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Dow Jones Takes New Crack at Content Marketing

By Thomas Coyle July 7, 2016

Media company Dow Jones is taking another stab at providing news-clipping services to financial advisors and their clients.

Ten years ago Dow Jones unveiled its Wealth Manager Web Services, which it described as “a revolutionary solution that enables financial firms to provide their advisors with reasons for personalized client contact integrated within the firms’ enterprise-wide client-service applications.”

The idea back then was to provide advisors “a stream of custom communication ideas by matching stories, articles and features from award-winning sources, including Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal, to client-specific interests and holdings,” according to a Dow Jones press release issued in September 2006.

Now Dow Jones has teamed up with content marketer Vestorly to “integrate exclusive, licensed content powered by Dow Jones, including The Wall Street Journal, with financial advisors’ email newsletters, websites and social media feeds.”

The idea is to enable financial advisors to “delight their clients with content they actually want,” says Justin Wisz, CEO and co-founder of four-year-old Vestorly, which provides digital content and analytics services to financial-service firms.

Justin Wisz

Wisz says financial advisors use Vestorly to store, review — he says “curate” — and share content through their websites and e-newsletters as well as through social media outlets like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, in mobile and desktop formats. The point is keep firms compliant while they keep clients interested and prompt them to pass the stuff — articles, videos, etc. — along to friends, family and co-workers as a means to generate sales leads.

Vestorly also lets advisors see how their network of contacts use and share the content.

In the face of competition from robo-advisors and other forms of automation, “advisors have to differentiate themselves more than ever,” says Wisz. “We offer one way to do that.”

Among Vestorly’s clients are Pershing, Lincoln Investment Planning and Dynasty Financial Partners, an investment and operations-infrastructure provider to independent RIAs. Early this year the startup took in $4.1 million in venture funding on top of $2 million in angel cash in garnered in 2015.

For marketing expert Joe Stallings, providing content is a great way for advisors to win and keep their clients’ loyalty — especially if comes directly from advisors.

“Clients want to know not only what is happening in the world but also what their advisors think about those events,” says Stalling, who runs the marketing consultancy OrangeAxis. But, he adds, “a weekly blog article or a monthly commentary will typically engage clients more than sharing a third-party news article.”

Still — given it’s a drain on time and resources and most FAs can’t write — Stallings considers Vestorly “a really good option for firms that want to get started with content marketing but don’t have the staff or budget to create original content.”

The partnership with Dow Jones looks like a winner, says Stallings, because Vestorly “by and large provides good value for the price” and Dow Jones’ “Wall Street Journal is obviously the standard bearer of financial journalism.”

The tie-in solves the problem of the Journal’s firewall, adds Stallings. FAs have long been “hesitant to share links to Wall Street Journal content with clients and prospects” because it’s considered bad form to send them into a security gate that may require buying a subscription to get through.

Dow Jones’ earlier foray into this market fizzled out within a few years.

Despite a long public relations windup — which included the formation of a Wealth Management Advisory Council, which, from late 2005 through 2007, opined on things like “High-Net-Worth Hurdles in 2006” and the need for “wealth preservation in 2008” — by early 2010 the publisher’s initial attempt to provide its content to advisors had just one taker, a sole-practitioner RIA.

But this time out Dow Jones is confident things will be different.

“The practice of sharing content to engage clients has really accelerated over the past several years,” London-based Andrew Robinson, Dow Jones’ communications chief for the company’s European, Middle Eastern and African region, writes in an email to FA-IQ.

“Our products in the past required FAs to supply information about each of their clients which surfaced issues with respect to data entry, workflow, and compliance,” adds Robinson. “Today, our Vestorly partnership employs artificial intelligence technology to understand what the FAs’ clients and prospects are most likely to find interesting and recommends those articles to the financial advisor, which we believe is an efficient and scalable approach.”