the forces that conspire daily to keep financial services marketing from innovating or even fast-following. Social Media Adoption by The financial crisis, which has required cutbacks on marketing spending, staffing and even planning, is one Financial Advisors………………...……...6 reason that mutual fund companies, ETF providers and other 1. Prepare Your Content To Go…….....10 money managers are conspicuous by their absence in social media. 2. Think In Bite-Sizes……………...……17 Just about everybody else is wandering in. See the growing lists on: 3. Embrace The Tweet…………………22 4. Get Out and Meet Some People…...27 • Social Brand Index 5. Give A Picture, It Will Go Further…..33 • A List of Social Media Examples The Return On Your Investment …..….35 • Ongoing List of Social Media Efforts from Banks, Your Next Step……………………….…36 Credit Card, Financial Institutions and Lenders About Rock The Boat Marketing………37 2 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  3. 3. Introduction (cont’d) But, there are a host of other, what we’d call “evergreen” hurdles that keep investment managers away: > Often (but not always), the hurdle is Compliance and even just the chilling effect that there is a Compliance review. > Sometimes, it’s Sales and their pragmatic insistence that Marketing’s job is to make the donuts (translation: produce collateral). They’ve also held the trump card in knowing the customer better. We’d argue that the surge in independent financial advisors calls for a broadening in the thinking of how to meet the customer’s information needs. What’s needed to meet Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney home office expectations may be very different from what the independent LPL certified financial planner or independent wealth manager team will expect from you going forward. > Oh and also, let’s blame IT, because they’re the ones that conspire with Legal to block access to a broadly defined list of social media sites. It’s lamentable that to be a forward-thinking marketer in financial services today is to accept that you’re going to have to experience most of the envelope-pushing capabilities on your own time at home. At least until you can understand them well enough to make the case for why they’re appropriate at work. > Finally, if we’re honest, sometimes Marketing just can’t summon the time to learn, the energy to drive forward or the imagination to see how other industries’ ideas would apply here. Let’s be fair. This industry has been through something and it shows on your face and in the step of your walk. Who among you has had time to think about this stuff? For as long as it takes you to review the next several pages, we ask you to shake off all that. Let’s not dwell on the friction and the stress. What follows is a snapshot of what’s going on and what several marketers are today delivering in the broad category of social media. We don’t represent this to be comprehensive. We expect—and hope!—that this eBook quickly becomes out of date, as mutual fund and ETF firms accelerate their rate of adoption. We propose 5 friction-less ways you can begin to embrace the principles of social media into your marketing. We’re looking at isolated tactics selected to get you thinking about a digital presence, as opposed to a Web site strategy. To get working on it soon is to be early enough to experiment and learn. If nothing else, what we hope to convey is that for you, at this time in this industry, social media is not something you can sit out. 3 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  4. 4. Investment Managers/Financial Advisors Have Similar Objectives Financial Investment Advisors Managers Have suffered recent revenue losses Have some rebuilding to do in the eyes of their clients Are focused on content for both attracting new business and for serving Welcome it for use Produce content for the information needs of their clients with clients advisors to use Are actively pursuing new and creative The next move is ways to grow their businesses online yours, Marketing 4 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  5. 5. A Common Response “But we’re focused on the intermediaries, not the end investor.” For many years, that was a valid reason for not taking part in what consumer marketers were doing. We don’t think that can continue to be an excuse, for these three reasons at the very least: IT’S DIFFERENT > Across the board, Compliance officers are favoring ON THE WEB communications that assume client—not financial professional only—use. While previously the concern might have been that the Of course, you know that. intermediary relationship would be threatened, today’s environment requires a reset: Are you effectively communicating with investors? That’s what supports most advisors’ needs most of More specifically, the ability to use a the time. hyperlink to link from one Web page > More than ever, the Web is commingling audiences, and financial to a prospectus offering on another advisors are showing a preference for being where the investors Web page—acknowledged by the are. Investment management companies that develop