Registered Investment Advisers (RIAs) have served the financial services industry for over 100 years. Often thought of as traditional and “safe”, the financial services industry doesn’t often come to mind when talking about SaaS and advanced tech. Vestorly, a Manhattan-based startup, is breathing life into this old industry by providing financial service professionals with a means to reach clients through an intelligent automated marketing platform. Previously, word of mouth was the main vehicle for sharing experiences with your RIA. Today, Vestorly is revolutionizing this process and is demonstrating that even professions like financial services can be cutting edge and progressive.
After working in the financial services industry for several years, CEO Justin Wisz started to understand there was an opportunity to revamp the way an industry communicates with consumers. He saw how financial professionals were unable to keep up with the rapidly changing digital media landscape and that the old practices of word of mouth weren’t cutting it anymore. Wisz’ platform allows RIAs to automate interactions with their clients and keep them up to date with real-time content in personalized emails, website updates, and social media feeds. Vestorly’s software, which combines AI with data collection and analysis, draws on content from all over the Internet and displays it in a consumer-friendly mobile-ready experience that even millennials can appreciate.
Like any young company, Vestorly has faced some obstacles in breaking into this space. According to Wisz, “building a breakthrough technology that delivers improvements by orders of magnitude is extremely challenging and requires immense effort to scale up.” Of course, attracting and retaining new clients is always one of the goals, especially given a business model that is predicated on a high velocity, subscription-based sales platform. Having a great sales and marketing team that understands the day-to-day concerns and obstacles of the clients is essential in effectively conveying what Vestorly has to offer. Knowing your market and your customers is the key to determining what their pain points are and then explaining how your product can remedy that pain.
When asked what he believed to be the best reasons for a client to buy the company’s product, Wisz asked three crucial questions. First, does the product reduce the amount of legwork for a company, whether it be marketing or otherwise, and make the client’s life easier? Secondly, does the product demonstrate a tangible return on investment for its users? Finally, is the product easy to use and do end consumers enjoy the product? These three guiding questions are a great starting point for any young company that is looking to bring a new product to market.
Vestorly’s team; a group of passionate, extremely hardworking, and flexible individuals, “observe, orient, decide, and act quickly.” They not only understand their users but are also flexible in that they are willing to change course even after months of working on something. It is this understanding and flexibility of the team as well as the effectiveness of the product that has allowed Vestorly to thrive and expand in this market.
Vestorly’s pleasing, user-friendly platform has also been one of the keys to its success in the traditional world of financial services. While the functionality is driven by advanced AI and algorithmic feedback loops, the user interface is attractive, simple to learn, and even fun to use. The results project a less staid and conservative image for financial services providers, providing a positive and more progressive image in the marketplace, and ultimately changing the way people perceive the financial service industry. This demonstrates how a fresh technology can bring positive change to a traditional marketplace. For entrepreneurs looking to enter into a well-established market, bringing in new and exciting tech that is technically sophisticated but fun and easy to use, can really have an effect on how that market is perceived going forward.
As is often the case with an effective, emerging technology created for a niche market, Wisz and his team have recognized that there are applications for their product beyond the financial services sector and across multiple business categories. As a result, Vestorly software is now actively addressing the marketing needs of an expanding array of clients across diverse industries and providing them with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This is an excellent example of an entrepreneurial enterprise successfully exploiting an opportunity within a relatively protected niche, before expanding beyond that niche in either product scope, target business sector, or in this case both.
According to Wisz, “Vestorly wants to reinvent the way the financial industry communicates.” They have certainly proven they have a passionate and flexible team, but, and I think most importantly, they have shown the audacity to enter into a market that many consider to be difficult and reshape that long-standing sentiment by introducing a technologically advanced product; one that is both easy to use and effective at developing new relationships and keeping clients informed. Let this be a lesson to those who dismiss the idea of entering into old and well-established industry: there are opportunities out there; you just need to know where to look.
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