Financial advisers should keep a close eye on Facebook for cutting edge lead generation techniques in the new digital world.
In the good ol’ days of Pre-GFC and Pre-DNCR (Do Not Call Register) financial services marketing, the cold-call was a rich, fat, king.
Certainly traditional marketing and advertising forms were still centre stage, but direct marketing forms like cold-call appointment setting placed financial services firms directly en rapport with their target markets. Consumers were still open to receive the direct, cold pitch.
Around 2008-2009 things changed dramatically. The instability of international and national markets pushed the cold-call effort over the edge of a “not interested” cliff for many previously willing prospects. Call Centres nationally felt the crunch in market sentiment, and directly felt the contraction of credit availability and the lowered borrowing capacities of their prospective and existing clients.
The perfect storm had hit us all, but like all things cyclical and human - we bounced back from adversity with gusto. The markets recovered, sentiments within consumers and businesses regained their vigour and optimism, and on we went.
While the markets and our sentiments in them recovered, and the overall outlook within the people evolved - the power of the cold-call never quite recovered. The rise in resistance to cold-calling grew.
The lead generation industry was born out of the ashes of the cold-call era. With the decrease in effectiveness of cold prospecting, financial services marketers started looking for new ways to generate interest. We fumbled through the growing pains of online surveys and co-registration data. Some firms were able to make reasonable headway with Google’s AdWords program, though for financial services there was no way to refine and define vitally precise demographics.
In early 2013, Facebook announced that it would be working with third party data providers to develop revolutionary targeting and data access tools within their advertising platform. Facebook is watching all of us and, for better or worse, the power is now in our hands. That is what Facebook does, it empowers individuals and businesses alike. Facebook empowers us with information. The information age is upon us, and Facebook is very much leading the way. It has been tipped by many that by 2020 Facebook will own 50 per cent of all advertising market share internationally.
Now, in 2017, Facebook is a vastly superior marketing platform to any of its competitors. It’s reach and acceptance with humanity is astounding. 1.23 billion people log into Facebook every day, and that number is growing at 18 per cent year over year. But reach is just the tip of the Facebook iceberg. As a financial services marketer, the advertising giant opens the gates to the human interior.
The once staunch resistance that a financial services cold-caller met with when they called a prospect out of the blue has been usurped by the all seeing eyes of Facebook’s third party data and behavioural mapping. We can now see what everyone does, what they are thinking, what they are feeling, whom they get quotes from, what they buy, where they buy it, what their income is, their home ownership status – the gates are open.
So, what does this mean for a financial services business seeking to close new prospects into new clients?
Financial services businesses now have access to growing economies of scale that are rolling out offerings as a result of Facebook’s providence. We can now buy referral-like leads on tap (even on a cost per lead basis), we can use behavioural mapping to pinpoint precise demographics, we can access qualified prospects that are in need of our services but are not yet searching for us and we can convert our cold-calling regime to a warm-calling new business generator.
You only have to experience your first day of calling well produced Facebook leads to realise that, with precision targeting, your cold-calls just got warm.
Justin Laju is the principal of Appointment Setter Lead Generation & Appointment Setting
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