By Anthony O’Brien for Professional Planner, January 22, 2018

Last week we addressed possible marketing and sales resolutions for 2018, with embracing digital transformation at the top of our list.

With Facebook’s recent announcement that it is about to rejig its algorithms to ensure users receive more personal content than news feeds, marketers and business owners must reassess how they use digital marketing channels.

Digital transformation is more than social media

Digital transformation is driving everything we do in business today. It’s changing the way we interact with our clients and automate our back-office processes.

At the same time, technology is moving faster than ever before, and that means the ‘wait and watch’ days are gone forever. Terms such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Business Intelligence (BI), and Augmented Reality (AR) are bandied around in the business press. However, if you not at the forefront of technological change, you’ll be left in your competitor’s dust.

Data is king for marketing


In a marketing sense, valuable data about your clients and their behaviour is king. In the past, focus groups and even some old-fashioned guesswork was used to create this data.


Skip ahead to 2018, and there are digital tools that help us better understand consumer trends and measure and track their behaviour. For example, having a robust CRM, document management system and associated processes are good starting points for managing data. Once you know where your data is stored, it makes analysing it more straightforward.


Client experience is now everywhere


Having a decent personal relationship with a client is no longer enough to retain their business. Our clients live in a digital world that enables them to engage in various ways with a financial planner – and most of it online. Moreover, this contact variety means that every touch point matters. If your website, social, and other digital platforms are inconsistent or confusing, chances are a client will never do business with you.


A review of your digital assets will therefore force you to understand where your clients engage with your business, and to make sure the messaging at every touchpoint maximises the engagement.


Where to start with the transformation?


Understanding the impact of digital on your marketing won’t happen overnight. It’s a process that takes time to develop and truly understand. That said, centring on your clients is a prudent place to start the process. Review where they go to find out about your services and the marketing you use to engage them.


This process will give you some insights about the gaps in your marketing. Armed with this information, you can concentrate on how you need to change your approach to your marketing and communications to stay relevant in the digital age.