For the FinServ PR Pro of 2012: New School Counsel for Your Old School Client

Your asset management clients, whether or not they believe so, are now in direct competition with financial planning websites, which, at one time, were called glorified savings calculators by naysayers.

Earlier this month, the personal finance site LearnVest announced the launch of a suite of upgrades to its platform. The two most significant modifications, according to news reports (GigaOM), are a mobile app, which is typical in the space these days, and the not-so-typical SEC-Registered Investment Advisor designation.

Most asset management firms, especially those on the smaller side, have been reticent to adopt a communications plan for their businesses. Marketing beyond the traditional materials prepared for conventions and one-on-one prospecting has been a difficult cost to validate. Fair. But now the stakes are higher. Perhaps not now, but in the future these websites will be angling to occupy the same media space as the more well-known financial advisory brands of the time. Here are a few ways-of-thinking that can keep your traditional money management messages relevant:

  • TALK TECH: If your asset management clients use software to engage with their clients, encourage them to get involved in the media conversation about the process. Discuss how the practice management experience has evolved because of the accessibility and speed provided by technology.
  • NEW DOESN’T MEAN BETTER: Be contrarian and, while not the sharpest of angles, talk with the media about certain complexities to money management that can never fully be replaced by a model such as those offered by financial planning websites.
  • JOIN THE PARTY: Perhaps your client has the resources to develop a proprietary IP that enhances the client experience. Good for them, but it shouldn’t matter if they don’t. Implement those ideas that are within reason to embrace the times, and be sure that there is support in the organization around it.


If nothing else, take a moment to acknowledge that marketing and communications in an age-old and notoriously conservative business is changing—and fast.


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