an understanding of these new settings and how to engage will be at National Association of Securities an advantage. Dealers (now FINRA) more than 10 > Your customer base is in transition, with an unprecedented years ago—is nothing short of number of financial advisors preferring to become independents. liberating. Asset management companies admit to knowing the least about independent financial advisors yet some believe that distribution success will turn on your better understanding what If your communicating has been advisors now need. Using social media to engage with advisors— weighed down by rules that apply to especially the independents who are today the most active online—is a meaningful way to become better acquainted. The standalone print communications, the company that bets it all on email blasts will be disappointed, we best practice examples that follow believe. may open your eyes. Is it conceivable that you are imposing limitations on your marketing that have the unintended effect of limiting your ability to be relevant to your target audience? 5 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  6. 6. Social Media Adoption by Financial Advisors EXAMPLE: Facebook pages Facebook page of Cathy Curtis, certified financial planner and investment advisor 6 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  7. 7. Social Media Adoption by Financial Advisors EXAMPLE: Embedded video on Web sites Video blogs by Doug Simmang, financial advisor who also comments extensively on his site about what he believes to be the shortcomings of active investment management. 7 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  8. 8. Social Media Adoption by Financial Advisors EXAMPLE: Presentations uploaded to content sharing sites Adam Zuercher, certified financial planner and CPA, uses the presentation sharing platform,, to distribute his presentation. 8 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  9. 9. Who Says You Can’t? 5 Friction-less Ways Investment Management Marketers Can Take Part in Social Media 1. Prepare Your Content To Go 2. Think In Bite-Sizes 3. Embrace The Tweet 4. Get Out and Meet Some People 5. Give A Picture, It Will Go Further 9 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  10. 10. 1. Prepare Your Content To Go We understand your interest in investing in the brand value of your own domain. Our fear is that you are at home, setting the table and lighting the candles for guests who are not coming. You need to take your story on the road. Most asset management companies conscientiously and consistently add to their Web sites—market commentaries, fund CONTENT: YOUR MOST updates, educational pieces. Still and all, the frequency of your LEVERAGEABLE ASSET updates is not likely to be able to compete with the prolificness of or It’s a poor use of an More than ever before across all advisor’s time to check daily or even a few times a week to see if industries, content is being used to you’ve added anything to your site since his last visit. market thought leadership, products and solutions. (For more We urge you to rethink “sticky” as a primary Web site goal. Instead, on this, see David Meerman Scott’s make it possible for an advisor to show interest in your content—as How Will You Create a Worldwide evidenced by his arrival on your site—even just once, sign up for a Rave? ebook.) feed and receive your content updates on his own terms in his own Investment management marketers RSS feed reader. are fortunate to have deep, rich content available. It’s time to leverage its power and appeal to the advantage of your brand and your business. For specific recommendations on how investment management marketers can establish an online newsroom, see SwanDog Strategic Marketing’s The World Has Changed, Part 1. 10 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  11. 11. RSS Feeds It’s a mystery why RSS feeds are not more common on asset manager sites. It’s not a technology hurdle. Your IT group could set you up with a feed by the end of this week. Your Compliance is unlikely to have objections. And, advisors are known to like them and use them. Since kasina three years ago documented advisor interest, RSS as a means of taking control over one’s content consumption has become only more popular. 11 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  12. 12. Example: Northern Trust offers a variety of content feeds. 12 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  13. 13. Example: T. Rowe Price uses RSS to deliver customized daily prices. 13 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  14. 14. Example: iGoogle Gadget RSS can be employed in other ways, too. In mutual funds’ early Web days, the daily NAVs were by far the sites’ most visited pages. Today, of course, fund prices can be accessed on sites that aggregate all funds’ prices. American Century offers this Google gadget for users of iGoogle home pages. Users can customize the list of funds they want to track, add the gadget to their home page and from then on see their daily prices in context with everything else on their customizable iGoogle page. This is the only mutual fund-related Google gadget offered by an investment manager. Above: How iGoogle offers the gadget. To the right is how the customized list of funds would appear on an iGoogle page. 14 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  15. 