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Forward Thinking Magazine : April 2011
31 dAvlIN FINANce GROuP Social media is increasingly being used by consumers – particularly the younger generations – for researching general advice. US research has found that 33 per cent of Gen Y are using social media for financial advice. 1 So new is this strategy that its broad success is not yet proven or otherwise. A small number of trailblazing advice firms are dipping their toe into social media waters in an effort to drive business to their practice. David Linco’s firm Davlin Finance Group is one such business. It uses regular webinars and You Tube videos, backed by a strategic email marketing campaign, as the backbone of its marketing program. And this year, Linco plans to expand the program to include regular podcasts. “Our former marketing model was based around quarterly newsletters and seminars, with our key message being that we’re focused on adding value through education. But this model was too labour intensive – we were writing our own articles and using significant resources to run seminars that were not able to reach our national client audience,” explains Linco. “So we decided to experiment with webinars. At first it was a struggle – we had ongoing technical issues with poor sound quality and recording formats. But we solved these issues over three months and then started working with Macquarie to develop success criteria for the webinars such as the number of people who were logging on from start to finish. At our last seminar 92 per cent of the 100 people who logged on stayed for the duration of the webinar,” Linco says. “This is part of our business planning process,” says Abood. “At the same time we also look at what is a fair return on capital for shareholders, and the cost base. We’re realistic about the time we spend on prospecting because managing and servicing existing clients takes priority.” Measuring the results of each marketing tactic is also essential. “After each initiative we sit down and identify what worked so we can refine our program. For example, sometimes we might only get 10 people to a seminar, rather than 50. This can be a positive because it allows for a greater level of interaction with the group, however it does make us reflect on our cost of acquiring new clients. “The idea is always to be willing to be critical and change tactics if needed. Remember too, winning new clients takes time. You have to show your commitment to the sector and pick your market carefully,” she says. Great marketing for advisor y firms is all about applying real financial modelling and analysis to the business to help drive revenue and profitability. If you’re strategic, focused and consistent, over time your marketing initiatives will add real value to the business. Liz McCar thy, Macquarie Practice Consulting David Linco, Davlin Finance Group 1US Annual Investor Index survey, TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, 2010. growth strategies