The Elixir of Actionable Content


“The signal is the truth. The noise is what distracts us from the truth.” 

Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise

We all want the best outcomes for our clients. That’s why we do what we do. But in financial services today, given the vast amount of data that floods our screens on a 24/7, 365 basis, choosing what information to dismiss and what to focus upon is hard. And knowing which singular piece of information to act upon is becoming even harder.

There is too much content and much of it is useless. Consequently, we can no longer discern what is actionable and what should be dismissed. This is a problem, but it presents an opportunity. 

A lost link in the chain

The key to servicing clients is in knowing what information to base our actions upon. With large books to look after and demanding targets to meet, advising, selling and complying is becoming more difficult. Brokers, wealth managers and advisors are being squeezed for time and attention, which is affecting their productivity and performance. The ubiquity of information only complicates this picture.

In an ideal world - where some of us lived only a few years ago - insights were gleaned from a small pool of high quality content sources and presented as concise recommendations that we could forward to clients as advice. But that ideal has been eroded by two developments.

The volume of data we now have to assess and filter has multiplied as a result of the explosion in news, mobile technology, the internet and social media. Don’t get me wrong, data is crucial. Our industry thrives upon it. But being force-fed a neverending diet of data is harming our ability to distil high quality and impactful content from it.

As a result, the volume of content being distilled from data has multiplied, too. Like data, content is vital, as it links data to insights. But the vast wall of content that is now being produced by financial institutions is often low quality and without a clearly defined purpose. It clouds our ability to translate it into action and, thus, wastes clients’ time. And this is damaging. 

As the sheer amount of data and content has exponentially increased, the level of insight has plummeted. It’s become almost impossible to find actionable insights amongst the noise. And actionable insights are vital because they lead to investor action, which, in all markets, dictates collaboration, returns and profitable long term relationships between clients and advisors. Client lethargy (and worse still, apathy) will lead to dissatisfaction with your service as an advisor.

Technology and education mean that clients now have access to the same resources and analytics as advisors. This is a good thing. But it does mean that advisors have to be at the top of their game to sell products to counterparties. This means being able to derive action from content. Without being able to offer actionable insights, advisors will lose some of their value. 

Reconnecting the chain

We must not hastily dismiss the incredible advances that the explosion of data has had upon our industry. In an age of information overload, the size of the opportunity that data and content brings is greater than ever, too. We can now explore topics and narratives like never before. But what needs to improve is how we analyse and frame data, making it actionable for clients. 

Content - and the right type of content - can solve this challenge. The refinement of content into actionable content is the crucial link that will unlock investor action in a way never seen before. 

Clients are more sophisticated than ever. They no longer ask, “What’s an ETF?”. They ask, “Which one of 2,000 products is right for my wider portfolio in today’s market?”. Clients have outgrown the type of content that most banks continue to produce which is, at best, educational, and at worst, entirely useless. They want actionable content that can unlock transactions. 

The key for advisors in delivering answers to these tough questions is to provide links between topics gleaned from the mountain of available data with actual, real world trade and investment ideas. These ideas must be relevant, timely and highly bespoke, personalised for specific client needs. This is actionable content. As explained, it’s what clients now demand. 

Our solution

We live in an exciting age where every client question can be answered with data. In order to meet these needs, we must frame solutions by embracing tools that offer a specific investment angle and a call to action that is personal, relevant and valuable.  

Arkera offers this. Our platform tackles the challenge of data-overload, transforming the way that investors and advisors build investment narratives. Our app gathers huge volumes of data that reveal mindsets and behaviours, and uses AI to curate content that engineers a uniquely personal user experience. This leads to actionable insights that, in turn, leads to opportunities and growth. 

Distilling signal from noise is a great challenge for our industry, as it is for people everywhere. But it’s also an opportunity to offer clients a level of service that is truly exceptional in an industry where so much content is increasingly mundane and second rate. Arkera makes this level of service a possibility by providing you with actionable insights, deeper relationships and a significant competitive advantage.

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This article was created in association with Arkera, a revolutionary, AI-led app that connects real-world events to unique investment stories for your clients, giving them the confidence to invest more. 

Edward Playfair