One thing is for sure; stock market volatility is here to stay. It is also safe to say, many investors are wondering when major market indexes, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ and S&P 500, will ever turn the corner. Year-to-date, the Dow Jones is down 3.6 percent and S&P 500 is off 7.7 percent, respectively (source: CNNMoney – 9-30-11). And if you remember anything about the past few years, you could probably guess that five-year returns for both indices are even worse.
While many investors are scrambling to flight-to-quality opportunities, market volatility (see Yahoo! volatility chart) creates several opportunities for investment firms, financial advisors and financial institutions to ramp-up marketing and public relations efforts. Many investors are uneasy and looking for advice, and now is the time for advisors and firms to position themselves as the go-to expert in this very uncertain market.
Granted, many advisors and firms are focused mostly on shoring up clients’ life savings and internal operations during volatile times. Nevertheless, financial planning professionals and firms can increase their visibility while offering sound investment advice to existing and prospective clients.
First, why not position an advisor or market strategist as the calm, educated voice of investment reason to the media? Business reporters are always looking for prompt and informative sources to be quoted on breaking news. The coverage will not only increase awareness and recognition, but it serves as a great way to merchandize an advisor’s or firm’s knowledge.
Another potential opportunity is to establish new channels of communication (such as frequent, quick client notes, investment snapshots, etc.) to share market news and strategies, company announcements and more. Depending on the focus, select media and prospective clients could be added to the distribution list. Other ideas include establishing a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to disseminate information to target audiences.
In closing, while volatile markets provide many marketing and public relations opportunities, it should not take major financial crises to find new ways to increase awareness and visibility. Building an advisor’s or firm’s brand and increasing recognition among target audiences should be evolutionary and strategic. Unfortunately, the real challenge that most encounter is making it a priority and remaining consistent. Will you?