Financial Services Companies–It’s Time To Get Creative!

April 18, 2020
3 min read

Marketing financial services products like ETF funds, mutual funds, and annuities pose their own unique set of challenges - they don’t always solve a known problem for investors and often compete on very technical margins of fee structure and nuances in weightings of the underlying securities. There is also the pesky element of the market that is an unspoken character in every financial services advertisement. In a bull market, the performance speaks for itself but when the market turns volatile or even bearish, it’s a much harder sell. 

The instinct for most companies is to pull back in their shell and wait out a down market. The companies that continue marketing push liquidity and project the strength of their parent company as a way to encourage investors to weather the storm in their funds. When it comes to getting creative, there is little to be said for financial marketers thinking outside the box like they do in other sectors. That shouldn’t be the case. 

Creativity in marketing does not have to come from a new way to message your product. If there is an authentic message that works, then by all means, go for it. But for many of us, the products we market simply won’t deliver on the value propositions we’ve heralded throughout bull cycles when the markets are in free-fall. Why not, instead, focus on providing a new type of value?

Financial Advisors are usually the target audience for most retail-leaning financial products. They have the power to add your fund to multiple portfolios at once and they’re often looking for longer-term investments over fancy get-in and get-out strategies to make a quick profit like the institutional audience. There is opportunity in a volatile/down market for funds to support Financial Advisors and build deep relationships that will live on into a bull cycle and can result in future investments. 

Building relationships with Financial Advisors is oftentimes the job of a sales team, focusing on providing materials and data to convince advisors to invest. Instead, it should fall to the parent company to provide support for what they need most - materials and resources for their clients about how to manage their portfolios, budgets, and outlooks when it feels like the world is falling around them. Remember that retail investors, the audience that Financial Advisors speak to on a daily basis, are not thinking about the cyclical nature of markets. They’re thinking about how their retirement plans are now on-hold and how they can help their adult children manage student loan debt and pay rent when they lose their job. 

Like in any good relationship, down markets are an opportunity for financial institutions to listen, focus on the needs of their customers more than their own, and truly be there for Financial Advisors- even if that means they pull their investment in your product for the time being. When the market starts to rally and the tides turn back around, they will remember the company that had their back when they needed it most.

© 2024 Soubriet Byrne & Associates, Inc.