It’s a received wisdom that the COVID-19 pandemic will have many impacts most of which have not even begun to emerge.
However one that is already starkly evident is that digital communications are now almost universal and they are no longer seen as inferior to face-to-face communications.
Given this, Threekey wanted to understand how professional advice firms felt the crisis had changed their thinking. We undertook one-to-one research interviews with wealth managers, financial advisers, accountants, and other professionals.
The full results will be published soon – however, the key finding quickly became clear:
Universally, our respondents’ belief was that COVID-19 is re-shaping their business strategy and that they need a way to truly exploit the potential of digital communications.
With this in mind, we gave our respondents the opportunity to ask us their questions about best to exploit this potential.
Our respondents’ most frequently asked questions, and our answers, are below.
How can I get started with digital communications/how do I start improving my digital communications?
The first step is putting in place a digital marketing strategy – one that’s personalised to your particular business, clients, and overall goals.
What is a digital marketing strategy?
A digital marketing strategy is a planning document which identifies which digital channels and activity can help a business to deliver their ambitions (or even evolve those ambitions).
When you say digital channels, what do you mean?
Any electronic communication channel – social media, email, your website, and even private one-to-one channels such as text messages, WhatsApp, FaceTime, and others . All form part of the mix of digital channels which can be used to communicate with your clients and target clientele.
What are the sensible, measured steps to designing and delivering a digital marketing strategy?
- Build on what you have. Before ripping everything up and starting again, take the opportunity to identify things that may just need tweaking.
- Identify your potential target but start in a limited manner. Avoid trying to scale up all activities at the same time.
- Take time to identify what digital channels and activities are best suited to different types of clients. Different channels have different characteristics, users and protocols, which means that assessing the most effective for you is vital.
- Be prepared to test and learn. No-one gets it all right the first time. Test approaches, messaging and channels to see which are most effective. Learn from this to refine your message.
- Get advice. Well, we would say that, wouldn’t we? However – consider that digital marketing is now a mature specialism requiring expertise. The right guidance and support is a means to avoiding costly mistakes. Just as with the advice you provide to clients, there is no substitute for subject matter experience and knowledge.
- Embrace the power of digital. The pandemic has evidenced that digital interaction is not seen as second best – in fact, for the majority of interactions, it’s trusted and welcomed.
For professional services organisations, digital is a gateway to increased efficiency and reach. Digital interactions can turbo charge business expansion and growth without the need for significant investment or risk.
A digital market strategy can be a manageable and scalable pathway for this, and prioritise effective client retention and business growth.
Developing a successful one means designing one that fits your business – and taking the simple steps indicated above will help you take a low risk, cost managed approach.