Technology has different meanings for different people and different uses within different industries. Some examples of technology meanings are below:
- Zillenial/Millennial – Technology moves easily and efficiently, it is the life bread of their whole life
- Baby boomers, Gen X – Computer, maybe a smart phone, some applications, and using some tools
- Computers – Laptops, Tablets, Desktops. Uses differ by age
- Smartphones, smartwatches, etc – adopted more by younger ages, and used by all.
- Rules and regulations – FINRA and SEC and other regulators are still enforcing and looking at rules from the 1980’s or earlier, for example marketing was meant to be paper advertisements not social media, and other posts, or videos, yet companies are regulating all these under the same rules form the 1980’s. Rules are slowly changing, since now you can have skill endorsements and referral comment sin Linked In, whereas 5 years ago you couldn’t.
- Costs – a lot of the software and hardware infrastructure is older, and costs are sometimes prohibitive to fix or bring the technology into the modern age with all the requirements.
- Security – Client and adviser security is increasingly important currently, and whatever technology is adapted must be strong and protected against the potential attacks.
In Graph 1 below, the survey results looking at how interaction was made with technology depending on different age groups. A very interesting diversification among the different technology categories was interesting. As expected, older ages used phones more than Face Time or other forms of communication.
However, middle age groups are equally distributed among other categories and this makes it a little difficult for advisers to understand whom to talk to and when. The best way is to understand the different interaction categories and then identify different ways to regularly communicate and interact. Just like in years past if you asked clients and prospects how to communicate, they will tell you, and then you can meet with them in different locations.
Understanding the interaction and the different tools, will help you communicate with different clients and prospects in a way that can help you better communicate. An interesting way of communication interaction was texting, Facebook LinkedIn, and twitter communications. Some of these programs we cannot use in the financial industry as the communication does need to be recorded and companies will not allow certainties, like what’s app or snapchat for those reasons. Looking at that, it might mean we would lose out on communicating with certain groups because of that. However, this is the preferred interaction method, not the only. Thus, we need to do explanations of what we can and cannot use and give options and choices of how to interact and let our clients pick what is most comfortable.
Graphs 2 and 3, show how clients want to interact with individuals and more importantly with us as advisers. You will see Grpah 2 shows pre-covid interaction requests, and now in Graph 3 how clients want to interact and discuss with clients to meet with them.
Graph 2 and 3
More and more clients will want web and face time. Our industry will require some face-to-face meetings and yet as you can see more and more clients want to meet via other means. This is for different reasons including:
- Disease and concerns
- Meeting electronically for check ins and other shorter means, is more efficient for the adviser and for the client, rather than have long meetings more meetings can be had and more information disseminated.
- More frequent communication
- Communication purposes
- Easier to communicate, and have more details
- Share things on screen
Technology can be used in many ways in interacting with clients, plus also marketing in developing new clients. So often our industry relies on old methods like seminars, or referrals. However, cleints, varying by age want to learn about you in different ways, as seen in Graph 4 below.
As can be seen in Graph 4, younger ages want to see and hear about you through their own research. What this means is that you need to have a strong presence on the internet and in videos and other digital tools. The more people can see you, hear you, and have a conversation and build a relationship with you without talking to you. So the more you do webinars and record videos and other ideas and concepts, which give insights, you will attract younger clients. Though, you do not want to forego everything traditionally marketing either, as other age ranges want to connect and learn about you in other means as well.
As can be seen technology can be very helpful, but it can also be complicated. What steps should advisers take to adapt and utilize technology:
- Understand your niche and where they use technology and how
- Set Goals and ideas about your business
- Create specific plans to reach out
- Build a team and systems to reach out to different people and different age groups