Key Questions from Financial Services Firms around Wealth Management and Social Media

July 12, 2012 § Leave a comment


July 12, 2012 Over the last couple of months, I have been working on a research project looking at how social and digital channels impact wealth management, especially the advisor and investor relationship. The research project is taking the form of focus groups in LA and NYC and through a survey of 1000 investors along with 400 financial advisors.

We are looking to understand several trends:

  • What is the future role of digital and social channels in the relationship between investors and advisors?
  • What do financial services firms need to do differently to address digital needs across generations (and especially in preparing for Generation Y)

We started our journey by talking to over a dozen financial services firms – wealth managers, asset managers, insurance firms, and the social vendors that support them. Across all of these discussion, there is genuine excitement for the research and a hunger to know the following:

  • How will social shopping behaviors spill into wealth management?
  • What digital interactions (i.e. read a Facebook update, saw a Tweet, read a blog) spark someone to think about their financial health, and then act? What does that next action look like and how can firms/advisors be there to support?
  • What is the profile of a social advisor?
  • What is the specific role that social and digital channels can play in shaping experiences with wealth management firms (especially given a sense of distrust in the market)?
  • What tools and experiences are needed across devices?

While the list is of questions that firms care about are extensive, these are a few that stick out to me. We hope to provide answers as we go through our research phases.

For anyone reading this, if there are any other questions that come to mind…fire away. As usual, all comments welcome.

 

Understanding Wealth Management and Social Across Generations

May 23, 2012 § 1 Comment


May 22, 2012 Over the next couple of months I get to embark on a really cool  project – conducting primary market research on how generations use digital channels differently around wealth management. I am working with one of the best market research companies – Definitive Insights – and have an opportunity to explore a really interesting topic. Accenture is sponsoring the research and behind its mission.

Here are the key drivers of our research:

  • How do members of the millennial generation think about the role of digital (and social) channels when it comes to the financial decisions?
  • What impact might the above have on financial advisors given the way they interact with their clients today?

We are still ruminating on the main themes, but we have a good outcome in mind. Namely, how to make the adivsor-client experience more relevant.

I believe this research is well timed and important to the future of the advice-led wealth management industry.

If anyone reading has any suggestions…fire away! If you want to participate in this research in any way, please reach out.

 

Wealth Management and Social Media: Insights from BDI Event in NYC

November 16, 2011 § 1 Comment


November 16, 2011. For the last couple of months, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the role of social media in wealth management, especially in firms that go-to-market with an advisor-led business model.

Here is the skinny, exploration and experimentation are the words of the day and most firms fit squarely into one bucket or the other. Here is how I think of them:

  • Social Exploration:  This is more of less the term being used for “we are looking at it.” This also typically means that corporate marketing is playing around with social networks like Facebook and Twitter as a PR channel and a few folks are trying to figure out what might be involved with enabling advisors (and meeting resistance – budget, priorities, loose business case, etc).
  • Social Experimentation: This can be characterized as limited pilots – both in terms of the amount of advisors able to use social channels, scope of use, and incorporation within the overall business.  Some firms are moving past initial experimentation into broader experimentation, which means advisors outside of the pilot group, but I would still call this experimentation. Experimenters are also using some forms of social within the firm as well.

The next bucket  is Social at Scale and I don’t know of any single firm that can claim this (if you do…please tell me). This next bucket pushes social media into the DNA of the firm. It allows social media touch points and techniques to be considered part of the relationship process versus a fringe activity. It becomes a standard communication media, a source of insight, inputs into CRM, a part of meaningful relationship building, and most simply – a set of activities that allow advisors to do their job. This will not happen overnight, but that is what the vision should be.

So I skipped over insight from the BDI event, but if you read my words above you get a sense of what I walked away thinking. Also, I would like to give a shout out to:

  • Greg Weiss (AVP for Social Media at New York Like): Outstanding job talking about social media in life insurance. Your words were inspirational and I would bet that you achieve scale faster than most for New York Life. You can follow a heavy hitter any day.
  • Frank Eliason (SVP of Social Media at Citibank): As usual, Frank tells a compelling story based on his experience. Thanks for giving everyone your candid thoughts and a reminder – social media does not fix problems, but can help…if a firm has the courage to act. Thanks also for words and not slides.
  • Nathan Bricklin (SVP and Head of Social Strategy – Wells Fargo): First of all, Nathan’s entire presentation was driven from his own comments in Twitter. Each comment he made in Twitter was a result of an article or thought that led his team to some success or insight that would lead to action. In addition to providing practical advice…Nathan helped us see the world though his eyes and not his PowerPoint. I am also left with the thought that despite how we might think folks will use social media tools, we need to give them some freedom to create their own use cases.

Lastly, for a sense of the conversation around wealth management and financial services, check out  #BDI1 on Twitter, the sponsor of today’s session in NYC. For event details, go here: Financial Services Social Communications.

As usual any and all opinions are welcome and thanks to BDI for a pulling together a great event.

Will HTML5 Kill Apple’s App Store?

June 13, 2011 § Leave a comment


6.13.11  Imagine if HTML5 killed the app store? The question is inspired by a simple example of the Financial Times deciding to use HTML5 to publish a mobile site instead of publishing an app through Apple. The publisher, which was recently discussed in Econsultancy, brings up a couple of key points. First, the Financial Times was able to create an experience that is relatively on par with what could be delivered through an app and secondly, the Financial Times is able to avoid the 30% cut that Apple takes.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Morgan Stanley Approves Advisors to Use Social Media

May 27, 2011 § Leave a comment


5.28.11 Earlier this week, Morgan Stanley announced financial advisors will be able to use LinkedIn and Twitter in a more interactive fashion. To date, the financial services industry has limited use of social media due to regulations as well as general concern regarding risk associated with the medium.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Social Media and Institutional Banking (Part 1)

May 10, 2011 § Leave a comment


May 9, 2011  Over the next couple of months I am planning on taking a deep dive into how institutional banks use social media. At this point in the process, I have some early suspicions that my research is not going to yield much. Perhaps a Twitter account here, a Facebook account there. And I also suspect that the farther a firm gets away from a consumer the more removed from social media they will be.

As I embark upon this journey, here are my initial thoughts:

– Social Media is a complete whitespace for institutional investing

– The barriers are enormous, but there may be a significant first-mover advantage for someone

– The opportunities are not without risks, but these institutions, regardless, need to start building some competency

– Firms need to think about social media reaching people not other firms / clients / customers

Over time, the forces of social media will begin to swing the pendulum, but it will take awhile. I am really excited (believe it or not) to dig into the space. I think changes are sure to happen and it is on the minds of these institutions, but will take some time to get into the hearts (and eventually the DNA).

Any thoughts and perspectives are greatly appreciated.

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