After a long run, the bull market days are over, along with the complacency they bred. Inflation and market volatility require a more intentional approach for advisors who are trying to grow their client base, but intention requires time, and many advisors, particularly RIAs, have too many competing priorities to dedicate themselves to the research and cold calls that have traditionally characterized their approach to building a book of clients. A 2020 study from Catchlight℠ Insights LLC found that vetting each lead takes an average of 30 minutes of manual research, and with a success rate of just 1%-2%, countless hours of valuable time are lost during the process.
Notwithstanding time constraints, the greatest client development challenge currently facing many advisors may have less to do with their schedules and more to do with their skills. While even the most passive investors were able to find success in the last decade of the bull market, the victory was a pyrrhic one. Many advisors who had gotten comfortable with not having to mine for new leads found that their ability to successfully prospect for new clients had atrophied, since they hadn’t had much incentive to hone skills that weren’t immediately necessary.
Current conditions have coalesced in a perfect storm for advisors: To speed business development, market volatility requires that they talk more with their clients, actively manage their portfolios, and return to the practice of prospecting for new clients. In short, the present environment demands both a nuanced skill set and a bigger time commitment on the part of advisors.
Realistically, an advisor has only minutes each day to pursue new business, so even those who are the most adept at chasing leads need something more than an Excel sheet full of names and numbers. Catchlight, a Fidelity Labs startup, and FMG are seizing upon this time and efficiency crunch. Their newly launched partnership enables financial advisors to leverage data-driven insights and intelligent content to deliver a personalized lead management strategy for growth.
Advisors will no longer need to rely on LinkedIn and ZoomInfo searches — or mere intuition — when prospecting. Catchlight’s lead insights engine, which is fueled by 2.5 billion data points from institution-grade partners, both enriches the profiles of an advisor’s leads with deep demographic data and highlights those who are most likely to become clients, based on AI that has trained on more than 100,000 successful conversions.
Then, FMG builds on these data-enriched profiles, matching more than 500 e-mails, blogs, social posts, and articles within FMG’s content to the key attributes (a prospective client’s age, income, and likely planning objectives, to name a few) of those specific leads. The integration allows advisors to conduct data-driven, personalized marketing, which, according to McKinsey, can lift revenues by 5% to 15% and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10% to 30%.
“This partnership is extremely powerful for advisors,” said Scott White, CEO of FMG. “Customers of both platforms can capitalize on Catchlight’s AI-driven insights to prioritize prospects and uncover their unique interests, and click a button [that enables] advisors to launch marketing communications personalized for each prospect leveraging the FMG library. This is a game-changer [that] addresses a major pain point for advisors.”
When an advisor decides to reach out to a lead, Catchlight surfaces headlines and brief summaries of FMG content aligned with that lead’s key characteristics. Each piece of content is tagged with a keyword system that clearly shows advisors why that content is pertinent to each lead, based on their profile within Catchlight. The summaries direct advisors to the FMG platform, where they can track and coordinate their marketing campaigns.
“We built Catchlight to answer two questions for advisors: ‘Who should I reach out to first?’ and ‘How do I personalize my pitch?’” said Yelena Melamed, co-founder and head of product at Catchlight. “Our integration with FMG amplifies our ability to answer the last question and gives advisors an easy entry into the ever-expanding content resources of a digital marketing leader.”