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.
To celebrate the milestone 200th edition, I’ve invited a special guest onto the show to interview me.
It’s a warts and all look behind the scenes, and we chat about Body Combat, fighting complexity, writing a marketing book, and finding the right balance in life.
Welcome to episode 200 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.
For 200 episodes I’ve been asking my guests what makes them tick. Now my special guest, Chris Marr, asks the same question of me.
What you’ll hear about in this episode
How Roger became a Body Combat instructor alongside his day job as marketing director in big corporate
The development of a career long obsession with keeping things simple
Why marketing sometimes fails to engage with customers and what to do about it
The genesis of Roger’s soon to be published book and a world exclusive preview reading
Why family is so important in a business world driven by “hustle”
Who is special guest interviewer, Chris Marr?
Chris runs the Content Marketing Academy (CMA Community) and first appeared on the Marketing and Finance Podcast back in episode 80. Since then we’ve become good business buddies and close friends.In 2017, I appeared on stage at Chris’s CMA Live event in Edinburgh and we’ve both been working to develop our speaking careers.
The World Class Communication initiative Chris runs alongside US speaker, Marcus Sheridan, has helped my craft my speaking style and get myself on stages across Europe.
Summary of our chat
Chris was keen to interview Roger with a view to getting behind the scenes. To find out more about his motivations and philosophies. Even though they are close friends, much of that friendship revolves around business. This was an opportunity for Chris to dig a little deeper. To find out more about the man behind the marketing persona.
Roger was working long hours in his corporate role. Travelling extensively and eating a drinking far too much. His wife dragged him (literally) along to a fitness class called Body Combat. After enjoying the class Roger went onto take a fitness diploma and became a Body Combat instructor. He soon started teaching classes all over Edinburgh and followed by training in Body Balance. And then a diploma in teaching Yoga. Teaching up to 9 sessions a week created a unique balance in Roger’s work life.
When he was still a young marketing assistant, Roger attended a corporate strategy away week. He discovered the joys of people overly complicating strategy and littering it with management speak and gobbledegook. This was the beginning of a career long obsession with keeping marketing simple. Roger became known as a customer champion in the companies he worked for. He tried to fight back against the complexity and to make the companies see the benefits of a true customer focus.
Chris was keen to explore why marketing often fails the customers. And why it can become too complicated. Roger feels that marketing doesn’t work in some companies because they do not focus enough on the customer. Profit might be the key driver and customer takes second place. The reality is that a true customer focus and an obsessive understanding of the customer, can mean happier customers and more profit in the long term. But some people don’t seem to get this.
Also some marketers focus entirely on the communications aspects. They again miss out on the benefit of customer understanding and the other parts of the marketing mix.
Roger’s book is going to weave stories collected over 25 years into his simple method for putting together a marketing strategy. He’s almost completed the narrative and now intends to add real life case studies to complete the book. Then the editing process will begin with publishing following after that. Soon after becoming a fitness instructor, Roger and his wife, Trisha, adopted a little boy. This was another turning point in his life and another moment that contributed to leaving corporate life to set up in business as an independent consultant. He explains how he achieved a balanced life as a result and how important family is.