To achieve their growth objectives, advisors should set three important goals for their online marketing, a technology firm executive told advisors at Bob Veres’ Insider’s Forum.

Justin Wisz, a cofounder of Vestorly, a New York-based firm developing marketing platforms for financial services clients, says advisors should set at least three goals for their online marketing: To create “a delightful experience” for your clients, to make your online marketing tactics are “easy” to deploy, and to get “an actual return on the investment for your time” spent on the web.

Wisz adds, “If you are not accomplishing those three things, you need to recalibrate.”

Achieving such goals will help advisors use online marketing more effectively to meet their firms' ultimate growth objectives, explained Wisz during a panel discussion at the Dallas conference this week.

However, he noted that that even when online marketing goals are met, the web doesn’t present a panacea for advisors seeking client growth. 

“We cannot close the deal for you,” Wisz told advisors in the audience. “You are going to have to sit down with people for them to become clients.”

As moderator of the panel, Veres, an industry expert and columnist, began by setting the stakes high for online marketing efforts. He spoke about marketing to the rising millennial generation, which is accustomed to relying almost exclusively on digital communications, and not speaking directly to their parents' advisors.

“When the baby boomers are all dead, how are you going to market to these people [the technology savvy millennial]? We sound like idiots to them,” Veres said. 


Also on the panel were Brian McLaughlin, CEO of Redtail Technology, a Gold River, Calif.-based provider of client management software, and Dan Skiles, executive vice president of Shareholders Service Group, a San Diego-based provider of institutional custodial services for independent RIA firms. Both discussed the benefits of manipulating online marketing data.

McLaughlin’s firm organizes client information along with data points gleaned from social media. “Our objective is to take the data you are giving us and make it more useful for you,” he says. McLaughlin imagines a scenario where advisors receive alerts about events in their client's lives, such as marriage or death, gleaned from social media. 

Skiles recommended the very occasion of the conference as a prompt for a social media marketing opportunity. “Use an announcement of your attendance at this conference on twitter, take a quick picture and post it,” he said.

Veres later demonstrated how social media might be failing at marketing, when he asked audience members who use Twitter to raise their hands. Nearly 50 in attendance responded. But when Veres followed up, asking how many of those Twitter handles helped land clients, only two or three audience participants kept their hands raised.

Miriam Rozen, a Financial Planning contributing writer, is a staff reporter at Texas Lawyer in Dallas.

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