15. Example: Podcasts Wells Fargo Advantage Funds makes its podcasts available off its site—but broadens the offer by delivering them through iTunes, too. 15 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  16. 16. Examples: Widgets This customizable Fidelity widget is the only mutual fund-related widget available from Windows Live. It’s also downloadable from Fidelity’s site. A one-time download of this iShares widget enables users to track leading and trailing indexes on their desktop. 16 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  17. 17. 2. Think in Bite-Sizes The rest of the world may never know the depth of content locked up and hidden in Adobe Acrobat files on investment management Web sites. But you do—and we challenge you to find ways to better leverage it. An 18-page Adobe Acrobat document on the markets Whether you “atom-ize” your content or not, represents a significant amount of work by high-priced you can expect others will. This is a natural talent. The writer did his or her job by providing the content, extension of what we’ve known that it’s Marketing’s job to assure the content’s broadest salespeople have done in the field for distribution. You can do more than just add its headline to years—wholesalers rarely show every slide the top of a list of headlines on a single page on your Web in the deck. site. Online, though, the content is in the public domain and you can exert no control over Enter the blog, by now a common content form on most the pieces that people (financial advisors, Web sites but rare on an asset management site. It took investors, the media) will extract. Vanguard until this year to launch one and, like most money What do you know about how your content is manager blogs, the Vanguard blog can’t accept comments. being used online? That’s where you start, In fact, broad awareness that “Compliance would never as monitoring is among Marketing’s allow us to publish comments” may have discouraged responsibilities. Once you know, what can consideration of blogs altogether—that and the awareness you learn from how real live people are that blogs require a steady stream of content. interacting with it? How your audience uses what you create can be a powerful input to continuously improving the relevance of your work. A contemporary marketing communications effort needs to have a content strategy that considers post-delivery issues, opportunities and a feedback loop. 17 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  18. 18. Example: The Power of a Single Chart We call your attention to Navellier’s Market Observations blog as a best practice example of how to unpack some of the content that today is published in one big dense package under a single, thin headline. As shown in this example, each blog post is no more than a few paragraphs long. The narrative explains a single chart that can be expanded for viewing or printing. Note that the blog accepts comments, encourages social bookmarking and can be followed via RSS. 18 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  19. 19. Example: The Re-Use of a Single Slide Here’s the tweet promoting the slide. A self-described aspiring trader uploaded a single Grantham, Mayo slide to Scribd, then embedded it as content for his site—and then used Twitter to announce its availability. 19 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  20. 20. Examples: Advisors’ Use of Content Advisors who commit to Twitter or maintain their own blogs need valuable content. These are just a few examples of the content they’re creating. What did advisors think of your due diligence meeting? Previously you might have strained to read their handwriting on a survey returned on their way out the door. Now they’re using it as a source of content for their blog. And, the example below suggests that some portfolio updates are actually getting read and quoted! Above left: A recent Freedom Financial Solutions post published Tony Hixon’s notes from a Selected American Shares meeting. Above right: Adam Zuercher quoted a Selected fund update. 20 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  21. 21. Example: Transparent Content Consumption From our perspective, Vanguard Investments is by far the social media leader in the investment management space. Notice how Vanguard uses social media to collect and publish feedback (# of users and * assigned) on its News & Media content. Web analytics and online monitoring are other, standard sources of feedback and insights. 21 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  22. 22. 