Use these tips to help you navigate and survive in this challenging environment.
1. Accept that change is inevitable
It might be tempting to hope the challenges of digital disruption will abate, but all signs suggest disruption will be the new normal. Society is now digital, and the web and smartphones are intrinsic parts of modern life. These factors will not change, and they have already changed the people that use them. Their impact will be greater still for those generations who have never known anything different, and these younger generations will someday be your customers. So learning to adapt now will place you in a better stance today to predict and plan for the changes that will become reality tomorrow.
2. Watch other industries
Digital disruption has already taken place in other sectors, such as book and music retailing. While they might seem a world away from financial advice, they still involve a brand marketing a service to a client whose behaviour and expectations are significantly different to what they were two decades ago. The best opportunity to profit from disruption is to understand the mistakes of other sectors and avoid repeating them. For instance, while selling of traditional books is in decline, sales of books through electronic reading devices is growing. Therefore, would communicating with your clients through different channels be appropriate?
3. Be curious about your own industry
No one can know the future, but it is possible to extrapolate possibilities based on current observations. While robo-advice might be responsible for a tiny fraction of funds under management today, it is growing, and can be assumed to play a bigger role in the future. As with all technology, it is also likely to become both more sophisticated and cheaper over time. Study emerging technologies and models within your industry and ask what would happen if these went mainstream, and what opportunities might they unlock?