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Wealth Management: Blog Feed Post

Where Social Media Meets Traditional Media

The Windshield Postcard

Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of having lunch with Jason Heinhorst, Partner at FUSE Research Network.  The purpose of our lunch was to discuss asset and wealth management firms' various approaches to incorporating social media and social networking technologies into their business models in order to enhance client acquisition and retention.

The topic at hand certainly jumped to a new level when returning to our respective cars we found on our windshields postcards that read: IS YOUR 401K HAPPY?

With that simple question and supposedly unsophisticated delivery system - the windshield postcard - RIA Patrick Jolliffe of Jolliffe Capital, Inc., Denver, CO got our attention. The question was driven by data gathered by Deloitte Consulting LLP and Pension and Investments in their 2008 Annual 401(k) Benchmarking Survey.  When asked what was the biggest concern of employees, 81% of employers surveyed responded - "where to invest and which funds to use".

I quickly called Patrick and asked, "What was the major driver behind your decision to pursue this type of client acquisition strategy?"  His answer was simple:  "The numbers of advisors waiting on 401(k) rollovers is extremely crowded. I felt that I needed a strategy that was "cyber" in nature and allowed me to participate at all levels of this opportunity."

The point of Patrick's traditional media postcard was to drive people and prospects to www.happy401k.com where a wealth of social media interaction, information and qualifying tools awaited the visitor.

According to Patrick, the site was designed to attract 401(k) assets from participants at all levels of investment sophistication and investable dollars; provide a consistent communication strategy tailored to certain asset levels and provide face-to-face (f2f) contact for individuals at $250,000 of investable assets or more.

His strategy and site meets the definition of social media.  At its most basic sense, social media shifts how people discover, read and share information and content. The social media tool box of technologies is transforming monologues (one too many) into dialogues (many to many). Through their participation in dialogues, we are finding out that you can transform prospect interest in your product into prospect publishing about your product. In effect, your prospects become your advocates before they become your clients.

That's why Patrick's strategy seems to sync well with new research from the study Capturing the Hearts & Wallets of Peak Accumulators: Building Profitable Investment Business among Generation X and Younger Boomers, which the Wall Street Journal recently discussed, stating that:

"After feasting on the baby boomer gravy train for decades, wealth managers now face the reality that this generation will not feed their bottom line so amply in the future."

The simple math for fee-based advisers is calculated by befriending their social media prospects first as thought leaders to knowledge seekers; then as advisors to clients second.

For the next best growth opportunity, wealth managers should start skewing younger to the next wave of big asset accumulators. And it turns out this potential market is just waiting to feel the advisers' "love".

Patrick's strategy also seems to fit well with an emerging Baby Boomer theme - they are locking into the three "W's" - www. - at record levels.  An integral part of Boomers' lives, the Internet is an increasingly comfortable place for them to conduct business, communicate via email and Twitter and learn about products and investment products through websites, blogs and forums; as well as groups of like-minded individuals. In fact Patrick's "cyber" Boomer strategy is spot on according to one travel industry study as 95.3% travel with computers, 91.08% have access to the Internet "all the time" or "at Wi-Fi hotspots."

We constantly need to remind ourselves that we are human beings and after all isn't that what this social media thing is all about? It's connecting people to people. It's connecting people to you, your product, your service, your solution.

And what will happen in the future? It will be about connecting clients to clients where they will discuss you, your product recommendations, your service standards, and results of the solutions you recommended.

How will you ever provide this high level of connectivity? Will it come through B2B, P2P, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, some "killer apps", F2F meetings or maybe windshield postcards? The correct answer is all of the above - it's all integrated!

At a time when investor skepticism in the 28-52 demographic is at an all time high - only 18% work primarily with a financial professional - Patrick may have created an elegant solution on how to blend the need for communication with the need for cost efficiency.

By the way, it wasn't until I was miles away that I noticed I had another windshield postcard, this one issued by the Denver Police Department for parking in a no parking zone.   Man, those windshield postcards really get your attention!

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By D. Bruce Johnston

D. Bruce Johnston, President | COO, CaptureTrackConvert is regarded as a high-energy, results-driven Financial Services Distribution Executive. His 30+-year career has been distinguished by an impressive record of accomplishments, contributions and winner of the Institutional Investor Fund Marketer of the Year award. CaptureTrackConvert (CTC) provides easy to use, powerful enterprise level marketing automation software to fast growing SMBs. CTC is dedicated to helping SMBs maximize their marketing resources, improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and generating more sales ready prospects thus dramatically improving sales and the bottom-line.