3. Embrace the Tweet #1 and #2 leads us, naturally, to the microblogging phenom: Twitter. Yes, people are using Twitter to let others know when they’ll be shampooing their hair. That is what it is. There are business reasons for you to explore Twitter: For visibility, to establish your authority and relevance with the content you distribute, to gather customer/prospects’ insights, to gain competitive intelligence, to develop sales leads, etcetera. THE SEC AND TWITTER Asset managers today are the only piece of investment product distribution not represented on Twitter. Financial advisors are out there, shareholders are out there, the media is out there. Everyone on Twitter today is still learning about its power, even as every day brings more Twitter-based applications launched The SEC has had a Twitter account in the beta stage. We implore you to join the learners. People since August 2008 when then- who dismiss Twitter remind us of those who dismissed the Chairman Christopher Cox Internet 10 to 15 years ago. At that time, the Internet was announced, “The SEC has to be believed to have value for only geeks, not seniors, not the just as functional, and just as affluent, certainly not top producers. technologically adept as any corporation today.” 22 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  23. 23. Example: Your Content Is Circulating, With or Without Your Involvement While marketers toil over advisor-only communications they intend to make available to a limited number of favored distribution partners, others are interacting with pieces of your public-domain content in the context of the rest of their lives. That’s how Twitter works. Pimco is a ready example because it’s one of the most tweeted-about money managers, according to our monitoring. The tweet shown below is an example of a random line out there in the Twitterverse, a search result for Pimco. Here’s an example of a chocolate chip cookie- eating entrepreneur publishing what he found to be a highlight of a Pimco appearance on CNBC. In contrast, asset managers could use Twitter as another, more effective way to get the word out. When a portfolio manager or investment strategist is scheduled to appear on CNBC, don’t you today send a hasty alert to your Sales force? This is the same idea. The next step would be to follow up the appearance with a value- packed line of what was said, with a link to your site for more information. There’s no fighting this—and why would you want to stop people talking about your company? We encourage investment management marketers to come to the conclusion that other brands have: The conversation is happening with or without you, it’s time to take part. To date, AdvisorShares is the only investment management firm we’ve been able to find active on Twitter. Shortly after we published this eBook on May 5, we discovered that Pimco has been using Twitter since March 31. Its handle: PIMCO_tweets. 23 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  24. 24. Example: Redistributed Fund Company Content Above left: Here’s an example of a random tweet on April 16, 2009, about Eaton Vance. A click on the URL (shortened to save characters) shows that the link went to content on about Eaton Vance’s funds. 24 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  25. 25. Tweeting Within Your Limits The prospectus offering requirement is something asset management marketers can never get too far away from. Have you thought that Twitter was out of bounds for you because the 140-character tweet wouldn’t accommodate a message and a prospectus offering? We are not and never have been Compliance officers, but we know and like some. According to our Compliance friends, you should be able to tweet for the very reason that asset managers can create online banner ads without a prospectus offering (in many cases, depending on the actual message): Because an ad or a tweet is a link away from the prospectus offering on your site. You can do this. It’s just a matter of organizing for it in the same way that your company prepared to communicate using a Web site. You may get more elaborate as you get more experience but start by giving one or two trusted marketing communications staffers the responsibility of creating the tweet, getting it approved, sending it and archiving it, all according to FINRA record-keeping rules. This is what financial advisors—many of whom lack the infrastructure that you have—do in order to comply. It’s that important for advisors to be engaging online. All brands that use Twitter need to exercise caution. As communicators subject to regulation, caution is something you are accustomed to building into the way you approach all communications. It should be a communication strength of yours, not a handicap. To repeat: You can do this. 25 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  26. 26. Twitter Quick-Start We could do hours on what Twitter can do for you and how, but here’s our quick-start recommendation: 1. At the minimum, start listening. Listen to what’s being said about your brand and your products. for your company’s name, people, product categories. Your search will produce results and offer you an RSS feed to continue to follow. For example: Our monitoring seeking accounts created by the top 25 fund companies has identified two companies—Fidelity Investments and American Century —that have created accounts but posted no updates. 