Earlier this year we began working with Cover to shed some light on the views of the UK’s protection advisers – focusing on what they felt were the key challenges facing them in 2017.
Together, Cover and Aviva gathered almost 300 responses, and as a result I’m pleased to be able to bring you the highlights of the ‘Adviser view’ for 2017.
Here’s a look at what I consider to be some of the key themes from the results:
Optimism for 2017
48% of respondents feel more or much more optimistic about their prospects for growth in 2017 than at the same point last year
Perhaps one the most striking themes from the survey is that of optimism and relatively low concern for what are considered to be factors of ‘uncertainty’ in the wider business environment this year. Granted this was before the call of the snap election, but with 48% feeling more or much more optimistic about growth in 2017 vs 2016 this certainly indicated a buoyant mood within the market. A mood that doesn’t even appear to be dampened by the prospect of Brexit, which scores only 2 out 10 in terms of the expected negative impact.
Marketing is the key
Marketing was a key theme identified as being a skills gap, key challenge and target for investment
With such optimism for growth, it should come as no surprise to see marketing featuring so prominently in a number of question areas. The results seem to point to the fact many advisers are aware they need to further invest in marketing skills and address the challenges presented the growth of digital marketing in particular.
This is certainly an area that we at Aviva are keen to support advisers in, and will be launching our very own ‘Marketing Mentor’ resources soon. I look forward to sharing more details of this in the near future.
One wish... less paperwork, less compliance, more time.
The final theme I wanted to highlight comes from the last question in the survey asking what advisers would wish for to help them to improve their enjoyment of the job. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of the answers focused on a theme of time, and having more of it – generally by reducing admin and regulation.
This is something that we’re focused on supporting advisers with, and we continue to invest in our online trading platform (ALPS) to ensure we provide a fast and efficient service – and by backing initiatives such as iGPR. We know there’s more that can be done, and we’ll continue to support you to spend more time helping more clients.
Listening to the views of advisers in the market is a fundamental part of our strategy. I hope you’ve found these results interesting and we look forward to engaging with more initiatives like this in the future.
Head of Protection Distribution