Platform Point
Will Google be able to locate your IFA business?
Shri Harsha K, Head - Digital Platforms, Axis MF

Following his first thought-leading article on the importance of personalizing your online presence just as you strive to in the offline world, Harsha takes us into the way Google is going to modify its search criteria and recommends that IFAs quickly adopt a mobile-first strategy to remain "search friendly" for investors browsing on their mobile phones. Harsha gives you 3 specific takeaways for you to implement in your web strategy to maximize the online opportunity.

Continuing further with my conversation about significance of customising digital experience for IFAs clients. In case you missed my previous article In today's section let's look at the "digital touch points" of IFA's clients. This is relevant in client engagement strategy. IFAs can enhance their visibility if these digital touch points are effective, in other words relevant multi-touch points helps better customer engagement. This may also aid IFAs to solicit new clients and strengthen the quality of client relationships.

Analyse these three data points on internet and mobile data usage in India.

  1. As per Industry sources, per capita of mobile data usage1 in India is set to increase in FY18 to 1250MB up from 600MB in FY16 and projected 900MB in FY17.

  2. As per StatCounter Global Stats usage pattern of Desktop vs Mobile vs Tablet Market Share in India mobile is 79%, 20% and tablet 1%. I was curious to know the usage statistics before demonetisation, however it's worthy to note that the mobile usage started increasing from August 2016.

  3. Last week in one of the marketing and media technology event - Ad:Tech2 2017, Gurgaon one of the speakers mentioned "In Mature Internet Markets, users spend 55% of online time on non-social & non-search activities" i believe, this is a very insightful one.

What does these three data points signify to IFAs?


IFAs ought to have their presence on their client's mobile device. Mobile should be part of IFA's proposition. IFAs immediate reaction - should i launch an App? Mobile-first isn't about mobile app. Its "zooming-in" on the users and what they are trying to do. It's how they process the information and use it on their mobile phone due to limited screen real estate. In a traditional desktop website, many menu bars are displayed with different choices. If client accesses the desktop website on his/her phone it will be a very tiresome experience. Most of the IFAs have signed up for a standard website/standard template which doesn't offer great experience.

IFA ought to have a "mobile responsive" website. This demonstrates that you are focussed on client's user experience. IFAs have to just focus on two or three tasks which are regularly used by their clients and offer it on their mobile responsive website. Its menu bar has to fewer choice and should be outcome oriented. IFAs should display focussed content. For instance, If an IFA has been positioning STP as a great wealth creation tool, then it should highlight only STP rather than all the choices of MF schemes. Too many images, graphs and product brochures drags down the experience. IFAs need to specifically ask their service provider to make their website mobile-responsive and instruct them to offer only core features. This will immensely improve the website performance in other words site speed will improve.

From IFA's point of view - client's "first point" of contact should be the IFA. Human touch point is a very crucial in financial advisory business. However, as data suggests that there is a high probability that client may be spending more time on their mobile phone, why not IFAs should leverage this for client engagement? IFA's digital presence can augment their business.


While all IFAs track markets and mutual fund performance meticulously. My question to IFA friends do they track and monitor their digital touch-points? Metrics like average session duration/average page time. How many users are new and how many are returning back to your website? Its high time IFAs should start tracking analytics of their digital offering and digital communication. May IFAs can spend an hour once in a quarter to observe these in Search engine Analytics or customised tools.

Let me share another example - IFAs generally email newsletter/market reports to their clients on a regular basis. How many % of their clients read these reports on a consistent basis? IFAs can use "Shortened URL services" and start tracking clicks. IFAs will be able to accurately understand the type of reports which are consumed by their clients. They can also subscribe for B2B intelligent software tools like file/pdf trackers. IFAs need to go beyond standard reports shared by website service providers to get an accurate picture. Most of these B2B analytics tools offer trial period to test the performance and later on IFAs can buy it. Let me clarify, i am not overwhelming IFAs to buy an expensive CRM softwares but niche ones/function specific. These digital points will certainly IFAs can leverage their presence in digital adoption in India.

If an IFA chooses to ignore mobile-first strategy then Google may ignore his/her IFAs business. Google is planning to launch mobile first search index3. It is changing the way it assesses websites - by keeping results not only relevant to the subject of the search, but to the actual device being used. In the past, Google crawled IFAs site as a desktop user. Now, however, Google will crawl your site as a mobile user. IFAs have to make use of this shift by Google to mobile-first.

To summarise, three takeaways for IFAs to help their business.

IFAs who own a website IFAs who don't own a website using third party software providers
Instruct the website service provider to make their website a mobile-responsive one Those sections/features used by investors regularly has to be made mobile-responsive
Service provider to include IFA's Website in Google Analytics basic version. Share this report to IFAs on a quarterly basis. IFAs should ask their service provide to share clicks and the usage behaviour metrics reports.
Use file/pdf trackers and Shortened URL services to track newsletters and market reports Software provide gives usage metrics of CRM.


  1. Per capita of mobile data usage - Parimal Nathwani @mpparimal (Twitter)
  2. Ad:Tech 2017 @Timesinternet (Twitter)
  3. About Google Mobile First Search Index:

Disclaimer: The content of the article are generic in nature and does not represents views of Axis Asset Management Company Ltd. (Axis AMC). Reference to platforms or applications are just to explain the concepts of systems and are for illustration purpose only. No representation or warranty is made as to the accuracy, completeness or fairness of the information and opinions contained herein.

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