View more on these topics

Phil Bray: Three reasons to include directories in your marketing strategy

Bray-PhilLove them or loathe them, directories are an important resource for advisers

Active versus passive, fixed versus ad valorem fees, independent versus restricted; our profession is plagued by seemingly unresolvable debates. We can add adviser directories to that list. The market is dominated by Unbiased and VouchedFor, while AdviserBook is the young pup snapping at their heels.

Advisers and planners seem to be broadly split between the love and loathe camps.

Despite the debate, we believe there are three key reasons why most firms should include directories within their marketing strategies. Before we get to that though, note the use of “include” and “strategy”.

We would never recommend relying on the directories to create every new enquiry that your business needs.

Neither should you overlook the importance of strategy or referrals, which are always the best type of new client.

We also acknowledge that the directories are not perfect. In fact, if I were in charge, there’s a lot I’d change. But I’m not, so we need to work with what we’ve got.

Phil Bray: The secret to spending less on marketing

Frustrations aside, all the evidence we’ve seen leads us to conclude that directories should be used to complement your other marketing activity. Here are the reasons why:

1. Their reach and profile
The directories are powerful forces, with a significant number of consumers using them to find professional advice.

Indeed, in some locations, the combined search volumes of the three are greater than that of Google.

Furthermore, they are often quoted in the personal finance press, provider communications and wake-up packs. They rank well on search engines too.

There’s no doubt all three directories work hard to connect consumers with advisers and planners. The more cynical among us would say that’s how they get paid (AdviserBook excepted, which is currently free), and they’d be right. However, by meeting their own needs and those of consumers, they enable advisers and planners to enjoy an additional source of enquiries.

2. Return on investment
All the figures we’ve seen show that the directories provide a significant return on investment.

Sure, not every enquiry will turn out to be a perfect client, but take the rough with the smooth, considering returns over a prolonged period, and you’re more likely than not to be pleased. We should acknowledge that there are rare occasions when directories might work less well, for example where you work in a very tight niche. They are also less effective in rural and less densely populated areas.

3. Ancillary benefits
The most obvious reason for subscribing to directories is the opportunity to generate new clients. There are many other less obvious benefits though, including:

  • Helping you to dominate the first page of the results following a brand search;
  • Directing enquiries from consumers who have seen your profile, but then visit your website to find out more and make contact from there;
  • The reputational tools provided by VouchedFor.

Phil Bray: Six myths that will hold back your marketing

I know there will still be many who say that directories do not work for them, or who cancel their subscriptions because they are unhappy about them in some other way.

However, for most advisers and planners, they will work. Just remember:

  • Not to judge the directories on short-term results. There is a temptation to leap to conclusions based on the quality of your last enquiry; in reality, they are never that good or that bad;
  • To put the effort in. All too often, the advisers and planners who grumble about the returns are the ones who don’t update their profile. This isn’t a once-and-done job;
  • To take a pragmatic approach. As we have said, the directories are not perfect, but over time, if used correctly, you should be happy with the returns.

Phil Bray is director of The Yardstick Agency


SimplyBiz expands DB transfer referral panel

SimplyBiz has added independent firm Onvestor to its defined benefit pension transfer referral panel. According to the firm, the panel offers solutions to advisers who do not operate in the defined benefits transfer market, however, are required to meet the needs of their clients. The panel is part of the firm’s ‘SimplyRefer’ proposition, which includes […]

Tony Byrne: The necessity of minimum advice fees

The increasing burden of red tape has left advice firms struggling to service clients with smaller amounts, so they need to draw the line somewhere. What I have learned during my 30+ years in financial planning is that the goalposts are constantly changing and you have to keep adapting, otherwise you will get left behind. […]

Royal London Asset Management

Quick start guide to the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD)

Ross Jackson, Senior Protection Marketing Manager, Royal London The Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) came into force in October 2018 and introduced a number of new obligations that firms involved in the designing and selling of insurance products need to meet. The aim of this EU legislation is to enhance consumer protection when buying insurance and […]


Hammond warns no deal will ‘knowingly damage’ economy

Backing a no deal Brexit would “knowingly damage” the economy, chancellor Philip Hammond will warn in a speech to business leaders today. Hammond will use the platform at the Confederation of British Industry to criticise those pushing a for a clean break with the EU, saying they would be doing deliberate damage to the UK […]

Craig Inches – thoughts on how to preserve capital and generate income in an inflationary environment

In this short video, Craig Inches, head of short rates and cash at Royal London Asset Management, offers his thoughts on how to preserve capital and generate income in an inflationary environment. Watch the video in full The value of investments and the income from them is not guaranteed and may go down as well […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm