The Art of Storytelling from LINC 2016

The Art of Storytelling from LINC 2016

There was a common thread throughout the recent TD Ameritrade Institutional National LINC 2016 conference ‘Storytelling’.  The art of ‘storytelling’ is an effective way many RIA firms are finding success in truly differentiating themselves and communicating their unique services and benefits.

Short Stories that are Long on Inspiration

The general session opened with, Tom Nally, President of TD Ameritrade Institutional, introducing the Human Finance Project. This is collaborative effort between TD Ameritrade Institutional and RIAs to collect and share stories about what it really means to be a fiduciary advisor. A press release explained how, unlike a traditional marketing campaign, real advisors will play a leading role in both providing the content and serving as a distribution channel to get the word out about the benefits of working with an RIA.

If you’d like further proof of the power of storytelling, I suggest you check out StoryCorps, whose founder was one of the keynote speakers at the conference.

Reinventing the Definition of Marketing

Distinguishing one advisor website from another can often be difficult due to the use of stock photo and generic copy describing the benefits of working with RIAs. To provide help in this area, Joe Steuter with Peak Advisor Alliance gave an excellent presentation on ‘Modern Marketing to the HNW Investor’.  The session focused on how advisors need to look beyond the surface of basic marketing materials, logos, visual identity, advertising and word of mouth and concentrate on what makes their firm memorable, such as the client experience, mission, values, and vision.

Practical steps that advisors can make with their digital marketing are found in ‘Two Secrets to Building a Memorable Advisor Brand’:

Secret #1:  Apply the 4 elements of storytelling:

  1. The Hook-set the stage.
  2. Rising Insights-explain the challenge your audience faces and leverage emotion to appeal to them on a personal level.
  3. A-HA!-present the solution.
  4. Next Steps—provide a call-to-action so that your audience knows what to do next.

Secret #2: Reinvent your website:

  1. ‘Kick’ the financial lingo.
  2. Use language that connects.
  3. Provide fillable web forms and incorporate interactive questionnaires/surveys.
  4. Make it easier for visitors to move forward with action.

Community Minded – Doing Well by Doing

Jennifer Hammond and Tara Valentino-Maher, with TD Ameritrade’s Public Affairs and Corporate Events Group, lead an interactive session exploring how ‘doing good in your community can benefit your business’. Audience members enthusiastically shared their experience on the topic. For example, one advisor who runs a Habitat for Humanity program finds it’s a great way to connect with next generation clients who volunteer each weekend to help build homes in their community.   To be effective in the endeavor, Jennifer and Tara suggest you answer the following 3 questions:

Find your motivation—what drives your employees and clients?

Establish focused giving—what are the needs of your community?

Share you story—what are the channels to communicate with your clients?

The takeaways—

  • Be Authentic—A good first step is to determine ‘What’s the one thing you do better than anyone else? Also, make sure you speak about what you know, and don’t try to compete with or copy anyone else.
  • Leverage Technology—Whether you work with an outside consultant or manage efforts in-house, take the time to understand the technology options. HootSuite and TweetDeck can help manage your social media while Wordpress and Blogger are popular platforms for website and blogs.
  • Stay the Course—Consider enlisting the help of either an experienced copywriter to help craft the message for you or a consultant to assist with social media postings. Content marketing is a long term commitment, and, with time, is very effective in providing significant return on investment.

To learn more, visit the TD Ameritrade Institutional LINC 2016 conference website or on twitter #NationalLINC. 

Bill McGuire
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Bill McGuire is principal of W.M.McGuire, a full service marketing resource serving the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) community. We help with every aspect of your market ... Click for full bio

Rosie the Robot, Amazon, and the Future of RAAI

Rosie the Robot, Amazon, and the Future of RAAI

Written by: Travis Briggs, CEO at ROBO Global US

It’s tough to find a kid out there who hasn’t dreamed about robots. Long before artificial intelligence existed in the real world, the idea of a non-human entity that could act and think like a human has been rooted in our imaginations. According to Greek legends, Cadmus turned dragon teeth into soldiers, Hephaestus fabricated tables that could “walk” on their own three legs, and Talos, perhaps the original “Tin Man,” defended Crete. Of course, in our own times, modern storytellers have added hundreds of new examples to the mix. Many of us grew up watching Rosie the Robot on The Jetsons. As we got older, the stories got more sophisticated. “Hal” in 2001: A Space Odyssey was soon followed by R2-D2 and C-3PO in the original Star Wars trilogy. RoboCop, Interstellar, and Ex Machina are just a few of the recent additions to the list.

