COVID-19 Playbook: Marketing and New Business Development

COVID-19 Playbook: Marketing and New Business Development

The reflex in these stressful times is to hunker down and hold things together until the storm passes. Savvy advisors, however, will look at these unprecedented times as an opportunity—an opportunity to create a closer bond with their clients and develop new client relationships from among the ocean of investors disappointed with the performance of their current advisor or in their own capabilities as a self-directed investor. Making this happen will require a comprehensive rethink of the marketing and new business development approaches that advisors pursued before coronavirus (COVID-19).

Different Times Require Different Responses

For the foreseeable future, group-oriented activities are dead. That means seminar marketing is consigned to the backroom with cold calling. Client dinners are no longer viable as a means to express client appreciation. Instead, advisors are going to need to up their digital game and find the right communication messages that work in the current environment.

Committing to Digital: If an advisor wasn’t already fully committed to a digital strategy, now is the time to go all-in on digital outreach, including:

  • Building out a LinkedIn Strategy—The LinkedIn platform is an ideal way to connect to individuals and groups that fit with an advisor’s target market, as well as to showcase an advisor’s thinking.
  • Elevate Social Media Presence—With the elimination of being able to attract strangers into crowded public spaces, advisors will need to develop a voice and presence on a variety of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about building a digital marketing strategy, read our white paper Increase ROI with Social Media Advertising.

Reorient Communications: Advisors will need to recalibrate how they communicate with clients on an individual and group basis.

  • Establish Weekly Video Chats—Advisors can invite clients and prospects to listen to their latest thinking, (e.g., the market, retirement challenges amid uncertain times, emerging planning opportunities). Consider having guest speakers to discuss timely topics, such as succession planning and philanthropy, in a post-COVID-19 world.
  • Stay in Touch—Staying in regular communication with clients (think weekly e-mails to start or end the week) will convey an advisor’s commitment to keeping clients informed. Reliable outreach to prospects will make a strong impression, especially when their current advisor may be MIA.

Communications should be positive and oriented toward making clients feel like they can take control of their current situations.

Become Purposed-Based: Now is an ideal time to focus on improving the client experience, enhancing processes to create efficiencies and ramping up community involvement.

History is replete with examples of highly successful businesses started during a recession. WhatsApp, Venmo, Instagram and Uber, for instance, were founded during the Great Recession. Advisors who raise their marketing game while others hunker down may reap the benefits for years to come.

Please reference disclosures:

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