Responses to this question are indexed on a scale of 0 (less important) to 1 (more important). The ordinal ranking of the different methods of communicating with clients yields the same conclusion we drew in the RIA-only channel report: live contact via in-person meetings and phone calls, remains the most important way to connect with clients. Given the preponderance of electronic communication, social media, and the move toward an “always connected lifestyle,” it has likely become even more important for advisors to break through the noise by using in-person communication. Also, we note an increase in the importance of special occasion communications across all three channels, perhaps indicating that they are relatively more effective in gaining the attention of clients. However, that does not mean there is not a place for digital communication. Email, for example, is the fifth-ranked communication method, with the RIA channel specifically reporting notable usage. Consistent across all three channels, the less popular communication methods remain press releases, conference calls for the entire client base, webinars and podcasts.
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