Advisors now spend 23 hours per week on the Internet visiting industry and fund manager websites as well as social networking, according to a new survey by kasina, a consulting firm in New York City.

“Advisors really are incorporating the Internet into what they do in the week. It’s not that they’re either on the Web or they’re with clients; they’re reading The Wall Street Journal and emailing clients and asset managers,” says Lee Kowarski, principal at kasina. “We found that advisors with more assets spend more time on the Internet because it makes them more effective.”

Beside their computers, 54% of advisors use mobile devices to access work-related information outside of email, and 23% of advisors plan to do so in the next year. Some 71% of advisors say they make product decisions based on the websites they visit.

Almost all advisors, 94%, regularly visit their firm’s intranet. “This shows there’s a need for asset managers to provide information to advisors via their intranets as well as through their own websites,” Kowarski says. Second on the list, 85% of advisors visit asset managers’ sites at least occasionally.

While they’re happy to forage for information, though, many advisors don’t like proactivity from their information sources. At 55%, over half of advisors say they’re getting too much email from asset managers—advisors receive eight emails on average per day in total. “Some are comfortable with it, but other advisors feel like they’re getting spammed,” Kowarski says. “From our qualitative research, advisors say many of the emails they receive aren’t personalized or even targeted. If an email helps them with client communications that’s helpful, but many advisors are turned off by mass communications.”

"The key message is that advisors care a lot what assets managers provide online and it impacts who they do business with,” Kowarski says. “However, advisors have less appetite for email, so the lesson for asset managers is to get their content wherever advisors visit—their intranets and asset managers’ websites. Advisors are looking for content they can share with each other and with their clients.”


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