New Approaches to Winning RIA Market Growing in Popularity

A recent report suggests that asset managers need to be using digital media to attract registered investment advisers (RIAs).

The FRC report, “Winning Strategies for Marketing and Distributing to the RIA,” discusses how asset managers are focusing on building trust, brand recognition, and reoccurring business with RIAs. FRC found that asset managers are increasingly turning to digital approaches, such as social media, in their latest marketing campaigns.

“While a traditional ad campaign is typically short-term in nature, we are now seeing firms couple them with social media elements, which can increase the long-term impact of their campaign,” said Amy LaFrance, author of the report. “This generates more meaningful interactions with RIAs, and opens the door to building stronger relationships in the future.”

In its report, FRC evaluated the brand and advertising campaigns launched by 13 asset managers since 2010. FRC found that eight firms included a digital marketing component to enhance their campaign. “The use of digital venues is an example of pull-marketing and although pull-marketing is not new, its rapid embrace by asset managers is,” explains LaFrance. “For example, Ivy Funds just launched its first-ever brand campaign aimed to build awareness with advisers. As part of the campaign they decided to tap into the social media networks (Facebook and YouTube). Ivy also incorporated a scannable quick response (QR) feature in their print ads that enables smartphone users to access specific online content,” said LaFrance.

Other findings of the report include:

  • Push-marketing strategies are less effective: Push-marketing strategies, such as advertising, mass e-mails, or cold calling to a targeted audience as a singular marketing approach, is less effective in the RIA market, according to RIAs responses to FRC adviser surveys over the last several years.
  • Many RIAs search asset manager Web sites to gather information: Adviser use of Web sites has increased across all intermediary channels, and Web site use is roughly 30% higher among RIAs than among advisers overall. “This increased use by RIAs also correlates to the fact that RIAs are typically less receptive to, and therefore less influenced by, external wholesalers. We believe that asset managers should enhance their Web sites to better meet the needs of RIAs quest for information,” said LaFrance
  • RIAs seek honesty from their wholesalers regarding product capabilities and performance: Product performance reigns as the single most important influence on RIA product selection.

The report also incorporates insights from interviews with asset managers and RIAs. It can be purchased by calling the FRC sales department at 866-532-8009.