By Jenny Kvaskova in London and David Lo and Basel Raslan in New York

“iPhones, Fitbits, and a plethora of other wearables and digital tools have become second-skin for digital converts intent on tracking every aspect of daily life,” says David Lo, Associate Partner at Scorpio Partnership. “We track sleep, exercise, calorie intake, almost anything we can – so why not the various components of client engagement?”

Clients are seeking increasingly personalised and unique experiences, across both human and digital touch-points, which wealth managers have lagged behind other industries in transforming.

To stand out from competition, it is imperative for firms to: a) truly understand clients’ needs and their evolving expectations; b) to create a strong brand that resonates with key clientele.

Compounding a journey of small steps
Scorpio Partnership’s latest research, delving into the hearts and minds of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) globally, finds that although most marketers understand the importance of client experience (CX) and brand tracking – fewer than one in three (28%) have a formalised programme in place.

Given the age-old adage that knowledge is power, it is unsurprising that those who have either (or both), are also more effective in translating research insights into actionable initiatives – and consequently report greater confidence about the industry’s future growth prospects (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Optimism on growth prospects in the wealth industry over the next 5 years 

Source: Scorpio Partnership CMO Survey 2018

The power of insight and client experience brings to mind Rory Sutherland’s Ted Talk, ‘Life lessons from an ad man‘. In his speech, Ogilvy’s creative director highlights the importance of understanding what actually matters to customers when delivering results. Using one of Eurostar’s early challenges to illustrate his point, he explains how the firm once tasked a group of engineers to improve train journey times.

Their solution – spend £6 billion to build new tracks for faster trains, reducing journey times by about 40 minutes off a three-and-a-half-hour journey. An admirable, yet expensive solution. A more creative alternative, and arguably more valuable to the client, would be to find a way to make people enjoy the slower ride. Sutherland’s proposal –  offer intangible rewards, such as free wi-fi on trains.

A more direct example in the wealth management space involves better understanding what really drives the client experience. Simply telling advisors to spend more time with their clients is largely not attainable given limited resources and large books of client households.  But what if through client insight measurement you could discover the top two or three things that make even a five minutes conversation both valuable and memorable?

In other words, by taking the time to better understanding what delights, as well as frustrates clients at various points in their journey – firms can amplify the effects of making small changes to more effectively address much larger challenges.

Listen, learn, lead
The concept of brand extends far beyond just the marketing of a brand name. It encompasses client perception and understanding of brand values, attracts prospective clients and converts existing ones into loyal customers, who are engaged beyond a purely transactional relationship.

According to this year’s CMO data, wealth managers who have a formalised programme in place use it for several reasons:

The need to listen, create value and communicate it to a crowded market place has never been more important.

Listening and learning from various tracking exercises can therefore enhance wealth mangers’ capacity to organically reposition their brand and capitalise on shifting consumer trends or evolving preferences.

Ultimately, the client should be at the heart of any improvements in performance, and so a continual process of test and learn must be embraced if wealth managers are to truly harness future growth. Trends and technology may change how this manifests in the delivery, but the fundamental goal of keeping clients happy shouldn’t ever change.

Scorpio Partnership will be sharing the results of the fourth annual Wealth Management CMO Survey, exploring the priorities and challenges that are top of mind for marketing leaders within the wealth management industry heading into 2019.

During this webinar, we will discuss the impacts these priorities and challenges have on budget, how they relate to client experience and brand tracking programs, and client data privacy. We hope you can join us! Find out more and register via this link.

Thought of the week:

Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos

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