2. Next, establish an account so you can start following financial advisors, publications, whoever you care about. Remember that this is a business account and that who you will follow will be public. 3. Once you’re organized to start talking, why not start out tweeting about the availability of your content as you produce it—each commentary, presentation, etc.? Call out a specific insight—don’t make the mistake that so many Web sites make in their headlines (i.e., “First quarter commentary now available.”) Based on our monitoring as of this date, only AdvisorShares and PIMCO_tweets are posting updates to their Twitter accounts. Your tweet will need to be written for impact so use your 140 characters economically. You’ll get the hang of it and develop a certain voice once you start tracking which tweets get the most pick-up and do the best job of driving traffic to your site and interest in your company. How will you know? Turn to your Web analytics for real-time insights. 26 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  27. 27. 4. Get Out and Meet Some People The more you know about your customer, the better you can serve them. And yet, previously, marketing teams of intermediary-distributed mutual funds had little direct access to financial advisors. There was the rare travel with wholesalers and the shared subscriptions to Investment News and Registered Rep. But, mostly marketing mandates were based on information trickled down from the field. Thanks to the Web—to financial Web sites and now to Twitter and other social networks—the financial services marketer MIND THE who wants to understand the customer has a direct pipeline. TWITTER PROTOCOL What’s more, Marketing is in a position to take the lead and help Sales better understand the independent advisor customer and prospect. There is a protocol to be followed when seeking to join any community, In a recent blog post, we discussed the influence of some of and that’s true online across-the- the well-followed advisors on Twitter and suggested that they board in the Twitterverse and are the new corner office producers. especially when you’re hoping to follow customers and prospects. Advisors who “retweet” (translation: forward a Twitter post) or Proceed with care. The Twitter wiki otherwise direct his/her followers to your content are linking lists several resources for their personal brands to yours. It’s tantamount to an establishing a Twitter identity. endorsement. The value of a referral is something well known in the financial advisor world. We mention it here because the better you know your audience, the more relevant your content, the more likely you are to catch the attention of influential online advisors. Doesn’t that beat hoping someone will forward an email? 27 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  28. 28. Where Are Advisors Online? Publishers will tell you in aggregate where financial advisors are, but these social networks offer a way to get to know (follow) individuals. Facebook Financial advisors are known to have Facebook pages, personal pages at the very least. A search for “financial advisor” brand pages shows sparse results, although that’s likely to change. Financial Advisor Forum A new but growing moderated forum of the most active (online) independent advisors, founded by advisor Russ Thornton. LinkedIn LinkedIn is the leading business networking site. Advisors are showing an interest in networking with known connections, as well as in new business development. Participation as of May 4, 2009 Total U.S. current “Financial Advisors”: 35,750 Total U.S. current “Financial Planners”: 6,002 • Smith Barney: 2,550 current “financial advisor” names • Wachovia: 1,750 current “financial advisor” names • Raymond James: 576 current “financial advisor” names Twitter Find advisors to follow using: 28 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  29. 29. Influential Advisors Online Here’s a sampling of financial advisors using Twitter. Web Site/Blog Twitter Handle Behavior Gap Carl Richards is the Family Chief Financial Officer (CFO); also serves in a research capacity for multiple financial firms. Hosts a show. Cathy Curtis Certified financial planner, owner of firm Curtis Financial Planning Twittercom/curtisfinancial focusing on women and money. The Money Samuel H. Fawaz CPA, CFP® of YDream The Money Geek Geek Financial Services, Inc., a registered investment advisory and financial planning firm. Jeff Rose LPL certified financial planner Good Financial Cents Greg Skidmore President and Chief Investment Officer at Belray Asset Belray Asset Management formerly of Smith Management (10,000-plus followers) Barney Russ Thornton Fee-only advisor, Thornton Wealth Management and founder of the Financial Advisor Forum Adam Certified financial planner, Freedom Financial Prudent Investing Zuercher Solutions 29 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  30. 