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Joint approach backed for effective marketing

IFAs and product providers agree that a unified approach is needed if financial products are to be marketed effectively to consumers.

At a Money Marketing round table meeting last week in conjunction with marketing agency Teamspirit, leading life companies backed IFA calls for a joint approach to sending out product information.

Intermediaries were particularly concerned over the time taken in completing separate fact-finds that required different client information because they were produced by different product providers.

Former Momentum head of marketing Sharon Mason called for product providers to focus on their brand when providing information to consumers but giving the specialist knowledge to intermediaries so they could decide which clients should be sold products.

Marketing experts from Prudential, Legal & General and Norwich Union acknowledged that more work could be done on providing IFAs with specialist knowledge.

But they highlighted the problem of a unified approach in that each provider wanted to have their own brand in the marketplace.

Guests at the round table discussion included Sesame marketing director Stuart Gisham, Punter Southall IFA director Geoff Tresman, Prudential director of distribution marketing Andy Lucas and Legal & General intermediary marketing director Karen Blatchford.

Equal Partners IFA Vivienne Starkey says: “What I really hate is when you have to spend hours with this material answering different questions for different providers.

Mason says: “It is the intermediaries that require the technical briefings and the specialist knowledge. You need to focus on branding when it comes to client. They need to differentiate. You need to get together and think about coming up with a joint approach.”

Norwich Union director of propositions Angela MacDonald says: “Increasingly, we are getting intermediaries coming to us and telling us what we can do to help them. They are asking for technical information. This is the way that we should be working together.”

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