How Do You Build Tech for Advisors? Build It for Their Clients.

At Vestorly, we build technology for financial professionals. But financial professionals aren’t the end consumer of the Vestorly experience. Their clients, prospects, colleagues and diverse members of their audience are. So by extension, we build our technology for consumers who interact with advisors.

Most technology in financial services caters to providers, not consumers. CRMs, financial planning software, and rebalancing platforms all make life easier for advisors, but clients don’t necessarily notice direct benefits from that backend work; they notice the nature of their relationship with the advisor. Even e-newsletter senders, which help advisors send mass communication in fewer steps, use unoriginal content by someone else or canned marketing information that consumers simply don’t enjoy reading.

Today, however, 82% of affluent individuals under the age of 40 expect interactions with their wealth managers digitally. Technology in financial services is more than tools for advisors on the backend. Investors want to be able to view their portfolios, access important documents, and receive informational, educational, and interesting content all on a real-time basis.

A digital relationship via a technology-enabled client experience is not a nice-to-have for advisors’ clients anymore. It’s expected and a need-to-have, with 69.7% of affluent individuals saying they would leave a wealth manager who does not provide a client experience across digital channels and platforms.

The question is not if advisors should invest in digital platforms, but whether or not you can stand out when all of your competitors are using digital platforms.

Vestorly addresses this issue by investing in serious technology to delight and engage consumers. We build intelligent software that works for advisors and resonates with the people you serve in your network. By focusing on the end consumer, Vestorly empowers the advisor to sustain meaningful relationships both digitally and offline with their networks.

Real-Time, Mobile, and Personalized

What is it that resonates with consumers? What kind of content and communication can advisors use to engage their clients and prospects more naturally? The apps, news, videos, updates, and services that thrive today are all real-time, mobile, and personalized. This is what your client communication needs if it is to be truly valuable to your readers and to allow you to stand apart.

Consumers today learn about the news as it’s happening. It’s delivered via multiple forms of media across numerous devices almost ceaselessly. If you’re sending your weekly market recaps or quarterly reviews, then your contacts have likely already read it. Your carefully crafted commentary is out of date rendering it irrelevant to your readers and sacrificing a valuable opportunity for positive branding.

It’s easy for users to stay on top of the news because they’re constantly watching their mobile devices. 52% of smartphone users say they check their phones a few times per hour or even every few minutes. Push notifications, email, social media, and news reading apps are all delivering fresh news by the minute. This affects more than just the frequency of access to news, but also the method of access. In 2014, 56% of online content was viewed on smartphones and tablets. For your digital communication to fit in with consumer lifestyles, any content you share needs to be mobile-optimized, meaning it displays well on desktops, tablets, and phones. If your emails, social media posts, and shared content isn’t mobile-optimized, then your readers are viewing content that is difficult to read and hard to navigate, prompting them to rapidly disengage from your communications.

Lastly, what does it mean for you as an advisor that your clients and prospects expect personalized content? Consumers get content from apps they’ve downloaded, newsletters they’ve subscribed to and social channels they’ve chosen to follow. For example, in 2015, almost half of Web-using adults said they read news in the past week on Facebook, a platform where what you read is determined by your friends and algorithms.

Publishers, platforms, and browsers track every click to deliver to each consumer the content that they’re more likely to read. In other words, consumers are accustomed to getting the content they want because they specifically chose it or an algorithm delivered it based on their behavioral data. The content you serve them also needs to be carefully curated to catch their attention and engage them. So, what algorithms are working for you?

Providing the same level of customization does not require you to write or pick personalized articles for each and every reader, but only that you serve readers curated content that is more likely to be engaging based on their past behavior. An advisor can spend hours writing a thought piece on how last week’s market movements impacted investments in a certain portfolio, but it will be of little interest to a client stressed about cash outflows for elder care and college payments, or a prospect wondering what to do with a recent inheritance.

Communication That Works for Advisors and Their Clients

We’ve spoken at length about the benefits of Vestorly for advisors, but all of our features would be useless if advisors’ clients and prospects didn’t want to read communication sent via Vestorly. Every reader-facing element of Vestorly enhances the client experience and perception of your brand by presenting real-time, mobile-optimized, and personalized content.

Traditionally, the journey from prospect to new client and from new client to greater wallet share is based on many face-to-face encounters. As digital channels grow ever more pervasive in consumers’ lives and in all aspects of relationships, financial professionals won’t stand out just for using digital communication tools. Consumers will use the best tools available to get their desired content, whether it comes from their financial advisors or not. If advisors hesitate to use the most powerful technology, or opt for content-sharing that is not real-time, mobile, and personalized, they’ll find that their digital relationships falter and fail to flourish offline too.

Vestorly can give your clients an experience that both informs and educates, all while flowing seamlessly into their current digital lifestyle.

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