Return on Relationship: Fight Quantity With Quality
When you tell your story in a way that people will care, you create a relationship, a connection, a value that goes beyond immediate $’s and cents. It is what creates conversation, the content that creates trust, loyalty and advocacy.
All of this will scale no matter the follower count because the vast majority do not actually converse themselves, but participate vicariously via the conversations of the minority who do. In addition, if you empower your employees to be a part of, and participate in, these conversations you can be having many more in the name of the brand, and make them personal and “human.”
Recognize that although many want to believe that the majority of CMO’s utilize deep dive data to make their annual budgeting decisions, the truth of the matter is that the vast majority base their annual decisions on last years budget, simply duplicating with small percentage changes for those new ideas they decide to pursue due to gut instinct and relationships they’ve developed with those pitching the ideas.
Return on Relationship (ROR, #RonR)… simply put the value that is accrued by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROI is simple $’s and cents. ROR is the value (both perceived and real) that will accrue over time through connection, loyalty, recommendations and sharing.
ROR (#RonR) > ROI.. since ROI will match a fixed period of time, or perhaps be income related.. whereas ROR will have a ‘halo’ effect.. e.g. 2 projects can have same ROI, whereas one was done with better relationship management.. so it has the added benefit of a ‘satisfied’ customer or relationship… its like I + compassion.
ROR (#RonR) is measured through organic engagement, community management, sentiment monitoring and so much more. It all comes down to one word: Value. How do your social media efforts create value for you, as a brand, and for your audience? What prompts that viewer to come back to your social channel(s) and to any other place you are looking to drive them to? Social marketing is less about driving traffic, and much more about attracting traffic. Social marketing has evolved from seeing who could gather the most likes to seeing who has the most “on target” fan base. A simple quality over quantity shift. Measuring the Return on Relationship is not easy, as it involves not only analyzing connection growth, but also measuring the overall sentiment of your consumers voice in relation to your brand. This includes measuring the organic sharing rates of your content and your channel return rates.
A brand that steps up its engagement game will not only protect, and extend, its organic reach… but also find a significant competitive advantage. We all love when someone listens to us. When your fans hear from you, their excitement will spread along with your reach and reputation… Return on Relationship. Fight quantity (clutter & filters) with quality (content & engagement). With every post, update and comment ask yourself, “Is it adding something meaningful or simply adding to the noise?”
This first appeared on Ted Rubin.
Solving Your Biggest Client Issue May Be at Your Fingertips
Written by: Shileen Weber
When the American Funds’ Capital Group asked 400 advisors last year to name the biggest issues they face in their businesses, it wasn’t the DOL, market uncertainty or the economy that sat in the center of the idea cloud of answers.
It was client issues.
At a time when regulatory concerns and market turbulence would seem to be at all-time highs, the advisors who answered the survey were most concerned about servicing their clients as well as ways to find new ones and grow their businesses.
It’s one of the ironies of the business, that the things most people find so hard to manage – creating financial plans, managing assets and staying ahead of events – are what advisors find to be the easiest parts of the business. Marketing - the business of selling themselves – can be the area advisors find the hardest elements to master.
In this age of instant communication, it can be even more intimidating to market your practice, especially to younger clients for whom many traditional methods like newsletters, postcards and phone calls don’t work anymore. For them, email is the preferred way to get information, and, if it’s important, they are more likely to respond to texts, not phone calls.
But, it doesn’t have to be that hard. The digital age gives you access to ideas and content of all kinds you can use to touch your clients in a way that positions you as a valuable resource. The key is to keep it simple, stick to some basics and create consistent outreach that clients and potential clients are interested in and will appreciate you sharing with them.
Here is a common-sense approach you can take that will not require you to hire an expensive agency or take valuable time away from managing your clients’ assets and running your business.
Content is King
Create a content calendar for the year: Think about reasons to touch a client 13 times during the year – that can be once a month and on their birthday. (The common rule of sales is that it takes at least 7-13 touches to make a connection.) The number is limited and keeps you from inundating the clients who likely already feel inundated with content. You can take the seasonal approach – tax planning in the fall, January for account review content, college financing in the spring – and supplement it with topical events during the year. Creating a calendar will help you stick to a plan. Here’s one resource for a content calendar.
Review what content is already available to you: Basically, this means finding the resources you already have and determining what pieces will be most valuable to your clients. Start first by checking out content your broker-dealer already generates that you can personalize. Many firms have economists who write regularly about the market. That’s content you can pass along to keep clients up-to-date they would not have access to anywhere else. In addition to your broker-dealer, mutual funds, your clearing firm, and money managers are all excellent sources of informative and even analytical content.
Personalize the content you use: Add your name, the client’s name or some way to avoid making it feel like canned content that you are using just to check the outreach box. See what capabilities your email program may have to help you.
The birthday strategy: One advisor used clients’ birthdays in a new way. Instead of the card or lunch date, the advisor asked the client’s spouse for a list of friends he could invite to a birthday lunch and made it a memorable event that was also a soft approach to getting referrals.
Become a curator of good content: What your review will show you is that you don’t have to generate the content yourself. You can point clients to pieces you find insightful. You are likely already doing this every day just to keep yourself informed. The next step is to compile it and send out the very best pieces to your clients, again, with a note with your own thoughts about why you found it valuable.
Find out what is working and do more of it: Use your client interactions, in-person and online, to find out what types of content clients liked and any they didn’t. You can use tracking on your emails to see how many were opened as a measurement tool, but the personal interactions tend to provide more insight than raw data.
Be disciplined about your execution: Get help from an office assistant or schedule the time each month to do the content development and outreach. As any good strategy, if you make it a habit, it won’t seem so hard.
Most importantly, be yourself and be personal: You may want to regularly get personal by talking about your family and hobbies. The ultimate is if you can provide content that is personal to your clients, not just about their investments – they get that from their statements, apps and online portals. Think alma maters, hobbies, children and parents.
Of course, as a disclaimer, you have to make sure all content and communications are complying with regulations and the rules of your own broker-dealer.
The process of creating a plan will get you thinking about your clients in a new way. That exercise alone can re-energize your business and get you seeing marketing opportunities in places you may never have seen them before.
Shileen Weber is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at GWG Holdings. She was previously Director of Online Strategy and Client Experience at RBC Wealth Management, where they placed first in two JD Power and Associates U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study (2011 and 2013).
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