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​“We deliver a completely personalized experience to every one of our clients,” says the head of advisory services of every wealth management company.  But is this really true?  Is it “Build a Bear” service or just the same teddy bear with a different name?

Content in context is a catchy phrase these days, and for good reason: delivering the right message at the right time leads to a stronger client relationship and, ultimately, more managed assets.  But what exactly does it mean?

Content is the what.  Whether it’s prospecting, investment reviews, cross sell case studies or one-off collateral describing new product offerings, content is the stuff that your advisors show clients.  It takes the form of PowerPoint, PDF, Word, video, audio and email.  It’s the stuffing, fur, button eyes and other raw materials for your bear.

Context is the who and the when. Who a client is takes a bit of work to uncover—not just their name, but their assets and financial goals, specific to their family situation.

Tracking all of that information in a CRM, like Salesforce.com, has been a “must-do” for several years now because centralizing client information increases efficiency of prospecting, accessing client holdings and generating reports on advisor performance.  Getting the valuable data that is housed in your CRM system into client-facing content is its own challenge, of course (but one that our customers no longer struggle with).

The “when” of a client—meaning their location along the customer lifecycle curve—is a critical component of delivering a contextually relevant experience.  At what point during the client relationship do you deliver an upsell opportunity?  How many times do they need to see the “About Us” slide at the beginning before we move away from that in our prospecting presentation?

So context is a combination of building a bear that is unique to your client and giving it to them at the time that will make them most delighted.  Delivering high value content in the right context is the recipe for loyal customers with a high NPS.

Talking about delivering content in context is one thing, but delivering a customer experience that never deviates from that phrase is another thing.

Have your advisors ever said to prospects, “This slide isn’t for you—just ignore that.”

Or to clients, “I’ll have to get back to you to show you how the changes we discussed will impact the financial plan.”

It’s time that wealth managers stopped paying lip service to the notion of content in context and start delivering on it.  The ones that do will win more clients and keep them happier.  And there will be a lot of different looking teddy bears to show for it.