30. A Side Note In investment management companies across the country, there are Sales and Marketing people who are convinced that financial advisors won’t wear t-shirts. We submit this T-shirt from the popular and well- regarded Behavior Gap as evidence to the contrary. The Behavior Gap has developed brand fans among financial advisors, who are clamoring for this shirt and have used Twitter to alert their followers when the shirt arrives! Your challenge: How to spend less time justifying the case for accelerating an investment in logowear and more time working on creating brand fans. What is it about your business’ value proposition that will engage advisors as Behavior Gap (the thought leadership, the message delivery and the t-shirt) has? 30 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  31. 31. Advisor Support Here’s a sampling of active Twitter users whose work includes supporting advisors in some way. Web Site/Blog Twitter Handle Advice America A developer of financial planning tools and other applications Advice America blog for advisors. Gary Kinghorn is director of marketing and product management. Advisor Products CEO of marketing/technology company serving independent (Andrew Gluck) investment advisors, has been sponsoring a Financial Crisis Webinar series David Glickman Former strategist and marketer with Fidelity Investments, Retirement Income now helps financial advisors with their retirement income- Practice Management related issues IFA Life The leading social networking Web site for professional IFA Life financial advisers and Life Planners worldwide, based in England. Created the Twitter Directory of Financial Planners. Kristen Luke Principal of Wealth Management Marketing, a firm dedicated Financial Marketing to providing marketing advice and support for financial Wire advisors. Lawain McNeil President and chief marketing officer, The Advisor Lab. Hosts Social Media Bootcamp for advisors on BlogTalkRadio. Mark Astarita Issues, news and commentary on the law of the financial - The markets Securities Law Blog Elmer Rich III Principal of Rich and Co., providing consulting and coaching Getting Rich--Growth to RIAs and TPAs Susan Weiner A CFA who helps financial professionals increase the impact Investment Writing of their writing on clients and prospects Bill Winterberg 31 Who Says You Can’t? | financial planners Boat Marketing | Technology specialist for © 2009 – Rock The FP Pad
  32. 32. Media On Twitter Here’s a sampling of active Twitter users representing media properties offline and online. Publisher Name Twitter Account Description Twitter Handle AdvisorPerspectives Online publication for advisors with high and ultra high net worth clients ETF Trends Online publication tracking the ETF market Financial Planning Marion Asnes, editor-in-chief magazine FundMojo provides investors and financial advisors with deep financial intelligence through systematic data collection, correlation and analysis MorningstarAdvisor Leslie Banks, Director of Marketing, Financial Communications RIANewsFocus “Human-filtered news” for RIAs SeekingAlpha Stock market news from, a very active market site characterized by the level of engagement of its users (see the article’s comments). In April 2009 introduced its own Follow/Followers list capability. StockTwits “An open, community-powered investment idea and information service. You can think of it as Bloomberg for the little guy and gal.” 32 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  33. 33. 5. Give a Picture—It Will Last Longer and Go Further “Take a picture, it will last longer.” Credible sources tell us that nobody says that anymore. Maybe it has something to do with the ubiquitousness of camera phones… That’s too bad, because the saying had a point that we will now try to co-opt: Drowning in a sea of words (HTML text) online, your audience today is showing a true preference for pictures. They tend to spend more time with a good picture—specifically visualizations of complex, often data-based stories and they like to forward the pictures on. The next page shows some popular visualizations, which financial advisors have enthusiastically exchanged with their Twitter friends and followers this year. We’ve written about visualizations previously and cite these here as examples of financial communications that are resonating. What do pictures have to do with social media? They are an underexplored content form that has viral power you can tap as a means of building your brand, meeting new people and creating content that advisors rely on and turn to, repeatedly. In other words, pictures last longer and go further, maybe than your words. Despite the embarrassment of data riches in your world, investment management marketers produce a far greater volume of text-based financial communications. We believe it’s time to redirect some of that effort into creating pictures. Count on your audience and their audiences to be receptive. 33 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  34. 34. Examples: Data-based Visualizations How Far Have We Fallen? The New York Times’ A comparison of bear markets geography of a recession Visual guides to the Financial Crisis 34 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  35. 