Who could have predicted how the financial year has ended in 2020?! With our day-to-day lives and businesses dramatically changing as a result of COVID-19, many are glad to see the end.

As we look forward to a new financial year, setting new goals and targets, it’s worth reflecting not only on how your business performed over the previous year but what you may have learned as a result of COVID-19.

Many businesses were forced to pivot or set up remote working arrangements, others brought forward investment in technology while for some it simply meant refining existing processes to manage the challenging times.

Here are some of the most significant lessons in marketing and communications we believe are worth holding onto for the new financial year.

More frequent client communications

Did you communicate with your clients more frequently earlier in the year? Being there for them through the difficult times and informing them about how the various stimulus packages impact their financial position?

Most of us have been affected to some degree by COVID-19, with many looking to advisers, accountants or brokers to assist them through this challenging time. So as the country and economy transition back to ‘normal’, will you continue to provide regular touchpoints with your clients?

Frequent client communications builds trust and strengthens your client relationships as you provide insights, education and support.

Increased uptake of video and video conferencing

The Zoom Boom of the lockdown may be something you can adopt moving forward. As face to face meetings weren’t possible, there was an increased take up of video conferencing apps by both practices and clients which may be something that can be carried forward.

Clients who are now comfortable with the technology will be more likely to accept online meetings in future. While not completely replacing in person, face-to-face meetings, video conferencing can provide greater efficiency while still maintaining personal contact, and convenience for your clients.

Video is a great way to engender and maintain a sense of connection with your clients. Used effectively video gives current clients as well as potential clients an insight into your values and the value you provide. Video is also an engaging way to make information more accessible – and entertaining. Videos can be incorporated into various aspects of your marketing and client journey including;

  • An onboarding introductory video prior to your first meeting
  • Providing market commentary and insights for clients which is distributed via email or shared on your socials
  • Addressing frequently asked questions for clients

More efficient processes 

As your business needed to support remote working, did you find some of your processes lacking or cumbersome? This could have been simply achieving remote access to your server, your project management software or processes that didn’t provide agility for you to deal with the rapidly changing environment.

In terms of your marketing and communication, did your internal approvals, outdated client databases, or access to timely content impede your client comms?

A few efficiencies we’d recommend include;

  • Assess all your tech stack and whether your current applications are working for you.
  • If you haven’t already, look for integration between existing applications to reduce duplication of data entry and tasks.
  • Look to tools such as Zapier to crate automation and triggers between your applications if they aren’t a standard feature.
  • Build out rich client profiles so you can provide them with updates most relevant to their financial situation.
  • Utilise a content provider such as Advant Plus, to assist with the timely production and distribution of content so you can focus on doing what you do best, speaking to clients.

The road ahead

As we look forward, the financial services industry, which assisted so many through the challenges of the pandemic, will be more important than ever before. With financial security now front of mind for many, clients are very engaged with their finances and are seeking continued support and education from you – their adviser.