Common marketing scams and what to do if you’re approached

mm

Over the years, we’ve had several clients who have come across marketing or website scams of some form or another. For some reason, the advisory marketplace appears to be targeted a little more than other sectors we work with. Thankfully, scams and other less-than-desirable approaches are fairly easy to spot if you know what you’re...

3 Stats and the story it tells you about your clients’ use of technology and finance

mm

I’m currently on tour with threesixty Services talking about how advisers can use technology in their business to help with client communication and interaction. There’s a whole bunch of really interesting stories and facts being shared by the speakers and I thought you’d enjoy hearing three of them here.  They all support the importance and desire for your clients to have the option to communicate with you using modern day tools, naturally this will include social media.

When I talk about social media, just to be clear, I’m including not just social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc.  But also anywhere online where people can easily share thoughts and opinions.  Which if you think about it, is pretty much the internet today, it’s blog posts, trade publications, shopping sites, review sites, the list goes on.

The rise of the machines?

mm

Relax. We’re not about to see Arnie appear naked in a car park seeking to terminate a future leader of the advice profession. Nor I suspect would anyone really predict that computers will completely replace advisers over the next 5 years.

Nevertheless, research by RGA has concluded that machines will outsell advisers in protection products “within 5 years”. A sobering thought.

The market for adviser technology heats up

mm

With IRESS paying £220m for Avelo, HgCapital investing in Intelliflo and iPipeline buying Assureweb, it appears that the prospects for the adviser market are very bright.

But what lessons can advisers learn from this?

Technology firms seek markets where they believe that there will be growth, either in the size of the market or the use of technology.

Genuinely innovative communication is one of the only ways to show clients the great difference you can make to them

mm

We have been lucky enough to work with many different clients in the financial services industry on many different projects over the last year or so, but it is always those projects that are ‘a little bit different’, that stand out in my mind when I look back over them.

This truism is, of course, not only a reflection of how I feel when I look at the work we have done and the routes clients have pursued to publicise themselves, but also of how your own clients and potential clients feel, when they try to remember the host of marketing messages they will have seen during the course of any given 12 months.

We all remember things that are different, we all remember things that stand out, that are a little bit out of the ‘ordinary’, no matter quite how you define ‘ordinary’.

Data Protection legislation moves closer to long overdue refresh…

mm

1998 – 15 years ago and for some of us of a certain age seems like only yesterday – Saving Private Ryan and Titanic the blockbusters at the cinema, Arsenal secured a League and FA Cup double, and Bill Clinton was getting into a bit of bother over a young intern called Monica Lewinsky!! Oh yes, and it’s the last time the Data Protection Act was updated in the UK.

In terms of the changes we’ve experienced in those intervening years, in particular the adoption and utilisation of technology and the explosion of the internet, it’s perhaps no surprise that current Data Protection legislation is no longer considered fit for purpose and struggling to remain relevant to the practical ways data is collected, stored, managed and used by organisations in 2013. Equally no surprise then that new legislation is now looming large on the horizon, only for the first time the UK will be adopting and implementing European wide Data Protection law. The new legislation is expected to gain political agreement in June this year, with a view to implementation no later than 2016, and whilst many of the fundamental principals will remain the same there will undoubtedly be new aspects of controls for organisation to consider and adapt to.

The Future of Networks

mm

The proportion of advisers in networks has stayed steady for the last few years in stark contrast to the previous 10 years when numbers declined sharply in favour of direct regulation.

So what role will networks play in the future and what are the drivers of success?

Over the next 3 years, there are two significant trends which will contribute towards an increase in the number of firms being part of networks.

eValuations will never catch on…

mm

When in 1998 Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, famously said “Touchscreen e-readers will never catch on”, he dismissed technology that now supports an eBook market worth an estimated £243million in the UK alone. Indeed, recent history is littered with examples of “disruptive” technologies such as digital cameras which have resulted in the demise of household businesses such as Polaroid and Kodak.

Adviser technology has long promised productivity gains but often disappointed with difficult, complex systems which require significant commitment to work properly. But today in 2012, if I had a crystal ball and could look forward five years, I think that successful adviser practices will have fully embraced technology as a key enabler for efficient client servicing.

One really good example is electronic valuations.