Word of mouth marketing is more important than ever despite the value of digital and social media. Digital and social are immensely valuable in creating an audience and engaging with prospective customers…BUT…
Word-of-mouth marketing is still where it’s at in financial services when it comes to prospecting and converting those prospects into clients.
It is actually more important now than it ever was before.
The more impersonal that society becomes and the more we use digital for everyday communications and “maintaining relationships”, the more powerful and influential the transfer of trust becomes. Referrals, peer recommendations, centres-of-influence….people talking to people about professionals they trust and are happy with remains the primary source of new client acquisition because of that transfer of trust. Even when digital generates attention and interest, there is an overwhelming tendency for consumers to check in with someone they trust before deciding to engage the person they found online.
In the world of selling an intangible product called “advice” nothing beats the personal recommendation from a trusted source.
Advertising, having a premium location and signage, being listed in professional directories and all the SEO in the world still only collectively produced about two-thirds of the new clients enquiries that a handful of centres of influence do for most advisory firms.
It is true that search and conventional advertising generate enquiries, but an enquiry needs a lot of convincing and engagement to become a client today, don’t they?
There is no doubt in my mind that building excellent engagement systems matters in positioning your professional brand and creating a positive presence in your prospects mind. So social media, email marketing, content-orientated website and blogging are essential ingredients in the marketing mix as they do generate brand awareness and contribute heavily to nurturing potential clients along their own particular buying journey.
At the end of the day though most clients will choose a particular adviser because of peer recommendations, the influence of other trusted professionals or because of testimonials and endorsements. It is the critical component in converting the hard work that went into the marketing and prospecting activity.
Word of mouth is still where it is at for marketing professional services.