In this episode I talk to Andre Costa of Advicefront.
It’s all about helping advisers get started with new clients in an engaging way that let’s them focus on building long term relationships. We chat about where the idea came from and how Andre and the team developed and launched the service.
Welcome to episode 202 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.
What you’ll hear about in this episode
What Advicefront is
How Advicefront helps advisers connect with their clients
Where the idea for the tool came from
Company marketing tactics
The biggest challenge Advicefront has faced
Their business successes to date
Who is Andre Costa?
Andre studied architecture before changing to software development, applying what he’d learned about design.
He is the CTO of Advicefront, a front-end tool for financial advisers to onboard their clients and learn more about them. It links into other apps and tools, like Voyant, to create financial planning solutions for customers.
Andre says it combines everything he loves – design, technology and finance – in one.
Summary of our chat
Advicefront allows financial advisers to collect information from clients digitally, eliminating the need for face to face meetings during the fact find process. It saves the client time, as they just log in, complete the risk questionnaire and sign. It also enables advisers to instantly collect their set-up fees.
They believe that meetings during fact-finding aren’t needed. Clients appreciate being able to complete the process in their own time. The adviser then quickly gets to the stage of addressing the client’s needs. However, they encourage face to face meetings after that when possible to help build long term relationships.
CEO Jose Supico came up with the idea of Advicefront while working as a financial adviser in Portugal. He wanted to build a tool to help advisers, and toyed with creating robo-advice. Instead, he created something to make them more efficient and productive, and to win more clients.
Advicefront recently received investing which enabled them to build a team of developers, designers and marketing. They researched the market and began building social awareness. Now, they’re heavily active on Twitter and LinkedIn, and share videos to explain latest updates. Adviser beta testers also spread the word and give recommendations.
Andre says their biggest challenge has been breaking into the UK market, because the team is based in Portugal but the company is British – there was some prejudice. It was also difficult for them to have a presence on social media and at industry events, so it took time to generate awareness.
Advicefront have created a positive community, where advisers can give feedback on the tool as they test and use it with clients. Setting this up while growing was very useful. They have a core group of loyal advisers using the tool every day and an international bank as a client.
What’s Next for Advicefront?
The next step for Advicefront is to develop further modules for the platform. These are for report planning and building, and will integrate with other tools to do so. They are also working on supporting advisers to execute financial plans. Then, they’re looking to expand outside of the UK.
An Example of Simple Marketing
Andre says that Uber keep everything straightforward. Their communication is clear, the app is simple to use, and it allows him to get where he needs to be quickly and easily.
An Example of Marketing Muppetry
Andre says that some airlines make things complicated. TAP (Air Portugal) has a system which is a mess. It’s difficult to check in and communication is poor.
Some say advertising is dead. My guest this week, Chris Dayley, disagrees.
It’s very much alive but we need disruptive advertising to succeed.
Welcome to episode 201 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.
What you’ll hear about in this episode
How modern advertising works
How to be a disruptive advertiser
Why the AIDA formula is still relevant today
How to develop a good ad strategy
Successful advertising with a smaller budget
Why you must advertise your business even if you use content marketing
Who is Chris Dayley?
Chris describes himself as ‘a marketing guy who got into it by accident.’ He had no plans during college, but a relative recommended him for a sales role at a marketing agency.
He worked in SEO services and, intrigued by how it all worked, fell in love with it. At his next company, they tripled their traffic from Google over six months, but didn’t convert.
This encouraged him to analyse why visitors weren’t converting, which led to website testing and conversion rate optimisation – a way to learn what consumers really want. After five years of offering the service through his own business, he merged with Disruptive Advertising, where he is now.
Summary of our chat
Some people believe that social media and influencers will lead marketing in future. However, while traditional advertising might be ‘dead’, it’s not going away, it just has to be done differently. New tactics, channels, innovation and understanding the customer will bring the results that companies want.
Too many businesses make (wrong) assumptions about their audience.
Being a disruptive advertiser or marketer is about constantly challenging your own assumptions and biases, and never thinking you have it all figured out. There are no best practices. Once everyone uses the same tactic, the audience is used to it.
The advertising principle of AIDA (Attention. Interest. Desire. Action) is based on psychology, which is why it still works. There’s no formula for getting someone’s interest – it changes every time. A technique which works on one audience is not the only way to market your offering. Marketing is a continual process of keeping the audience engaged.
Chris says each business needs to work out the best marketing tactics for themselves. Some do well with Facebook Ads, while others struggle. Consider what your business offers and find the platform that fits your audience. However, there are no hard and fast rules, so experiment.
If you have a smaller budget, think about how much each customer is worth – how much are your offerings? Then ask yourself, how much you’d spend on advertising to get them. How much traffic do you need to drive to your site to get one sale? Analyse where conversions from and focus on that.
Just having great content on your site isn’t enough to promote your business. People don’t want to see it all. Work out what’s most important to your customers, and make it easy for them to find appropriate information. Advertising makes it easier to identify and promote your best service, and then highlight it on your website.
A marketing campaign or product which grabbed Chris’s attention
Amazon impressed Chris while he was doing his Christmas shopping. He liked how they personalised search results to match what he might be looking for and gave him targeted products.
He searched Amazon for popular toys to get gift ideas for his two small girls. Although he didn’t buy straight away, they then sent emails to recommend other toys, new products and items on sale. He said the suggestions were really helpful, and he bought several of the toys, spending more than he’d planned.
Recommended Business Book
One of Chris’ favourite books of all time is The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. He says that people often say, ‘Oh, I could never only work four hours’, but that’s not really what the book is about.
What Chris likes is that Tim talks about some innovative ways to think about and approach business and marketing. He gives ideas for simplifying them to give you more time to focus on thinking creatively and strategically.
People fill themselves up with so many ‘to-dos’ that their time is taken up, so they don’t think outside the box. Being creative gives your business a real competitive advantage.