Expert Q&A: Organic Growth in the Generational Wealth Transfer Age 

F2 Strategy recently released a new study revealing as many as one third of wealth management firms do not have an organic growth goal and the average organic growth rate has fallen annually since 2021. And while the organic growth rate falls, J.D. Power reports that affluent millennials are the most likely group to consider changing advisors in the next 12 months.

Firms simply cannot rely on mergers and acquisitions alone to compete and grow during the generational wealth transfer; they must appeal to clients and prospects directly. A strategy that combines marketing and technology to tell a story is essential for successfully winning new clients. The question often raised is how? And where do they start?

In a wide-ranging Q&A session, F2’s Senior Marketing Director Michelle Borkowski and Senior Marketing Consultant Emily Montgomery shared tips from their extensive experience helping firms navigate marketing strategies and employ cutting edge technology to drive results.

Q: What are wealth management firms struggling with when it comes to organic marketing?

EM: Firms have been told they need to establish a presence and differentiate themselves from other advisors by telling their unique story, but many aren’t sure how to capture that story and present it in a compelling way. Their content is disjointed, and they get burned out, missing the opportunity to distill a strategic core message into different platforms.

MB: Yes, I agree with Emily. We often find firms are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. With social media and a variety of other tools available, there is pressure to have a presence everywhere. The storytelling is missing. They need to start by developing their value proposition, identifying the objective of their marketing efforts and who their target audience is, and then use that to develop their strategy. Most people start with the tools—but their end goal will (or should) inform how they deliver their message.

Q: What resources are available for wealth management firms to get started the right way and can you add more about appropriate first steps?

EM: Obviously, we’re biased, but an agency that can supply industry knowledge and understand how to meet compliance requirements within this highly regulated environment can be a strong strategic marketing partner.

MB: Every firm should be thinking of building a story-driven, digital-first strategy. The home of this strategy will be a strong website presence. So that’s step one. Ensuring you have a well-designed website that acts as a living and breathing thing where content is continually updated. Almost all marketing efforts direct back to the firm's website, so you need to make sure people land somewhere where they can take the next step in their journey with you.

Q: Let’s talk about fresh tactics. After firms get their “why” answered and their strategy under control, what cool tools can they use to tell their story?

MB: This is a fun time to be in marketing because there are so many options for content delivery. Not everything has to be written. You can use podcasts or videos, for example, to tell your story. In today’s market, not everything has to be so highly produced. People consume content in a more casual manner so even pieces that aren’t highly polished can be effective.

EM: All the technology tools give advisors ways to keep talking about their personal values and build trusting relationships. Plus, the MarTech landscape is full of automation tools that can streamline marketing efforts. Saving all that time makes the investment worth it.

Q: Right now, advisors have their feet in two worlds—the retiring Baby Boomers and the younger generation of investors. How do they build a marketing plan that straddles both worlds and meet each group’s unique expectations?

MB: That’s a great question because it comes up a lot as we all go through this generational wealth transfer. You want to be ready to capture the attention of the next-gen investor with digital, but you also need to meet your audience where they are. So, white papers and reports have their place along with video content. It’s more about how you’re talking to your audience.

EM: Appealing to two different demographics can mean providing a digital version and print-ready file of the same content. While you mail materials to some of your audience, others want a QR code they can scan to your website. The bottom line is to know your audience and personalize their experience.

Q: How would you describe how you feel about the future of marketing in wealth management?

EM: In a word, I’d say I’m optimistic. There are a lot of really good tools available to us. I think podcasts will be powerful vehicles for wealth management firms to connect with their clients and prospects in the coming years.

MB: I’m excited. There are so many possible ways to think outside the box and transform what content can be. A newsletter could be sliced into several short videos for example. The tools are becoming more integrated and that helps maximize our efforts to deliver a story that drives engagement.

Contact us for support building and executing an effective marketing strategy.

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