Are you ready to experience the next generation of wealth management? Say hello to the booming wealthtech industry – an exciting world of innovative, tech-driven solutions designed to help financial advisors run their businesses like never before. With digital solutions becoming increasingly popular, the industry is set to skyrocket in the coming years, projected to reach a staggering $9.6 billion by 2024, up from $2.5 billion in 2019, according to a report by Statista.
These numbers are significant, but pose an important question: As the rate of wealth technology available to financial advisors increases rapidly, and thus the number of competing solutions rises, what’s happening to the rate of growth of financial advisors themselves? Let’s look at some data to answer this question:
- In 2019, there were 271,900 personal financial advisors in the United States, according to the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey.
- This represents a slight increase from 2018, when there were 267,660 personal financial advisors.
- For example, in 2017, there were 271,900 personal financial advisors, which is the same number as in 2019.
- In 2016, there were 271,700 personal financial advisors, which is a small decline from the 2015 number of 271,900.
However, the number of financial advisors has been relatively stable in recent years, with small increases or declines in some years. Compared to the fast growth of technology in the space, what does this steadiness of financial advisor growth really tell us? There’s a glaring reality staring into the face of many wealthtech CEOs, owners, and operators. Its name? Commoditization. What will be required to combat that? Differentiation.
Wealthtech companies will be forced to differentiate themselves (get creative) if they wish to win over meaningful market share within a pool of potential customers where other companies are fighting for the same attention. As their competitors knock on the exact same financial advisory doors, pitching a similar technology at a similar price, what is it about either product that’ll pave the way for the financial advisor’s decision to adopt or retain any given tool within their tech stack?
There’s not one single answer to this question, but here’s one clear solution: A charismatic torchbearer that shines light on the problem their wealthtech company solves, not just the product that’s being sold — AKA, a chief evangelist.
Aside from differentiation, there are many benefits that chief evangelists bring to the organizations they represent, whether they’re full-time or fractional. In today’s article, we’ll focus on the role of the chief evangelist and how a dynamic evangelist can help build brand awareness, drive customer acquisition, increase customer engagement, and create a more loyal customer base.
Benefit One: Chief evangelists accelerate awareness and new customer acquisition
The first step in creating a footprint within the wealthtech industry is to create awareness around the problem your company solves for financial advisors, and getting eyeballs on the solution you’ve built to do so. Awareness can be created digitally and in-person, with the former focusing on scale and reach, and the latter focusing on creating experiences that leave lasting impressions on smaller groups of people in a more intimate way.
In either case, creating lasting awareness requires crystal clear communication and positioning around your solution. An effective evangelist has a knack for taking complex information and breaking it down so that it’s easy to understand, and more importantly, easy to remember. This is because chief evangelists are usually more magnetic than traditional salespeople, and present information in a way that leaves audiences associating positive emotions with your brand, a key to memorization.
While evangelists work closely with sales and marketing teams to achieve growth goals, they aren’t bogged down with managing teams or fulfilling administrative work. Their number one job is to go out in the market as much as they can, fully-dedicating themselves to driving awareness and creating engagement for a company. This happens across social media, on webinars, in-person at trade shows and customer events, and more. When you appoint a person to carry out the role, you create real intention around building and growing an evangelism function within your business.
Benefit Two: Chief evangelists drive loyalty and community
A chief evangelist can work to create a community of loyal customers who are passionate about a company’s products and services. This loyalty doesn’t happen overnight, but we can say the same about anything that’s designed to sustain greatness “for the long run”. The best way to build loyalty across a human customer base is to simply be more human. When companies shy away from frustrating chat bots and lean into increasing their level of emotional availability within their brand, they create happier customers who gain clarity around their product, not confusion.
Happier customers become loyal customers over time, and loyal customers are bound to preach the “good word” via referrals. A chief evangelist can be exploited across your entire customer journey, adding value for your customers in the form of 1-1 engagement, workshops or masterclass sessions, and customer events. Do your customers drop off in the middle of onboarding, or are you challenged with the 6-month churn cliff? Lean on an evangelist to spruce up your customer onboarding journey with exciting, impactful video clips and human-to-human interactions that transform your overall customer experience.
According to Gallup research, customers that have an emotional relationship with a brand have a 305% higher lifetime value. As mentioned above, a chief evangelist will humanize (energize) the way you engage with your customers, no matter the medium, leading to positive emotional relationships between a company and its customers. This is important data wealthtech companies should be paying attention to as the need to reduce churn and boost customer retention continues to be a priority.
Benefit Three: Chief evangelists drive differentiation and innovation
Let’s circle back to the importance of differentiation in a crowded space. It’s no secret that the role of media and creative within financial services is becoming increasingly important. Media can act as a springboard for our imaginations, creating digital experiences that accelerate people’s perceptions and opinions around brands and products as a whole. An effective chief evangelist understands how to leverage media to drive innovation and creativity within a wealthtech business, paving the way for experiences that keep prospects and customers highly-engaged and tuned in.
A chief evangelist is a storyteller at heart. When combined with the right medium and design for enjoyable consumption, storytelling helps differentiate wealthtech companies from their competitors, who are often focused solely on “tech-first” communication preferences. Differentiation looks at the destination as an experience, and there’s no better way to create positive experiences than to tell stories that people can relate to. An effective evangelist will fast-track the way consumers absorb your message simply based on the fact they can tell your story in a way that grabs attention, and keeps it.
Becoming a table stake in the wealthtech industry doesn’t happen overnight.
It relies on several factors for success, such as having a great product, providing a friendly brand experience, and having an approachable support team. However, growth acceleration can happen when wealthtech companies enlist a dedicated human to amplify these factors. This is where a chief evangelist comes in.
Tired of trying to be your biggest brand ambassador while wearing the many hats of running your company? Learn more about outsourcing the role to a wealthtech growth expert and save time focusing on where you make the most impact. Book your free growth assessment here.