If you’re marketing to RIAs…

…email should be your top method for communicating with them. That’s the message I took away from “Marketing to Today’s RIA: What Every Asset Manager Should Know,” a webinar and report from Morningstar Advisor and Swandog Strategic Marketing. Their webinar and report are based on an online survey of 500 financial advisors that was supplemented by interviews.

Their research suggested some lessons that may apply to everyone marketing to registered investment advisors (RIAs), even though the Morningstar-Swandog report focused on RIAs’ interactions with asset managers. 

Lesson 1: Stay in touch via email rather than heavy-handed personal contact or expecting RIAs to visit your website. The graph on p. 13 shows a strong preference for email communications over web access, wholesaler visits, and phone calls.

Lesson 2: Tailor your marketing materials to RIAs rather than using materials for registered reps. RIAs fall between registered reps and institutional investors in their sophistication. The Morningstar-Swandog webinar quoted one RIA saying, “Give me substance!” RIAs want meatier content than registered reps. Another telling quote: “Most info from investment managers is propaganda. Real objective analysis is rare and valuable” (p. 7).

Lesson 3: Get your company’s thought leaders exposure in  arenas that confer apparent third-party endorsements. Print publications used to be the best method for this. But now, as moderator Leslie Banks pointed out, you can use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to push out your content AND get it endorsed by people whom RIAs respect.

Take the time to read the report and watch the webinar on Marketing to Today’s RIA: What Every Asset Manager Should Know.” I’ve barely touched on their content and each covers slightly different content.

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