Emotional, and Functional, Connections Drive Business

Cogent Research found that providers will gain business and loyalty from advisers if they are able to establish both a functional and emotional connection with advisers.   

In a recent survey done by Cogent Research, “Advisor Touchpoints 2010,” advisers were asked to select which provider they feel most connected to, and then, to identify various emotions that come to mind when thinking of that provider.

Speaking to PLANADVISER, Christy White, Principal at Cogent, said that advisers were drawn to emotions which helped them fulfill four needs: collaboration, support, marketability, and personal connection.  A provider that is able to provide evidence of having these four criteria will fair best when working with advisers.

The study used a new research method called “Emotion Mining,” developed by Tom Snyder, a PhD specializing in consumer behavioral patterns.  How it worked for purposes of this survey is that once advisers had in mind which firm they felt most connected to, they were asked to draw lines on a screen connecting positive words such as enthusiasm or contentment, as well as negative words, such as stress or insecurity.  Using the “Emotion Mining” technology, researchers were able to compare the results from all the advisers and determine which emotions were strongest or most prevalent.   (They were even able to analyze the psychology behind how straight or curvy the lines drawn between emotions were to come up with the results.)

With the results from the “Emotion Mining,” researchers were able to determine the high level of importance of collaboration, support, marketability, and personal connection.  For instance, emotions such as “confidence” or “security” can be matched to marketability. Advisers want products that are easily marketable in order to feel confident when making a pitch to prospective clients. They want to feel secure that the client will buy in to whatever the adviser is trying to sell. A trust-worthy brand and easy-to-understand pitch products are the marketing tools advisers look for at a functional and emotional level.

Cogent found that the companies that established the strongest connections with advisers are American Funds in the mutual funds space, iShares for exchange-traded funds, and Prudential Financial for variable annuity products.