In the coming years, advisors serving high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients will have to learn a few new tricks to attract and retain clients, according to an industry consultant.
Popular marketing strategies that depend on introductions, referrals and traditional branding won’t carry over easily to reach tomorrow’s affluent clients, said Joe Steuter, director of marketing for Omaha-based Peak Advisor Alliance.
“Anytime we consult with an advisor, I feel the need to step back and redefine what marketing is,” Steuter said. ”Most advisors and small business owners in general think of just the visual representation of their brand as marketing, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg."
Presenting at TD Ameritrade’s 2016 National LINC conference on Friday, Steuter said that wealthy investors, especially younger ones, are beginning to respond differently to branding.
The divide is caused by marketing that doesn’t tell the story behind the brand and by campaigns that fail to reach clients where they are, he said.
This is especially true in an advisory industry that is becoming more commoditized, Steuter said.
Citing a study that showed investors could more easily determine between different types of soap than they could different types of financial advisors, he said, “Consumers are starting to realize that there is no differentiation in our profession."
This actually provides advisors with an opportunity to differentiate themselves, he said.
"It’s become such a problem that there is a greater opportunity for you to use the client experience, technology, the stories you can tell and the value that you bring to clients than there ever has been before,” he said.
Steuter singled out storytelling as a powerful marketing tool that allows brands to connect to consumers on an emotional level.