Lesson From Brexit: Marketers and Communicators Must Plan for the Unexpected

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We are living through an extraordinary period of change. Events occur almost every day that impact the financial services industry. Financial marketers and communicators must plan for them before they happen.

As a financial marketing firm, we’ve been through three decades of change. One thing we know for certain is that the investment industry hates uncertainty. It generally leads to big market shifts (up and down), changes in interest rates and high levels of client attrition.

Brexit is a perfect example of a “surprise” affecting the industry in a major way.

The impact on your business

Any time there’s a big change in the markets or interest rates, it gives people a reason to re-think their financial strategies and providers. People don’t move their money when things are stable and their investments are performing as expected. They do it during dynamic periods of change when they’re looking for ways to recover from losses or for opportunities to make more money.

Research shows that the biggest contributing factor to a client changing providers is a lack of communication. If they’re not hearing from your firm about how current events could affect their finances, they’re getting information from a competitor who is working hard to communicate with them and attract their business. And in today’s world of instant e-communication via text, social media and email, the predatory conversations happen faster than ever.

What you can do

What can you do, as a smart financial communicator and marketer, to protect and grow your business during a period of change?

  • Have a marketing and communication plan in place before change happens. Start messaging to clients and prospects now. This will give you a chance to build trust. If you have a regular flow of communications, those tied to a financial crisis, market change or other issue won’t seem as jarring, unexpected or inauthentic.
  • Leverage social media. If you’re used to talking to your clients via email, start shifting to social media. It’s a faster way to reach them when big news events occur. It’s where many people turn these days to learn about and share news. Plus, it’s easy to find clients (and look-alike prospects) in social using careful targeting.
  • Write “either/or” articles prior to an event. What if Brexit happens? What if Brexit doesn’t? Doesn’t matter. Prepare multiple versions of a communication about any topic ahead of time and get them approved. You might need to update a few details and get a cursory check prior to deployment, but you can get out ahead of your competitors long before people are tired of reading about it. If Brexit taught us anything, it’s that being prepared for any eventuality is key.
  • Leverage curated content. You and your firm don’t have to be experts on every topic or issue. Simply share content written by experts from authoritative publications. Sharing it will have a halo effect on your company. Get licenses to use this content now so you’re ready any time sometching unexpected happens.
  • Keep reviewers on call. Don’t wait until something newsworthy happens to contact legal, compliance and other reviewers. Have a plan in place to reach them whenever something newsworthy occurs.
  • Develop a client acquisition plan. Your marketing strategies shouldn’t just be about protecting your client base. They should also Include tactics to attract clients from competitors. Take time to brainstorm a list of competitors that could be vulnerable during a period of change. Then build a content marketing plan that uses smart content distribution and social media targeting to begin talking to them when change happens.
  • Use intermediaries as amplifiers. Financial advisors, brokers, insurance agents, bankers, and wholesalers have close relationships with their clients. Clients usually pay attention when intermediaries send information. Most intermediaries look for great content related to current events. Let them know ahead of time when and where you’ll be publishing timely content and educate them on best practices for sharing it.
  • Seek professional guidance and support. Many financial and professional services firms simply aren’t staffed to develop and execute timely content marketing plans. That’s why they turn to agencies like Carpenter Group. We’ve developed high-quality content for top-tier financial firms for decades. Contact us today to find out how we can help.