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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

6 Easy Ways to Stand Out in Today’s Retirement Plan Advisor Market

Updated: Jul 14, 2023



Retirement plan advisors know how hard it can be to find the time and resources for effective marketing. It's easy to settle for “just getting by” with outdated content, lackluster designs and text that fails to stand out in today's competitive market. But that trio can hurt your business. Don’t miss out on potential opportunities. Now is your chance to leverage new strategies, deliver relevant topics, refresh designs and write copy that can truly differentiate you!


Stay Ahead of the Joneses

The recent wave of industry and regulatory updates has created a unique opportunity. Updating content shows that you are aware of industry trends and allows you to emphasize what sets you apart from other advisors. This ensures that existing and potential clients will see you as a go-to source and their ideal retirement plan partner.


Boosting Audience Engagement | New Regulation

As part of the SECURE Act 2.0, employees who participate in a 401(k) or 403(b) plan can now receive small incentives that applaud their good savings behavior. Here’s the idea: the next time you host an education meeting, ask the audience relevant questions. For example, what is a target date fund? What is the maximum amount available to save in 2023? What is a beneficiary and why is that important? Then hand out $5 gift cards. This easy to implement idea gets the audience involved and could drive home the key information you want them to learn.


Quick Refresh | Statistics and Sources

Take a look at your current marketing materials. Do you cite any statistics or list any sources? Common examples include your website, pitch deck, brochures, overviews and presentations. Gather these evergreen materials and check the source’s publication date. If the date is older than 2020, it’s time for an update. Find the newest version of that same study and revise the information. Not only will this keep your compliance department happy, but it’ll also keep your marketing materials fresh and relevant.


Culture Shift | ESG(k)

With 75% of plan sponsors wanting to know more about ESG options and 65% of plans intending to add an ESG option this year,[1] a culture shift is happening. People are interested in learning more about climate change and the inclusion of environmental, social and governance factors for growing and protecting retirement savings. Even if you don’t personally agree with ESG or climate-change, it’s still beneficial to understand it.


Give Your Firm a Design Edge

Likewise, updating your design gives you an edge when it comes to capturing attention. Often, we hear advisors describe their content it’s not pretty, but it gets the job done, it’s a little outdated and/or it doesn’t represent who we are. So, change it. You are probably not the only one noticing the need for a design update.


High-quality visuals can help tell your story quickly and effectively—which is key when competing for a plan sponsor's business.


Easy | Style Guide

To strengthen your visual reputation, begin with a solid brand foundation that includes a consistent logo, colors, fonts and imagery style. Unite all these elements in a single document. This ensures that everyone is on the same page. It will help you and your team create cohesive business assets that reflect your professional advisory office.


Intermediate | Layout

Standardizing the look and feel of your business can enhance your firm’s professionalism and emphasize a consistent, dependable brand. Create an email template that all employees can use to ensure consistency across communications. Or design master slides for your finalist PowerPoint presentations to make sure they flow together harmoniously—no more mismatched graphics or jumbled content. Presenting at the boardroom level should include high-quality visual consistency that creates trust.


Advanced | Brand Alliance

Every interaction is an opportunity to foster trust, loyalty and, ultimately, business growth. Leverage your visual identity across all of your touchpoints - social media, email, guides, presentations, et al. One idea is to appoint a team member as your designated Brand Lead, who will ensure consistent high-quality output. This in turn can reduce the time it takes to close new 401(k) plans while retaining existing clients and building referrals through business development campaigns.


New Business Development Strategies

Leveraging new strategies can present growth opportunities while positioning yourself as an expert in the retirement plan industry.


Consider starting a blog or podcast series where you discuss topics related to fiduciary responsibility, investment oversight, plan design modifications, new legislation, financial wellness trends and other creative tips that can help employers offer appreciated retirement plan benefits.


These types of initiatives will not only help position you as an authority in your community, but they can also act as great lead generation tools as well. Since the people looking you up online are going to find digital proof that you are a qualified plan expert, they are likely interested in learning more about your retirement plan services.


Sprucing Up Your Business

Ready to give your marketing efforts a much needed refresh? Great!


There's no time like the present to revamp any outdated materials and create fresh content to make you stand out in today's competitive market. With a little bit of effort, you can share materials that position you as an authority in your plan sponsor community, retain happy clients, capture more leads and boost your overall business.


Start looking into ways that you can update your content and design today - it will be worth it. At the end of the day, you (and your clients) will be glad you did. It is easier than you think to create a path to success if you have a clear game plan.



Thanks for reading!


[1] Plan Sponsor Attitudes. 13th Edition. Fidelity Investments. November 16, 2022.

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