Going Beyond Traditional Advisor Segments to Increase Marketing ROI

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All Cogent Advisor Segments

Asset managers are collecting more data on financial advisors than ever but often struggle to transform their CRM systems into relevant and meaningful opportunities for advisor outreach and engagement. Undoubtedly, the competition for the attention and assets controlled by financial advisors (FAs) is intensifying, prompting many asset managers to seek better ways to target and communicate with advisors.

Data analytics and distribution teams spend about half of their time on data acquisition and data management, with just 14% of their time on more advanced analytics that fuel advisor segmentation and sales-lead generation, according to Applying Data to Distribution, a report by Ignites Research.* Perhaps more astonishingly, the report reveals that only one-third (39%) of asset managers incorporate advisors’ content preferences into advisors’ CRM systems, and one-fifth (11%) categorize financial advisors by types or “personas” that help determine their sales and marketing approach.

The current methods for segmenting the FA population for sales and marketing tend to be broad in nature and fail to take into account important differences in the attitudes, mind-set and preferences of FAs. Often, the desire to send more-targeted, customized communication is there, but firms fall short in their efforts to implement effective strategies given the additional time and money required to create their own proprietary models. Continue reading

Thought Leadership Is Key to Getting On New Advisors’ Radar

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Advisor Radar

In sharp contrast to other types of marketing, many advisors would read thought leadership from an unfamiliar mutual fund, ETF or VA provider. In fact, advisors prefer thought leadership and market commentary to comprise a larger percentage of the marketing content they receive in lieu of more product-specific updates.

In March, Cogent Reports conducted 18 focus groups across the US to help providers better understand how to stand out and maximize the impact of their marketing efforts. The groups were held in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and included a representative mix of 85 advisors by channel, Cogent Advisor Segments™ (outlined below), AUM, age and industry experience. Continue reading

Cutting Through the Marketing Clutter to Reach Advisors

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Cutting Through the Clutter to Reach Advisors

The age-old challenge of standing out among the marketing clutter continues to plague marketers despite a growing and evolving set of tools and data. The need to customize content is critical as advisors remain overwhelmed with both traditional and new modes of communication. How should asset managers be utilizing new marketing tools and technologies to create effective communication strategies? That’s the complex question we’re trying to answer.

Volume Persists

Advisors continue to receive a high volume of touches (100+/month) from financial services providers. In recent years, frequency was king, but that has changed. Advisors are inundated with information from all angles: email, print mail, social media, videos and apps. Processing this much information is overwhelming, which makes individual marketing campaigns much harder to stand out. If you want advisors to take note of your company, your marketing plan needs to be well above average. Continue reading

The Consumer Segment Utilities Should Be Targeting Now

With a little effort, these customers could become your most loyal, active    

utility consumer segments to target

Anyone who helps direct the customer outreach activities of a business enterprise knows that, in an ideal world, you should be tailoring your marketing efforts to different audiences. But for energy utilities, which have an obligation to serve a consumer base as diverse as the country, it can be especially hard to know where to start.

So to focus your efforts for 2016, ask yourself: If I could target just one customer segment this year to improve my customer metrics, which should it be?

After nearly two years of running the Residential Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement study, the answer is clear to me: The customer segment you should be targeting now is Hispanics.

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Trends to Watch for in 2016

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We kicked off December with a special webinar featuring all of our Cogent Wealth Reports authors. Using their combined 60 years of financial services experience and fueled by our research from this year, they made predictions for the industry in 2016. Here’s what they anticipate will happen in the coming year.

JJKJulia Johnston-Ketterer, Senior Director
2016 Prediction for Robo-Advisors

“In 2016 I anticipate that affluent investors are going to embrace robo-advice even more so than they do today. I think we’ll see this trend particularly among Gen Xers, who are going to be out in front in terms of investing more of their dollars into and adopting robo-advisory services. We’re also going to see an accelerated response from current robo-advisors, as well as firms on the sidelines getting ready to play, in terms of expanding product lines and modifying how these products and services are distributed. Next year we’ll continue to monitor investors’ use of these automated investment services via our Cogent Beat Investor portal. We’ll also be taking a qualitative look at the impact of these services on both investors and advisors.” Continue reading

The DNA of Oncology Patient Segmentation

2014-02-hclsWhen I first started in biopharmaceutical market research, one of my mentors shared his belief that patient engagement in treatment decisions varies by the severity of the condition. “The more severe the condition,” he said, “the more likely a patient will follow a physician’s recommendation without questioning it.” Of course, his thinking was that a patient may be afraid when faced with a severe condition and defer to a specialist’s expertise. Conversely, when it comes to a less severe condition that is treated by a PCP—such as mild allergies—a patient is more involved in treatment decisions.

The landscape of genetic testing in oncology is evolving, and it has important implications for the biopharmaceutical industry and how companies can engage with cancer patients. As a cancer survivor and market researcher, I think about that conversation with my mentor often. It’s safe to say I am not the typical patient, as I tend to pepper my oncologist with questions he is not always readily able to answer. But with the internet and democratization of information, patients are getting more engaged in their treatment decisions, regardless of condition severity, and genetic testing to predict the risk of cancer is shining new light on this trend.

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Segmentation Stir Fry

2013-06-stir-fryHere at Market Strategies, we’re aw-shucks proud of our approach to segmentation research. Give us half a chance, and we’ll jump to tell you how our multi-platform approach integrates behavioral, emotional/motivational and demographic/firmographic segmentation into a single blended solution. Numerous elements contribute to how we deliver actionable results, from intensive working sessions with stakeholders and qualitative research at the outset of the process, to innovative deliverables that help land the research with business stakeholders. But we think the multi-platform approach is a big part of what makes us unique.


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