IFA Promotion is ceasing to run its corporate schemes with Yellow Pages and Thomsons local directories from December 2005, and will continue to shift its marketing focus online.
Online requests for details of local IFAs have soared to outnumber traditional referral sources four-fold.
IFAP members can still advertise in these directories in their own right but David Elms, chief executive of IFAP, is urging members to assess marketing plans for the year ahead and prioritise online promotion over more traditional routes.
Elms says: IFAP has put half a million consumers and businesses in touch with local IFAs over the last twelve months and more than eight out of ten of these requests are conducted online. The internet has become the research tool of choice and our members would be mistaken not to factor this in to their marketing plans for the year ahead.
IFAP launched its online marketing package in September 2004, offering members a tool to enhance their individual online search entry, making it stand out to potential new clients. This has already secured 30% more subscribers than IFAP has for the Yellow Pages and Thomsons corporate schemes combined.
In order to generate high numbers of quality online leads for its members IFAP runs a full online marketing campaign on behalf of members. Activity includes running white label versions of its find an IFA search tool on 50 high profile partner websites such as MSN, Tiscali and newspapers online money channels.
Optimising its websites www.unbiased.co.uk and www.impartial.co.uk provide high natural search engine rankings, maintaining a high profile search engine advertising campaign and is constantly evolving its online strategies across all its marketing.
Elms adds: With 2,000 member IFAs subscribing to IFAPs online marketing package and recognising the value of marketing themselves online, the argument for upping the anti on this is getting ever stronger.
Our decision to cease the schemes we have been running with the more traditional directories enables us to use this budget more effectively elsewhere, and ensures we are promoting the benefits of independent financial advice and IFAs in channels that maximise profile and lead generation and ultimately, business for our members and sponsors.