You won’t be surprised to read that our content team have written a few articles around Brexit for our clients. Political and economic uncertainty inevitably makes investors jittery. Ultimately, they need reassuring that they are making the best financial decisions.
However, in the last quarter of 2018 (when markets were especially volatile) research from Schroders found that only 18% of investors stuck to their original financial plan. In fact:
- 35% took more investment risk
- 36% moved into lower-risk investments
- 20% moved into cash – realising the loss with no chance of recovery
Why? Emotive investment decisions – thinking with their heart, not their head. We can also blame a certain amount of scaremongering from the media… (‘financial crisis’ – wagging finger!)
For the investors who deviated from their plan, the tinkering didn’t pay off. Over 50% said they had not achieved the returns they wanted over the last five years, with many of them blaming their own actions, or inaction. Hindsight, and all.
Claire Walsh, Schroders Personal Finance Director, said that “even just three months of rocky markets led many investors to make changes to what should have been long-term investment plans. That could potentially lead them into making classic investment mistakes.”
Keep calm and carry on
Your client’s financial plan is designed to help them achieve their long-term goals. Short-term emotive decisions they make are likely to de-rail that plan.
Exactly the same can be said for your marketing strategy.
As advisers and planners, depending on your fee structure, your income is likely to fall during a market downturn. Often when times are tough, marketing budgets are first to be cut. In a no-deal Brexit scenario Enders Analysis have predicted that UK spending on marketing will decline by 3%. Historical figures show that during the 2009 recession advertising spend fell 13%, but isn’t that counterproductive? Marketing is important when times are good, but when they’re bad it’s more important than ever!
Let’s not forget, either, that during volatility your clients and prospects need expert advice more than ever. You must ensure your voice remains heard so they can find you.
Whether we’ve crafted a marketing strategy on your behalf, or you’ve put one together in-house, stick to it. By all means make tweaks and adjustments, in exactly the same way you would rebalance a portfolio during volatility, but remember the ultimate goal.
The old adage that someone needs to hear about you seven times before they engage you is often thrown around. There’s certainly some truth to it, and we’ve found that one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways is with content marketing. A regular email newsletter and blog content has numerous benefits, as it;
- Demonstrates your knowledge and expertise
- Adds value to those who read it, helping them to make better financial decisions
- Gives people a reason to return to your website, while the email newsletter provides that all-important touchpoint with your brand
- Helps to improve your search engine rankings through the regular addition of content to your website
- Reminds existing clients of what you do, potentially increasing the number of referrals you receive, which is especially important during volatility
There are two challenges with content marketing:
- Getting the recipient to open your email
- Then getting them to click on the article and read it on your website
These are also our two measures of success:
- The ‘open rate’ – which in financial services averages around 15%, according to data from Constant Contact (March 2019)
- The ‘click-to-open rate’ which is around 6.5%
We are very fortunate that we can demonstrate content marketing works with our own facts and figures. Over a 12-month period, across all of our clients, we achieved:
- An open rate of just under 60%
- A click-to-open rate of 25%
Most importantly, we know this has generated new business.
With Brexit and a potential market downturn looming, don’t let a short-term distraction affect your business’ long-term goal. Like your clients, you should have a well-thought-out plan, regularly reviewed and followed religiously. If you’d like to chat about your marketing strategy or our newsletter services, feel free to pop me an email at [email protected].
Content is king!