This is a long post so I appologize if it’s not appropriate but I would love feedback and maybe there are some quick wins.
I don’t have any answers just more questions and some food for thought. I will frame my analysis around customer life cycle management and the subscribers journey. The following article provides analysis for each stage and I have provided my own thoughts. There are many different frameworks to evaluate the customer journey so feel free to add what ever you want. This may not be the best way to analyze it but it highlights some issues. I hope you do the same type of analysis. This could be a complete waste of time and the only thing that matters is OS performance because in the end that’s all the matters but I think there is more to it. If you think there is more to it then please read and comment.
The potential subscriber is doing their research and comparing P123 against collective2 or any other subscriber based subscription and after they compare all the features of both via the internet and social media they decide P123 is for them. These are digital marketing processes which I am not an expert at and I am a long time user so I have major bias.
Questions during Reach:
- Is a designer model easy to find and how do we know?
- Is it the designers responsibility to do this or a joint effort?
The potential subscriber is now on the P123 site trying to get more educated and evaluating the designer models. This is not easy you need very good knowledge of trading and what KPI make a good trading system and after all of that there is a lot of faith in the designer. If the prospect has questions about P123 they will get answered in a reasonable time frame but if they have questions about a designer model it may take some time. There are some designers who don’t respond and this many or may not reflect badly on other designers. I’m sure there is a lot of opportunity during this stage but I am not an expert.
Questions during Acquisition:
- What is the profile of a subscriber?
- Is P123 setup to target these prospects?
- Is it the designers responsibility to target all potential subscribers?
This is where one click signup would help. It does not stop there each designer needs to ensure the subscriber is getting good value and has entered a relationship with the customer. This is not at all how the financial industry works. Even a financial advisor cannot guarantee success so what is the value proposition for the subscriber and what is the role of the designer? It cannot be use at your own risk but I feel it is today.
Questions during Conversion:
- What is the onboarding process from start to finish?
- What level of knowledge do I need to be successful. If you have no experience this is not for you.
- As a subscriber becomes a customer do they feel supported?
- Does the customer understand the value proposition of the designer model?
- What skills does a subscriber need to evaluate a model? This is very difficult you need to know how to evaluate a trading system with your trading style and profile.
Retention starts with finding out how the customer feels. This is a loaded question with a designer model. If the customer is making money they feel great but if they are losing money they hate you. Making it even more complicated some designer models lose money over many years. A good example of this was 2018-2020 most value based models underperformed while growth was beating the market. Retention is usually done with surveys and voice of customer. I don’t think any designer on P123 is doing this.
Questions around Retention:
- If a designer cares about customer retention how do they proactively retain there customers?
- Not every model performs well all the time so having a narrative that supports portfolio construction would help. This would require giving financial advice and designers cannot do that. So what if anything can be done?
Subsribers are an important asset to the Designers brand. Once this is destroyed it is very hard for it to comeback. A perfect example is the Designer graveyard. This is a very touchy subject because no one wants to call out designers who have curve fitted models that bomb OS. That being said I don’t see a lot of advocacy for the designer models that have beat the market over the last 5 years and have a good sharp ratio. I am guilty also since I have not recommended designer models to my friends. I tell them which ones I use but I never say use this model since I am not there financial advisor.
Questions on Loyalty:
- How is brand loyalty for a designer model nurtured and cultivated just like your grandfather who only drove a Buick?
- As a subscriber where can I post that a Designer is amazing and has met all my expectations?
- Why are designers not advertising how they have beat the market for over 5 years with a sharp ratio greater than 1? Would this not create loyalty?
If you were a financial advisor what model would you recommend for a client that you did not build yourself? Or if your not what model would you recommend for a friend?
Why do so few designers subscribe to other designer models? This is a big red flag. Does it come down to trust or does every designer think they can do it better?
How would you go about selecting a model, exiting a model and what are the considerations before you put up real money.
Your knowledge of trading needs to be very good in my opinion.
Your trading style? This is rarely mentioned in designer models but trading a microcap with 30 trades per month is very different than trading a large cap model with 5 trades per month.
What are the exit plans for a model when it stops working? A good example would be growth vs value last year. Or do you want to create a book of models and ride it out?
Out of the box ideas:
One of my ideas to create more subscribers is via live trading seminars. I participate in a few and find them very helpful. Just seeing how a pro sets up IB and executes trades is worth watching. Especially for option traders. A Video tutorial showing the basics like setting up and IB account to the more advanced topics like creating a book of different designer models and why each was selected. The topics are endless but so valuable.
Live trading seminars every Monday showing a simulated trading account on IB with a book of designer models. The meeting could review each model and if it is performing as expected. Last year would have been very hard depending on the models choosen.
Seminars on how to choose a designer model with an open forum would really stimulate conversation about the entire issue. This would be very interesting to see which models were selected and 5 years from now how they performed. Every year the subscribers could vote on which ones to add or drop.
Obviously someone has to take the time to do this and that is hard problem to solve. Just putting yourself out there on live video would take a lot of courage.
In conclusion I have not solved the low subscriber issue but I hope I have given some food for thought. The solution will involve P123, designers and subscribers being innovative, logical and honest with each other. Hopefully we can beat the market or why else are we doing this?
Thank you P123 all the designers and subscribers.