Marketing in the most regulated industry on the planet – Financial Services

(Steve Holmes)
Co-founder and Director – Feedsy


Wouldn’t it be nice if compliant marketing worked like an appliance, and you could just turn it on?

Compliance is often bundled into the phrase “red tape” coupled with a few expletives, for some, it is a part of doing business and not an issue, for many, it’s a growth inhibitor.

Compliance “red tape” is often described as a necessary evil, a bit like paying tax or filling up your car with petrol. We must have it, it takes time, and we experience some pain.

As a business owner myself, I can certainly appreciate what it takes to run a business, but a Financial Adviser does so in one of the most, if not the most regulated industry on the planet. For this, I admire what you do, but Financial Services is also a world that I know.

I hear about things like; advice warnings, ASIC requirements, Licensee requirements, disclosure statements, opt-ins, FDS, shadow shoppers, compliance managers, service level agreements and compliance audits all the time.

I have been in financial services now for 30years, In-fact I started on the 11th of Feb 1987 with one of Australia’s largest licensees and became a small business owner in 2011 and 2012. During this time I have worked with more than 1000 advisers, 30+ compliance managers and licensees and I have loved and respected this industry, why? Because I know I can help people.

In my time in this industry I have witnessed proactive and reactive compliance education, in every instance when it’s proactive it’s a highly appreciated and a meaningful way of up-skilling people and maintaining professional standards. When compliance education is reactive, it can be too late, often destroying careers and placing a financial services licences or licensees at risk.

Most compliance mistakes happen when you are trying to do the right thing and help your client.

Having systems, process, audit trails, templates and a proactive compliance focus are all highly effective ways of meeting regulatory obligations.

It’s often expensive and perhaps hard to manage all of this. Some advisers have a great relationship with an outsourced compliance manager; some have a great relationship with their licensee’s compliance manager, some have a professional standards team to help them, all of whom are valuable to your business. After all, there is a very valuable financial services licence to protect.

When it comes to your marketing on a regular basis or getting something approved it adds another level of support. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could do that for you? When I say do that for you, I mean offer money back compliance guarantees, obtain that sign-off from your licensee for you and to manage and record all of your marketing activity so that you are not distracted from the core activities that generate an income for you.

OK, time for an analogy.

Imagine, you are driving a vehicle, it’s not what you do for a living, it’s just needed to do your job. In this vehicle your attention now turns to doing your actual job, taking calls, speaking with clients and answering emails, maybe even working on your iPad or laptop, pretty sure you are going to get distracted and run that red light and lose your license to operate that vehicle.

Now imagine another scenario where for a small fee you engage an outsourced solution where you can ride in that vehicle on a daily basis which delivers you to your destination while providing you the opportunity of giving 100% attention to your clients needs all while being compliant. That outsourced solution will also provide feedback on your journey, record where you have driven and provided a safe environment for you to thrive in your chosen profession. That time being driven around may also provide the opportunity to work on your business.

Too good to be true right?

What if I said there was a proven formula and service that:

  1. Checks the ASIC website for your Authorised Representative or licensee credentials.
  2. Works with your licensee to establish brand guidelines and professional standards.
  3. Someone who sends all proofs and templates direct to your compliance contact on your behalf.
  4. Provides your licensee with content and education for pre-approval of articles.
  5. Offers a 100% money back guarantee if your licensee does not approve Feedsy implementation.
  6. Ensures every piece of client communication that is shared socially, displayed or emailed contains the required wording and or links, such as the general advice warning, licensing disclosure, FSG, privacy policy, email opt-outs, etc.
  7. Sets up an email automation ecosystem to engage your clients in your brand every month, which adds significant value to your ongoing service proposition.
  8. Ensures you have the time to focus on your client while your marketing can look beautiful and highly compliant.

Compliant marketing can work like an appliance, you can just turn it on, and we can show you how for all communication mediums.


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Steve Holmes has written this article based on 30 years in the financial services industry and as a director of Feedsy.


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