Advisors often look to automation to make difficult processes easier, potentially removing a source of headaches and stress.
Yet, some forms of automation come with added bonuses, making advisors—and sometimes the technology itself—better over time. This benefit is particularly clear in automated marketing platforms, said Matt Wesche, Chief Product Officer of Clout by TIFIN, an artificial intelligence-powered content marketing platform for financial advisors.
“There are a lot of elements on the backend of a platform like this that help people create effective marketing campaigns,” said Wesche.
Clout offers advisors access to nearly 500,000 articles with about 3,000 being added each week from public domain content. These articles are programmatically tagged and sorted across 450+ topics and themes so that they can be delivered to the right client, at the right time, and in the right way. In addition to publicly sourced articles, Clout also offers custom content solutions for advisors looking to target a segment of clients with the best messaging possible.
But Wesche says there’s more than the immediate value of new client and prospect relationships being created when advisors select and send content via Clout.
“If we send out a campaign for sustainability and ESG, obviously from an algorithm perspective we’re looking at ESG, but there are sub-topics under that that we also look into and are constantly refining, learning and evolving behind the scenes based on our actual interaction from a client or prospect,” said Wesche. “So when they interact with that content, we do more than look at traditional metrics like click-throughs, we look at time-on-content itself, scrolling, and other nuances that provide us with more feedback to help us create more precise and personalized recommendation in the future.”
Double-Down on What Works
Once Clout and the advisor receive that data, it allows them to do a few things—first, the advisor knows how well their messaging is coming across not just to individual clients, but across the entire list that a campaign was released to from a holistic point of view.
Individual pieces of content can be analyzed to see how well the message has been received—Clout’s analytics determine a return-on-investment for each piece that has been sent out through a scoring process.
“This is an area where advisors can really hone in on whether a client segment should really be their market niche,” said Wesche. “Within the analytics you can take a look at what each person is really leaning into.”
A high level engagement from a prospect, say a score of 70 or more, would indicate a strong lead, said Wesche. In that case, Clout works with an advisor on how they might convert that prospect in the future.
Clout’s marketing automation also simplifies the compliance process for firms, said Wesche, enabling a top-down or bottom-up approach to compliance, or both.
“From a top-down perspective, we’re seeing marketing and compliance teams working together to build out campaigns so that they are pre-approved, and can then cascade down to other participants,” he said. “From a bottom-up perspective, if an individual in a large or small enterprise finds something working very well, they can submit that up for one-time approval via Clout or engage in a discussion about having approvals cascaded out as well.”
Clout creates a complete audit trail of approvals with submissions and comments back-and-forth, said Wesche, which helps marketing and compliance archive past work and speed up future iterations.
Command and Control
Clout’s “Command and Control Center” houses analytics and curation and allows advisory firms to market with precision at scale once limited to very large, advanced companies.
“When we’ve looked at larger firms, we’ve found three groups of advisors – first, advisors who know they need to be engaged in marketing and do it; second, those who know that they need to do it but don’t; and third who might not even know they should,” said Wesche. “Marketing power can be built in from an enterprise level in this case. Enterprises can set up how content is distributed. Rather than having content pre-approved and sitting in a library whenever an advisor feels it is appropriate, a firm can set up campaigns that can go across the entire enterprise and then cascade that down to individual members for immediate use.”
“This can act as a force-multiplier,” said Wesche, as advisors who may be slow to engage in marketing have access to ready-to-use campaigns leveraging either content from the public domain, custom-created content or the firm’s own content that is already cleared for compliance purposes and organized into a campaign by the firm or a fellow advisor.
So in April 2022, a firm might create a tax-season-related campaign and cascade it down to all of their advisors. In May, an advisor may want to create campaigns around educational planning, generational planning or estate planning, that could then be made available to others within his or her firm.
“We have the capability to meet firms and advisors where they are. So if there are advisors who like to do this themselves, they can, and an enterprise can option them out of some campaigns and just send campaigns down to advisors who don’t want to do this themselves but need to have a marketing presence,” said Wesche. “Because there’s personalization attached to content and campaigns, the precision and pace is also personalized. Not everybody gets the same emails, social posts and content pieces. It adds to the ability to really promote an advisors’ individual offering and to show value to individual prospects and clients.”
“The more Clout and the advisor know from data and analytics, the more they can lean into specific content for prospects and develop more leads for conversations,” said Wesche. As Clout’s AI learns, it becomes more precise.
It does that through the sub-topic tags that Wesche was alluding to earlier. A topic like ESG may have several—even dozens—of subtopics, like solar, sustainability or electric vehicles. Over time, Clout’s algorithms refine their views on individual prospects.
“With every piece of content that the advisor brings to the table, we can also add referral or lead-generation capabilities. We can add a popup if someone is on content for a certain amount of time, basically it can be as simple la message as ‘would you like to have someone contact you today, tomorrow or whenever about this content,’ and if that person said yes, we will capture that and all the details of that content and prospect, enter it into our lead generation library, and notify the advisor via an alert that the request for contact has occurred.”
“Hopefully, we learn more and hopefully end users lean in more, until they are converted into a client,” said Wesche. “This is not a spray-and-pray situation. We’re actively trying to learn what is important to these prospects and clients so that at the end of the day we can help both advisors and the people receiving that content. We want the advisor to be fully educated on whatever it is that is important to their clients and prospects.” Clout’s marketing automation not only makes it easier for all advisors to utilize marketing in their client and prospect outreach but also differentiates them through personalization that ensures the right user is engaged at the right time and in the right way.