The Rise of the Omnichannel Advisor


Rise of the OmniChannel AdvisorOne of my favorite things about being on the Mutual Fund Education Alliance Digital Council is that I get to help steer the content and development of our member meetings. For our Spring event I’m working with two experienced presenters, Hearsay Social’s Victor Gaxiola and DST kasina’s Julia Binder to discuss how consumer and technology trends are changing how financial professionals, and their digital marketing counterparts, communicate with customers.  Here’s the official session description:

The Rise of the Omnichannel Advisor

Given the plethora of online information and the increasingly self-directed decision journeys of today’s financial advisors, asset managers must address ever higher expectations for relevant digital engagement in all marketing channels. Leading firms are leveraging sophisticated technology and behavioral analytics to personalize connections with advisors on social networks, websites and mobile devices in order to develop long-lasting, profitable relationships. Attendees will learn how wealth managers and their representatives must adapt to meet customer expectations in a digital world.

Julia Binder, Head of Strategic Marketing Research — DST kasina

Victor Gaxiola, Senior Customer Advocacy Manager — Hearsay Social

What to expect

Victor Gaxiola

Victor Gaxiola

Julia Binder

Julia Binder


Victor brings with him the unique experience of being a financial professional along with the wisdom gained by working with advisors who are looking to build their practice. His presentation will outline the needs of the new “Omnichannel Advisor” and what digital marketers can do to support the next generation of advisors.


Julia’s experience in digital strategy and marketing was honed working for industry leaders in publishing, IT and asset management. She’ll discuss kasina’s research on the impact of behavioral segmentation on developing digital engagement strategies for advisors.



Read more about the upcoming Joint Distribution and Digital Summit on the event page where you can check out the full agenda.


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Where is @iamreff?

where is iamreff?

Here’s where to find me in 2016.  I’ll be updating this as the year develops but here’s my event attendance plan:

MFEA Joint Distribution & Digital SummitMutual Fund Education Alliance

March 9-10, 2016 | St Petersburg, FL

Otherwise known as MFEAJDDC (no, no it’s not) the Mutual Fund Education Alliance Joint Distribution & Digital Summit is THE PLACE TO BE if you’re a digital marketer in the asset management industry.  As a member of the Digital Council I’m privy to all the awesome content being planned. [details here]

MarTech Conference USA

March 21-22, 2016 | San Francisco, CA
Scott Brinker is a local Boston guy. I met with him back in 2010 when he was working on the Chief Marketing Technologist concept. Since then he’s been taking things to a whole new level and I’m very interested in attending my first MarTech Conference. [details here]



October 4–7, 2016 | San Francisco, CA

Never been. I hear it’s a bit zoo-y. I like zoo-y so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be learning more about the Salesforce ecosystem especially in terms of Digital Marketing.

[details here]



Forrester B2B Conferenceforrester

October 18-19, 2016 | Miami, Fl

I’ve been a fan of Forrester Research for probably 10 years.  Last year I attended the Digital Business conference. This year I’m planning to attend the B2B conference which hopefully will be very relevant to my learning interests.

[details here]


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Marketing Technology Trends You Need To Worry About This Year

New Year, New Marketing Tech?



[socialpoll id=”2321773″]

Curated: 16 Digital Marketing Resolutions to Make & Keep in 2016

I’ve seen a ton of New Year Marketing Resolutions and this is by far my favorite. The post features 16 great reminders for Marketing Technologists most importantly - it’s not about the tech! Focus on customer needs and experiences. Reduce buying friction. Solve customer problems. Lastly, have an omnichannel approach to marketing to be sure you’re solidly covering all the basics.

Ah, the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. Every year, just like clockwork we spend time putting together a list of things that we’ll do better or differently

Source: 16 Digital Marketing Resolutions to Make & Keep in 2016

Social Media Disillusionment

Welcome to the season of Social Media discontent. Social Media is no longer the darling Marketing executives have become accustomed to. The bloom is off the rose. Social Media is actually following the normal course of technology adoption. Technologies are discovered, become overhyped, fall from favor when they cannot live up to the hype only to eventually find a niche where they can provide real value. Gartner describes this process as a “Hype Cycle.” (more on hype cycles here.)

hype cycle

Modified from Gartner source

Social Media has matured to the point where Marketers are realizing that it is not all it was hyped to be. And, to be fair, Social Media has changed too. For example, it’s less social. Twitter is closed to third-party development and you now have to buy your audiences on Facebook. Do you remember discussions on whether a company could forgo a website in favor of a Facebook page? Those discussions look silly now.

Twitter - On a Highway To Hell

I touched on this is in my last post, Twitter continues to sputter. Growth of monthly active users is flat and the stock is in decline  [TechCrunch]. A recent story in the Atlantic points out that Twitter is less social than in years past. There is less conversation and more broadcasting by brands. Now that Twitter is searchable and tweets can be taken out of context, people are less likely to have an open and honest conversation. In my circle of social media professionals, I find much less use of Twitter as a communication tool. Twitter users who once posted regularly now only post infrequently.

From the Atlantic article:

At some point early last year, the standard knock against Twitter—which had long ceased to be “I don’t want to know what someone’s eating for lunch”—became “I don’t want everyone to see what I have to say. – Source: The Atlantic

wsj facebook

Click for fullsize

Less Sharing on Facebook Too

According to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal, users are continuing to visit Facebook but they are sharing much less. Since Facebook generates revenue based on visits not sharing, this isn’t a short-term problem, but if sharing continues to decline it does become a revenue problem. To combat the decline in sharing Facebook is prompting users to share more. As a NHL Boston Bruins fan, if I’m on Facebook while a game is on, it asks me to share that I’m watching the game. Another share prompt is for photos. As seen in the example below, Facebook urges users to share photos from your camera or Instagram.


Facebook prompts you to share your photos


34% of Facebook users updated their status, and 37% shared their own photos, down from 50% and 59%, respectively, in the same period a year earlier. – Source: WSJ

So, just as with Twitter, Facebook activity has slowed, albeit less dramatically. I don’t suggest that Facebook is in decline, only that users are using it differently and perhaps less “socially.” That platform has matured as has user interest.

Walking up the “Slope of Enlightenment”

Although Twitter has stumbled significantly and user expectations of Facebook are changing, there are bright spots that indicate that Social Media is maturing and generating value for companies and consumers.

Customer obsession

Credit where credit is due. Social Media ushered in a new era of Marketing. One in which the customer really is king. Customer needs began taking precedence over brand messaging. In fact, If you told me “Customer Experience” eclipsed “Social Media” in terms of hype I’d believe you (or maybe a better example is “Content Marketing?”.) Social Media will remain at the center of the customer experience through social tactics like listening and customer management. Social Media begat Marketing’s obsession with the customer experience.

New Service Models🍕

Yes, You can now order a pizza via emoji - 🍕. It’s an innovative approach that connects customer ordering profiles to their social media and reduces the friction of ordering – facilitated by social media. Now if only I could get a local craft brewery to do the same with this 🍺.

Are You Marching Up The Slope of Enlightenment?

So all is not lost. Social Media is just growing up. I notice this maturation affecting my own use of Social Media. I share less and I’m more careful than ever in what I share. I expect most executives are beyond asking about the ROI of Social Media and will now only fund Social Media initiatives that are fully connected to and aligned with broader Marketing initiatives that facilitate business outcomes.


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