The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated a digitization of financial advisor marketing. Now, a leader in compliance and technology has launched a new turnkey marketing service to help RIAs capitalize on that trend and grow the assets they manage.
Foreside, a compliance and technology firm that works with broker-dealers, asset managers, and more than 1,500 RIAs, has partnered with marketing boutique Harborside Group and created RevBuilder360, a marketing service for RIAs. The two companies began working together on the service last summer and it launched Tuesday.
For as little as a couple thousand dollars per month, financial advisors can leverage emails, articles, and newsletters with their own company brand. Email is by far the best driver of traffic to advisor websites and, consequently, lead generation. And other than a phone call, most clients across generations prefer their advisor to communicate with them using email.
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The library of content is unique to the program and addresses all kinds of financial topics relevant to wealth management clients and prospects. Harborside, a Baltimore-based marketing company founded in 2004, and whose wealth and asset management clients have over $200 billion in assets, creates the RevBuilder360 content that includes “actionable steps” to engage people.
Unlike some other content marketing programs, RevBuilder360 handles the distribution of its content for RIAs, maximizing advisors’ time. Wealth managers then use the platform to see which clients or prospects are engaging the content and should be contacted.
“There is a wide audience here and we think that there are thousands of RIAs that fall into what I’d call the target marketplace. Some that are Foreside clients and some that aren’t,” Brian Nelson, president of Harborside Group, told RIA Intel.
Most RIAs managing up to $1 billion are good candidates to use RevBuilder360 and Nelson estimates there are more 5,000 interested in growing organically and looking for marketing tools. There are three tiers of RevBuilder360 that can suit any firm, whether they can afford a couple thousand dollars per month or as much as $75,000 on marketing, Nelson said.
RIAs are fixated on growing and some began taking their online presence more seriously even before the Securities and Exchange Commission approved new rules in December governing how they can market themselves.
“We’re just seeing overall in the industry a shift to the digitalization of marketing programs in general, really to supplement the more boots-on-the-ground approach. It just seems this is perfectly timed for that,” Emmy Bernard, senior managing director of Client Development at Foreside, told RIA Intel.
Foreside vets all the RevBuilder360 platform content with regulatory compliance in mind. The platform also has employees who help RIAs audit their marketing strategy and collaborate with them to curate the content to best suit their clients and prospects they are targeting.
The customization coupled with its turnkey nature is what Foreside and Harborside say differentiates the platform and will make it successful. It allows RIAs to invest relatively little time and money in a marketing strategy specifically designed to garner new assets.
It’s a product that Foreside clients were already asking for, according to executives. The vast majority of advisors aren’t professional marketers, and their firms can’t afford to hire a full-time one. Outsourcing it allows RIAs to spend more time with clients or “do what they do best,” Bernard said.
Advisors and companies are realizing this more and the number of RIAs continues to grow, expanding business opportunities in the industry.
“I think it’s just an exciting space. There’s so much growth and so much happening the RIA and wealth management industry currently. To the extent there are additional solutions and products like these, I think there are just many more to come,” Bernard said.
Michael Thrasher (@Mike_Thrasher) is a reporter at RIA Intel based in New York City.