Why RIA firms need better marketing tools to grow effectively and where they should get them.

Marc Lamoureux / September 29th, 2022

The value proposition of an RIA network is economic growth through pooled resources and $ benefits in the form of operations savings, asset and client growth. One of the best ways to achieve financial benefits is the efficiency gained by deploying firm resources at the corporate level. A well designed corporate distribution model preserves independence AND increases capabilities in the network. This strategy applied to marketing allows smaller RIA offices to deploy marketing programs beyond their local resource capability. Corporate can shoulder some of the operational burdens of product selection, configuration, and central management so RIA offices can focus on high-value activities like strategy, and personalization. A strong corporate marketing operation positioned to facilitate RIA-personalized marketing programs will outperform peers who limit localization, and likely hamper growth.

The increasing importance of marketing in RIA firms vs direct client acquisition referenced in a recent wealthmanagement.com article  is creating new pressures for RIA advisors and their firms. Some of this marketing pressure has occurred due to market dynamics in 2022 and are forcing the industry to consider how to retain clients and invest in growth-oriented solutions. The need for market differentiation and client engagement is spurring additional investments in marketing solutions. This study also indicates that advisors are unhappy with their marketing programs. Brand awareness, prospect attraction, and referrals via retention investments are all high priorities according to feedback from RIA firms. 

When an RIA firm decides to join a large network or be acquired by an aggregator it is the beginning of a new era of growth. How successfully the corporate office integrates marketing strategy and best practices into its onboarding program will largely correlate with investment return on their partnership. The RIA central office can accelerate early returns by identifying  marketing platforms, partners, and best practices to increase joint and individual brand development, and target market leads for their RIAs. The long-term success of a wealth management organization is tethered to the local brand and relationships it establishes. While streaminglining back office processes deliver on productivity, there is no better investment than a dynamic  lead generation marketing engine. Since corporate offices tend to accumulate marketing depth and strategic capability through their growth models, applying and personalizing this strategic strength to a local RIA office is an effective and efficient use of network resources, filling an expensive gap in local capability.  

 The long-term success of a wealth management organization is tethered to the local brand and relationships it establishes.

Investing in marketing programs and expertise at the corporate level is not the only measure of success, and while data can be used to gain important insights that guide investment planning, having the right set of solutions is fundamental. Given the diversity of target markets represented in an RIA network of companies, implementing solutions that feature flexible personalization of content, design, and campaigns will be essential. Firms can achieve relevance and convey authenticity by personalizing communication to suit their unique brand and target market; a feat best accomplished inside of a managed solution model. 

RIA corporate offices have the responsibility to select solutions that provide marketing freedom inside of their managed regulatory environment. This should result in many firms using the same tools, sharing some data and content to increase efficiency, but presenting themselves as highly unique firms that, from an external view, look completely independent from their sister firms. 

At Veriday we created Digital Agent (websites, email campaigns, social posting via integration) to suit RIA network models. By launching DA, we’ve constructed a flexible design and content marketing system capable of generating  uniquely branded marketing websites, content, and email campaigns. Digital Agent enables each RIA to produce  exclusive  design, content, and layouts for their unique market. This solution is ideally suited for RIA networks to benefit from centralized purchasing and operations, while creating a highly independent marketing program, which is the hallmark of any RIA operation. 

If you operate or provide services to a network, I urge you to consider investing in marketing independence and singularitywhile taking advantage of your buying power, your expert resources, and data aggregation. This combination can create growth advantages for your RIA network that will outpaceyour competitors. The demands are rapidly expanding and will continue to escalateas marketing sophistication moves into its natural growth cycle. 

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