35. The Return On Your Investment What exactly will our five suggestions do for you? While ROI typically stands for return on investment, some social media enthusiasts talk about a different ROI: the Risk of Ignoring. UH, IS IT TOO LATE TO MENTION… Simply put here, we recommend that you evaluate the return on your social media participation in terms of what you learn from engaging. Social media participation alone will not compel a financial advisor to In order to know that, you’re going to need some analytics in distribute your investment products. place. Think of the engaging and learning as just two parts of a communications cycle that also includes What you can expect: You will have meeting/sharing/reacting/tweaking/testing/refining. None of which more information on what’s being can be done if you’re not on top of what you’re going to measure said about your brand and your and how. competitors, you will deepen your understanding of what content You’ll need analytics capability for what happens on your own advisors value, you will be there domain and you’ll need to take advantage of other systems that when needs are being expressed. are available for tracking and monitoring your content and messaging as it’s distributed. Your listening should lead to better brand positioning, inspired product To say much more would be to go beyond the scope of this design and management, a more document, but we urge you not to give measurement short shrift. real-time CRM, more relevant The analytics that can be harnessed to evaluate your marketing and better informed sales effectiveness are a significant piece of the enthusiasm that interactions. surrounds social media. 35 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  36. 36. Your Next Step What would you do if you knew you could not fail? That’s the luxury of many businesses in non-regulated industries, some of whom are blazing the trail in social media today. They’re to be admired and envied at the same time. We’ve focused this report on “friction-less” ideas as a means to get the investment management marketer thinking about some tactical social media possibilities for brand presence, customer engagement, new customer acquisition, using content to marketing and overall positioning the company as committed to timely, relevant communicating. We know the limits you operate within and wouldn’t want you not to try because regulation imposes higher hurdles. Please don’t forward this to your Web team to “work on.” It’s an unrealistic expectation to ask the Web team to lasso something that encompasses all aspects of marketing (branding, marketing communications, product marketing, public relations, customer service, research) and marketing systems (customer relationship management, email marketing, Web analytics). As with anything, your best prospects for success is to develop a strategy that considers your firm’s opportunities and challenges, capabilities, resources—and constitutional fortitude for planning to forge relationships and to do business in a dramatically different, contemporary way. Even if it’s a baby step, the next step is to take one. 36 Who Says You Can’t? | © 2009 – Rock The Boat Marketing |
  37. 37. About Rock The Boat Marketing Rock The Boat Marketing, LLC is a consulting boutique specializing in digital marketing strategy for financial services companies. Founder and Principal Pat Allen’s financial services experience is a blend of marketing and publishing. It uniquely qualifies her, with her network of hard-working professionals, to help financial services companies draft and execute on digital strategies. Pat’s resume includes several years in senior marketing and communications positions with Chicago’s great investment management companies (Claymore Securities as Director of Marketing, Calamos Investments as Director of Web Channel Development, Morgan Stanley/Van Kampen Investments as Director of Marketing Communications and Scudder Funds/Kemper Funds as Director of Electronic Communications) and several years in senior editorial and publishing roles for retail banking’s leading professional services organizations (BAI as Director of the Publishing channel and the U.S. League of Savings Institutions as Senior Editor). She’s been consulting with investment managers and associations intermittently since 2001. What do people do when Since 1996, when she led a wee team in the development of the intermediary industry’s the boat’s rocking? first Web site (, Pat’s passion has been directed toward the speed-to-market communications advantage and measurability of digital media. They rethink the positions Services include: they’ve taken. • Digital strategy consulting • CRM/database marketing • Content strategy consulting • Web analytics • Social media • Training New address effective August 1, 2009 Rock The Boat Marketing 27475 Ferry Road 30 S. Wacker Ave. Warrenville, IL 60555 Suite 2200 (630) 717-2899 Chicago, IL 60606 Would you like to be notified when the next Rock The Boat Marketing ebook is available? Please send an email to info@rocktheboatmarketing to subscribe. Design by Lotsa Luck Design