Channel marketers in financial services are constantly faced with the challenge of providing their channel representatives with the right content to enable and accelerate the sales process. As a result, they often flood the advisor channel with any and all content that they think may be relevant. I like to call this the “machine gun approach.” It provides financial advisors with more content then they can possibly use.
In our experience, advisors can become annoyed and confused by content overload, resulting in underutilization of content provided by marketing and a limited ability to deliver consistent messaging across the advisor channel. So, what can channel marketers do to quickly and effectively improve communications and enhance utilization of marketing content in the advisor channel?
We have identified three key areas of focus to improve the utilization and impact of content provided to the advisor channel:
- Measure. This may seem obvious, but often financial services channel organizations stop at measuring activity without attempting to also measure output and impact. While activity measures (e.g. email open rates, content download rates) are useful, output and impact measurement provides further insight to streamline channel communications and content operations. Some useful output measurements (i.e., results of activities) are conversion rates and customer activity related to specific content usage. Some useful impact measurements (i.e. effect seen on business goals) include pipeline growth and average sales cycle. (For a more in-depth understanding of how to define different metrics, SiriusDecisions clients can read the brief “The SiriusDecisions Metrics Spectrum” here.)
- Develop advisor personas. Persona development is as essential for advisors as it is for communications and content strategy with prospects and customers. Advisors should be segmented into advisor personas, and a specific content and communications strategy should be developed for each. Some key characteristics to evaluate when developing advisor personas are age, product specialty, client demographics and activity/utilization.
- Align to the buyer’s journey. An effective advisor content strategy requires collating and tagging content to the stages of the buyers’ journey. Informed by the output and impact metrics, channel marketers should define when in the buyer’s journey specific content assets are most suitable and impactful.
Content overload is usually the largest complaint from advisors regarding marketing content. Addressing these three areas will help channel marketers to segment and streamline their communications and content strategy for advisors – and see quick improvement in advisor engagement.
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