American Financial Advisors (AFA) works with successful individuals, businesses and institutions to address a full range of investing and planning needs. AFA saw opportunity in the airline pilot segment of their target audience. They came to Think Agency for help and we saw an opportunity for AFA to set a new course.
Based on the initial discovery meetings with AFA's senior staff, we concluded that marketing coordination and lead generation tasks were diverting the attention of key staff away from their core business, in part due to SEC requirements. As a financial planner, AFA's distribution of content is regulated and must be reviewed by an approved independent third party before being distributed publicly. This process frequently slowed or even derailed marketing efforts.
Think Agency recommended an approach that would use the web site to streamline their compliance plan as well as eliminate manual steps in AFA's client acquisition process.
"We spent hours - sometimes days - trying to acquire new client information." recalls Matthew Boyce, AFA's Chief Financial Officer. "Now, prospective clients such as pilots can access their customized portal and submit their information instantly online. This pilot-focused strategy was a real boon to our client portfolio. Something that we couldn't have achieved without our new web site." Mr. Boyce estimates that the site played a major role, increasing AFA's client portfolio to more than 200 million dollars since its launch.
Further, mandatory steps required by the SEC were automated through a virtual approval system integrated into the Th!nkCMS™ - the backbone of the web site. This system not only ensures SEC compliance, but also allows AFA to roll site pages back to any prior state. "This was a real challenge," states Think Agency Vice President, Jerry Eisen. "The approval process had to work for multiple participants, each with different skill levels. We had to be sure that nothing went live without sign-off."
The system employs an email-based approval component as well as traditional roll-based access to the content management system. Each used in the process can either wait for email notifications which alert them about required actions - and provide a vehicle to process the request directly through the email itself - or simply login to a control panel and process pending approval requests.
Boasting online, centralized marketing tools including web site content management, compliance processing and audience-specific lead generation funnels, AFA's marketing plan is now flying high.