Advisers can beat out firms like Fidelity with this marketing approach

by Ryan W. Neal, InvestmentNews

Independent advisers may not have the budgets to match what a company like Fidelity Investments can spend on advertising, but they can take advantage of what may be an even more effective tool for generating business leads for them — using paid search engine results. They just have to get a little creative.

According to research from Kantar Media, a firm that measures advertising across media, Fidelity led the way in spending on television ads from Oct. 24 to Jan. 21, costing the firm about $11.7 million. Following Fidelity was Pacific Life and Voya Financial, which spent $7.3 million and $6.5 million, respectively, to air their brands on TV.

Yet these same firms aren't doing particularly well when it comes to sponsored search.

Kantar Media tracked clicks to advertised Google results of 65 keywords that are relevant to the financial planning and retirement industry.

On mobile searches, Fidelity earned 3.4% of clicks for those terms, good enough for eighth place, according to Kantar Media data. The firm only earned 2.0% of desktop search traffic, ranking the investments behemoth number 11.

Pacific Life and Voya Financial didn't crack the top 20.

While TV ads can generate brand awareness, influence consumer sentiment and educate about new services, paid search can be more effective, and certainly cheaper, at generating business leads, said Jim Leichenko, Kantar Media's director of marketing.

"Unless you're a large company, television is not really an option because of the sheer cost," Mr. Leichenko said."There is not a large barrier to compete in paid search."

Read the full article from InvestmentNews

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