Following presentations to 1,000 IFAs over a three week period in September 2009, IFA Life has discovered that whilst almost all IFAs believe that marketing is important to their business, only 5% have a formal marketing plan.
And whilst the majority of IFAs now accept that the Internet is becoming increasingly important in finding new clients and professional connections, a staggering 99% admit that they do not have an Internet marketing plan. Many IFAs are now making greater use of Internet marketing tools such as social networking websites, but for the most part it is unstructured and without a plan.
An earlier marketing survey by IFA Life revealed that whilst 95% of IFAs believed that networking was an important marketing activity, only 5% consciously made the effort to attend a weekly or monthly networking meeting.
Founder of IFA Life and IFA Internet marketing expert Philip Calvert said today: “There’s no doubt that IFAs believe that marketing – both online and offline is an important business activity. But for some reason, the majority are not doing anything about it.
“The vast majority of IFAs still rely on ad hoc referrals from clients and professional connections, but are not formalising or measuring their approach to lead generation. This will inevitably cause problems for them in the future if their approach to marketing is not structured.”
The vast majority of IFAs rely on referrals from existing clients and professional connections to generate new enquiries, but with the drive towards greater professionalism, IFAs need to develop robust and well thought-out lead generation plans which go well beyond reliance on one source of new enquiries. Typically this should include:
- Developing a niche – identifying a niche expertise and a niche market
- Live events – seminars to attract new clients, new professional connections and to add value to existing relationships
- PR – regular press releases to develop local profile
- Writing articles – to enhance perception of expertise
- Networking – attending meetings at BNI, NRG and Ecademy – or starting your own local networking group
- Internet and online networking – to build online reputation, search engine visibility and to attract Internet savvy consumers who are looking for financial information
- Professional connections – deep relationships with Accountants and Solicitors
- Purchase leads
- Email – regular newsletters and comment
Philip Calvert will be hosting an Internet Marketing Masterclass as part of the IFP (Institute of Financial Planning) annual conference on Tuesday 6th October 2009. Calvert’s session will reveal:
Seven deadly sins most IFAs and Financial Planners are making on their websites
Five online tools IFAs and Financial Planners must learn to use immediately (or risk becoming an irrelevance to high net worth Internet users)
The truth about Twitter and social networking websites: hot stuff for Financial Planners – or a lot of hot air? Practical and proven tips and techniques to help IFAs to market their business in the Web 2.0 world.
About IFA Life
IFA Life is an award-winning(1) online business and social networking website dedicated to IFAs, Mortgage Brokers and Financial Planners. IFAs join IFA Life to share best practice, debate industry issues, share resources, get marketing help, provide support to one another and find business development ideas.
In conjunction with MyLocalAdviser.co.uk, consumers use the site to find an IFA in their area. Journalists use the site to find IFAs who can provide expert comment for articles.
IFA Life’s founder is Philip Calvert – a high-profile IFA marketing expert, consultant, author and speaker. Photos of Philip Calvert are available.