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WealthStack CMOs Wealth Management EDGE Photo by Ledd Lens LLC

WealthStack: Marketing Is An Investment To Be Tracked

Top CMOs discuss how to drive organic growth through experimentation, competition, follow-up and cataloging of best methods.

Firms that seek organic growth need to understand that marketing is not sales. Instead, it’s a long-term investment that needs to be tracked by advisors, said Crystal Mathis, chief marketing officer at SignatureFD.

“You have to know you’re doing it for the long term,” she said. “A lot of people get stuck in the trap of, ‘I’m going to do this one event and I’m going to blow it out of the water and I’m going to have clients coming in out of the wazoo.’ It doesn’t work that way.”

Mathis, along with Terra McBride, chief marketing officer at Prime Capital Investment Advisors, Michelle Panzera, director of marketing at Evensky & Katz/Foldes, and Angela Giombetti, chief marketing officer at Wealthspire Advisors, discussed how marketing drives organic growth for advisory firms at WealthStack, part of Wealth Management EDGE, held last week at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood Beach, Fla.

McBride said Prime Capital Investment Advisors allows its advisors to experiment with marketing strategies. They then track how well each does. The firm will typically support 25% of the cost of an initiative, so both they and the advisor have skin in the game.

“We know that different strategies are going to work for different advisors. We have an array of strategies to choose from,” she said. “Data is not important. That’s just a myriad of facts in a bucket. We need to connect their data so that you have more information and you can start leveling up to making informed decisions.”

Giombetti said marketing itself has evolved over the past five to 10 years. Whereas at first, it was all about branding and brand awareness, the rise of digital campaigns has pushed marketing and business development together recently.

“There’s such a blurry line now on what we’re responsible for,” she said.

McBride said one way to motivate advisors to generate more organic growth was to tap into their inherent competitiveness.

“We ensure they can see where they’re at with each other when logging into their dashboard. And they’re like, ‘Oh man, I dropped down to number three from number two,’” she said. “Allowing them the space to do that was very helpful.”

Panzera said they encourage advisors to play to their strengths and do more of what they are good at to achieve results.

“If you’re leaning into what works, it is easier to get approved and experiment,” she said.

Even with all these different methods, there should be an overarching objective guiding everything, said Panzera.

“There should be a pyramid with a goal at the top,” she said. “LinkedIn is a distribution channel, not a strategy. You want a strategy with a top-level, wide view.”

Giombetti said subsequent actions that keep the conversation going are critical to any successful tactic, regardless of their choice.

“No effort is one-and-done. If you are going to spend the time doing an event, what is the follow-up? What is the drip campaign?” she said.

That way, Mathis said, advisors on the back end can enhance the initial efforts without additional upfront costs.

“It allows you to create one piece for one amount of money and keep recycling it repeatedly,” she said. “You can do it in accordance with SEO, as well.”

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