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AdviceTech.LIVE: Summarizing of the Future of FinTech

September 2, 2020 Matt Nollman By Matt Nollman

Digital events are tough to get right. AdviceTech.LIVE was right.

Digital events are meant to bridge the gap until in-person events make a comeback. But most COVID era events have been in test mode. AdviceTech.LIVE met the challenge and has been the best FinTech digital event of the year, if not ever.

Why? Two things.

The experience and the cause.

Experience wins. Not only was the speaker line-up top-notch – and featured 20+ CEOs and senior executives at the companies developing the future of FinTech – but the format was highly engaging. All the speakers were 100% live. And it made a difference.

The cause: Half the revenue from the event went to support the Center for Financial Planning Diversity & Inclusion. Every person and company that participated is proud to contribute to an event that lives this mission. Diversity is the key to developing our industry. And we all know it.

The main event

All FinTech partners who participated each pitched their solution for 4 minutes. No one went over. These pitches were followed by a panel discussion. Advisor Marketing Tech and CRM Solutions kicked off the day. Then we dove into Financial Planning, Portfolio Management and Practice Multipliers.

My 3 key takeaways

1: Advisor Marketing Tech

The Advisor Marketing Tech panel is something I’m personally passionate about. Megan Carpenter, CEO of FiComm, did a phenomenal job leading an expert-filled panel, which included Robert Sofia – CEO of Snappy Kraken, Samantha Russell – CMO and Business Development Officer at Twenty Over Ten, Kevin Mulhern, CEO at AdvisorStream, and Dave Christensen, Chief Product Officer at FMG Suite.

The main point I learned (well, confirmed) is that there’s no magic pill for marketing. It’s about personalizing your content and communication as much as you can without going overboard so the message resonates. While there is automation you can and should be leveraging, marketing takes commitment and cadence. Give it the time it needs to thrive.

2: CRM Solutions

This was one honest panel. The quote of the day from Kathy Crowley was “the best CRM solution is the one that you’re going to use.” This stuck out to all of us at LifeYield. In the end, it doesn’t come down to features and benefits. It comes down to which solution is the easiest for you to use and the best fit for your workflow. It’s that simple.

This panel featured Brian McLaughlin, CEO of Redtail Technology, Kathy Crowley, Business Development at Junxure, Adrian Johnstone, Co-founder at Practifi, and Steve Carroll, Head of Product at Wealthbox – and was one of my favorites of the day. Each of these tools helps cohorts of advisors manage their business more efficiently. And the impact of quality CRM technology on our industry is clear.

3: Practice Multipliers

Bringing it back to the first point I made in this post: Experience wins. This panel was full of leaders that believe this mantra. Aaron Klein, CEO of Riskalyze, Corey Westphal, CEO of Mobile Assistant, Abby Schneiderman, Co-CEO of Everplans, and LifeYield’s own EVP of Advisor Success, Steve Zuschin were led by Marguerita Cheng, CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth for a debate-style discussion on how each solution is propelling advisors forward.

Each solution addresses key pains for advisors. And they all solve the problem in a way native to the workflow of advisors. This is crucial. Many advisors purchase a solution and think it’s going to magically solve all their problems. It’s not. Unless you either:

  1. Invest the time it takes to set it up correctly, or
  2. Buy something that easily fits into your current workflow/process

When it comes to “practice multipliers”, it’s about the experience for both the advisor and the client. These solutions need to make an advisor’s life easier and their processes more efficient, while not being disruptive to how they run their business.

And when it comes to the client, the output of each solution needs to be easy for the client to understand and use. When a solution is too complicated for the client to understand, it loses half its value.

Wrapping it all up

Gavin Spitzner posted a reflection on LinkedIn that mentioned how little a vendor’s full feature set is actually used. Most advisors purchase a solution and use only 10-20% of its functionality. The solution solved their problem, so why would they spend time exploring other inapplicable parts of the tool?

Let’s avoid this “race to average” by tightening our integrations and forming deeper partnerships. If everyone in our industry tries to be everything, we’ll end up with too many suites full of features that are a mile wide and a foot deep. If all FinTech solutions double down on their core functionality and dive deeper into the specific problems they solve for the advisor community, we will all be better for it. And the advisor experience will thrive.

Matt is the VP of Marketing at LifeYield. He has deep experience running marketing automation platforms, managing social media, creating engaging content and coordinating multi-channel digital experiences for tech and financial services companies. He writes about personal branding and marketing strategies for advisors that help them attract prospects and retain clients.