Maybe it’s because these stories are such a part of our culture that few people realize just how far robotics has advanced today—and that artificial intelligence is anything but a futuristic fantasy. Ask anyone outside the industry how modern-day robots and artificial intelligence (AI) are used in the real world, and the answers are usually pretty generic. Surgical robots. Self-driving cars. Amazon’s Alexa. What remains a mystery to most is the immense and fast-growing role the combination of robotics automation and artificial intelligence, or RAAI (pronounced “ray”), plays in nearly every aspect of our everyday lives.

Today, shopping online is something most of us take for granted, and yet eCommerce is still in its relative infancy. Despite double-digit growth in the past four years, only 8% of total retail spending is currently done online. That number is growing every day. Business headlines in July announced that Amazon was on a hiring spree to add another 50K fulfillment employees to its already massive workforce. While that certainly reflects the shift from brick-and-mortar to web-based retail, it doesn’t even begin to tell the story of what this growth means for the technology and application firms that deliver the RAAI tools required to support the momentum of eCommerce. In 2017, only 5% of the warehouses that fuel eCommerce are even partially automated. This means that to keep up with demand, the application of RAAI will have to accelerate—and fast. In fact, RAAI is a key driver of success for top e-retailers like Amazon, Apple, and Wal-Mart as they strive to meet the explosion in online sales.

From an investor’s perspective, this fast-growing demand for robotics, automation and artificial intelligence is a promising opportunity—especially in logistics automation that includes the tools and technologies that drive efficiencies across complex retail supply chains. Considering the fact that four of the top ten supply chain automation players were acquired in the past three years, it’s clear that the industry is transforming rapidly. Amazon’s introduction of Prime delivery (which itself requires incredibly sophisticated logistics operations) was only made possible by its 2012 acquisition of Kiva Systems, the pioneer of autonomous mobile robots for warehouses and supply chains. Amazon recently upped the ante yet again with its recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market, which not only adds 450 warehouses to its immense logistics network, but is also expected to be a game-changer for the online grocery retail industry.

Clearly Amazon isn’t the only major driver of innovation in logistics automation. It’s just the largest, at least for the moment. It’s no wonder that many RAAI companies have outperformed the S&P500 in the past three years. And while some investors have worried that the RAAI movement is at risk of creating its own tech bubble, the growth of eCommerce is showing no signs of reaching a peak. In fact, if the online retail industry comes even close to achieving the growth predicted—of doubling to an amazing $4 trillion by 2020—it’s likely that logistics automation is still in the early stages of adoption. For best-of-breed players in every area of logistics automation, from equipment, software, and services to supply chain automation technology providers, the potential for growth is tremendous.

How can investors take advantage of the growth in robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence?

One simple way to track the performance of these markets is through the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index. The logistics subsector currently accounts for around 9% of the index and is the best performing subsector since its inception. The index includes leading players in every area of RAAI, including material handling systems, automated storage and retrieval systems, enterprise asset intelligence, and supply chain management software across a wide range of geographies and market capitalizations. Our index is research based and we apply quality filters to identify the best high growth companies that enable this infrastructure and technology that is driving the revolution in the retail and distribution world.

When I was a kid, I may have dreamed of having a Rosie the Robot of my own to help do my chores, but I certainly had no idea how her 21st century successors would revolutionize how we shop, where we shop, and even how we receive what we buy - often via delivery to our doorstep on the very same day. Of course, the use of RAAI is by no means limited to eCommerce. It’s driving transformative change in nearly every industry. But when it comes to enabling the logistics automation required to support a level of growth rarely seen in any industry, RAAI has a lot of legs to stand on—even if those “legs” are anything but human.

To learn more, download A Look Into Logistics Automation, our July 2017 whitepaper on the evolution and opportunity of logistics automation.

The ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation Index and the ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation UCITS Index (the “Indices”) are the property of ROBO who have contracted with Solactive AG to calculate and maintain the Indices. Past performance of an index is not a guarantee of future results. It is not intended that anything stated above should be construed as an offer or invitation to buy or sell any investment in any Investment Fund or other investment vehicle referred to in this website, or for potential investors to engage in any investment activity.
ROBO Global
Robotics and AI
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ROBO Global LLC is the creator of the ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation Index series, which provides comprehensive, transparent and diversified benchmarks representing the ... Click for full bio