[Today's connected world requires constant visibility and steady ongoing reinforcement. For advisors, this can lead to reinforcing their presence, expertise and ensure they are top of mind when important financial topics are weighing heavy on people’s minds. Visibility in front of clients and prospects drives the perception of value, satisfaction, and can lead to referrals.

The challenge is the substantial amount of time, money and effort needed to manually design and implement this outreach process by yourself. The good news, as we have been covering here at the Institute, is that there has been a quantum leap in the art and science that has developed in client/prospect engagement tools and systems. Many new marketing and client nurturing tools are using advanced data analytics, AI, social media tools, and email/social marketing automation technologies once the strict purview of large mega corporations like Netflix and Amazon.

To explore this further, we reached out to Institute member Brendan Kenalty, partner and CMO of Reachstack — an innovative enterprise level intelligent email and communication service for advisors and Wealth Management firms. We asked questions to better understand how an advisor can accelerate revenue growth by being visible in every client's newsfeed every week and knowing how to engage with client on the right topics.]

Bill Hortz: What was your motivation in creating Reachstack? What important topic area for advisors does it address?
Brendan Kenalty:
My partners and I are serial tech entrepreneurs always looking for emerging and compelling market opportunities to build products and solutions around. Working in the email marketing, data collection, and sales acceleration arena for 20 years, we saw a big opportunity to use digital channels to help advisors and firms grow their business, simply by adopting proven best practices and tech from other industries. Historically there have been clear gaps in current tools and services being used in financial services firms, mostly driven by a comfortable culture not seeing a need to change what is working.

Well, times have changed. Client expectations have evolved rapidly and firms are scrambling to combat competitive pressures from early adopters of technology and digital services. Digital is increasingly seen as a legit channel to build relationships and new business, with clients now proactively choosing firms and advisors who effectively use them to connect and provide service. Advisors are starting to ask for more help and pushing a lot of ideas and solutions from their perspective, as well as starting to see leaders at some firms driving change. When senior people get involved, they want to see bigger solutions with enterprise scale, integration to other systems, efficiency, and most important measurable business impact.

So, we worked to solve the challenges: Deliver clear, measurable and compelling impact for firms against their objectives; make it easier for advisors and marketers to get impact; make the technology integrate with all existing systems; and make it lower risk for compliance.

Hortz: How did you go about developing your digital communication service?
Our most successful products always come by listening to problems people are having…then figuring out how to use our technology to solve them. Last few years we heard a lot from wealth management and financial services firm. As the financial services business environment is changing, margins are getting squeezed and new competitors are entering. Advisors voiced the need to be more visible and proactive to be competitive.

Client expectation around advisor information sharing has drastically changed. Clients today are bombarded by financial advice all day from everywhere. There is a growing need to communicate more directly with clients to be relevant and competitive. We saw how advisors who understand what their clients are interested in have the opportunity to be more proactively strategic with communications and conversations and are winning through deeper engagement.

Our goal was to help advisors share targeted (personalized) information with each of their clients, easily, on a regular basis. But the key to personalization is understanding each client’s unique interests and needs, an area that has been missing from the marketer’s data set on each client. Because email data is captured at the individual level, we saw the opportunity to use a client’s content consumption to build that interest data set for marketers and advisors to use on 1-1 basis.

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