HomePrivate WealthArticlesHow To Educate Advisors Amid The SEC’s New Marketing Rule

How To Educate Advisors Amid The SEC’s New Marketing Rule

Matt Seitz is the chief marketing officer and a partner at C2P Enterprises, an RIA powered by investment, insurance and training platforms, as well as for JL Smith Wealth & Tax Planning. He has over 15 years of marketing and sales experience in the professional services, financial services and accounting industries. His professional philosophy is grounded in relationship marketing, focusing on customer service and satisfaction through data-driven marketing plans with clear ROI.

Russ Alan Prince: C2P was founded to transform the financial services industry through thought leadership and education. Tell us about C2P and how you specifically work as a mentor to advisors looking for sales and marketing assistance.

Matt Seitz: Our purpose at C2P is to educate, train, grow and support holistic financial advisors so families can achieve true prosperity. We accomplish this by simplifying the financial planning process for advisors and the clients they serve. We were built by top advisors for other top advisors with a growth mindset to offer education, training, resources and tools to meet their client’s unique financial situations, along with access to an array of investment and insurance vehicles to help accomplish their goals. 

We believe that education and mentorship go hand-in-hand since each so often tends to form the basis of the other. After all, how can you share knowledge you don’t have? As such, we are committed to promoting a collaborative ecosystem that values and shares information amongst its members because we understand that the better educated our organization and the individual advisors within it are, the better off the end client will be. That is the power of our mastermind group.

In my role as a mentor, I work directly with advisors to cultivate and implement data-driven marketing plans that have a clear ROI. The key is to help them understand the connectivity of their marketing and sales processes. The strategies I have helped advisors implement within their own practices have helped them streamline their marketing-sales funnels, spearhead digital growth, reinforce brand identities and develop content marketing campaigns to drive leads through a sales funnel. Most recently, I have worked alongside advisors to help them embrace the SEC’s new marketing rule so that they can further build their credibility in today’s digital era.

Prince: When the SEC passed the “Modernized Marketing Rule,” it updated the way in which financial advisors can advertise and communicate with clients and prospects for the first time in 60 years. How did you use this as an opportunity to help educate advisors?

Matt Seitz: While many in the industry have been excited about the SEC’s new marketing rule, very few know where to start. As early advocates, we were well prepared for the implementation and took an innovative approach to embrace the changes up front. We realized the fundamental shift something like this would have for our advisors, so we got to work developing educational resources and tools for them to utilize.

We developed a seminar and ebook that educates financial planners on the new rules and highlights how to enhance one’s advertising using compliant marketing tactics under the updated SEC regulatory framework. Through these two resources, advisors can gain guidance on important details like potential pros and cons of the rule, selecting and soliciting client feedback, important disclosures to note, how to avoid fines, general best practices and the overall impact the change could have on one’s practice.

When it comes to compliantly including testimonials and endorsements in one’s marketing, I also wanted to develop a straightforward process for advisors to follow. So, we developed four questions for each advisor to consider when highlighting a testimonial:

  1. Was there compensation paid?
  2. What was the date of the review?
  3. Is this a current client?
  4. Are there any conflicts of interest? (I.e., are they relatives for example)

Prince: What do you see in the coming years regarding marketing for advisors? Can we expect further “modernization” of current industry rules and regulations?

Matt Seitz: It may have taken six decades for the SEC to modernize advertising rules, but I don’t think it will be another six decades before we could see other substantial rule changes—especially considering we haven’t really had enough time to gauge the full impact of these new rules given how recently implemented they are.

Regardless, I believe that going forward, advisors and their internal marketing teams will need to be open to negotiating with compliance. Working together will allow the industry to continue to evolve, so advisors shouldn’t be afraid to ask to try something new and should avoid the knee-jerk reaction that “compliance will never let me.” New ideas can seem risky, but they often lead to opportunities not otherwise afforded, and the only way to know if something will succeed is to try.

Russ Alan Prince is the executive director of Private Wealth magazine and chief content officer for High-Net-Worth Genius. He consults with family offices, the wealthy, fast-tracking entrepreneurs and select professionals.


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