SS&C Blog

Yes, strong advisor digital engagement can boost the bottom line

Monday, February 12, 2018 | By Mike Cogburn

Yes, strong advisor digital engagement can boost the bottom line

With financial advisors taking fewer calls and meetings with wholesalers, digital engagement is becoming the most common, consistent, and efficient way to forge a relationship.

In the past, we’ve highlighted how strong digital engagement – which delivers a highly relevant and continuous customer experience across all channels – can be a differentiating factor that helps asset managers stand out from the crowd. And that’s still true.

Source: DST Research, Analytics, and Consulting, LLC research 2017

Our latest report, Digital Engagement Leadership: What it Takes & Why it is Worth It, found that advisors who use an asset manager’s website and have contact with the sales team can increase gross sales with a firm by an average of 33% over those with sales contact alone. At one firm, the sales lift was 85%.

Our research also revealed that email engagement combined with sales contact can also lift advisor gross sales, by an average of 25%.

In fact, our latest survey of advisor’s online needs and preferences found that strong digital engagement in several specific areas can prompt advisors to choose your fund over a competitor’s, when products and performance are comparable.

But that “strong” is critical. It means leveraging sophisticated strategy and data to communicate the right value proposition to the right advisor at the right time in the right way. In effect, deepening and expanding on what salespeople have sought to do for years, on a one-on-one basis.

Advisors enjoy the convenience of strong digital experiences every day, as they manage their practice and their life. The online retailer recommends products based on past purchases. The pharmacy sends texts asking if they want a refill shortly before a prescription runs out. When the website goes down, advisors can jump on live chat so they can find out what’s wrong while still taking calls. They can ask Alexa for their bank account balance. As a result, the gulf between what advisors expect from their digital experiences and what asset managers provide continues to grow.

Bottom line, strong digital engagement definitely is worth it. But asset managers need to step up their efforts and start delivering digital experiences that are just as sophisticated as advisors are enjoying elsewhere.

Research, Analytics, and Consulting