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SRI 220 — Retirement Marketing and Business Acquisition

Course Type: Highly Interactive Online Course
Topics: Financial Services & Financial Planning, Marketing & Business Acquisition, Operations & Administration
Designations: ASRI, FSRI
Language: English


This highly interactive online course introduces the companies and individuals involved in retirement marketing and takes learners through the general steps in the business acquisition process for both institutional and retail markets, with a primary focus on technical design and distribution strategies. The course will also examine strategic marketing issues such as government policies, consumer behaviors, and economic conditions.

This course is currently under development, with availability projected for 2015. 


  • Marketing and Installation Activities that Bring Assets into the Institution
  • Retirement Marketplace Roles and Marketing Function Overview
  • Retirement Savings and Income Product/Plan Design, Development, and Product Implementation (Retail and Retirement Plans)
  • Sales and Distribution Concepts and Sales Support
    ◦Distribution Channels, Sales Process, Sales Compensation—Retail Markets
    ◦Sales and Business Acquisition Activities for Retirement Plans
  • Measuring Marketing Success: Market Analysis, Competitive Analysis


Chapter 1: Overview of Retirement Marketing Concepts

Market segments: Types of markets (individual/retail and institutional), distinctive characteristics/needs/expectations

Market stakeholders: Product/plan providers, product/plan purchasers (retail and institutional), service providers (financial advisors/consultants, asset managers, record keepers)

Product planning: Steps in the product planning process: idea generation, screening, concept development, comprehensive business analysis

Categories of retirement products/plans: qualified/non-qualified plans, DB/DC plans

Forces that impact retirement marketing: regulatory requirements, competition, technological advances/changes, applications of data analytics in retirement marketing (direct marketing, cross-selling, customer relationship management, risk management)

Chapter 2: The Customer: Needs, Behaviors, and Relationships

The retail and institutional purchase decision process: need recognition, information search, pre-purchase evaluation, purchase, post-purchase evaluation

How relevant stakeholders participate in the purchase decision process for retail and institutional customers and the participation decision process for sponsor company employees

How relevant stakeholders create, enhance, maintain, and manage customer relationships

Chapter 3: Market Selection and Positioning

Market segmentation: bases for segmenting retail markets, bases for segmenting institutional markets

Target marketing: evaluation criteria, strategies

Adjusting strategies to meet changes in market conditions


Chapter 4: Retirement Product/Plan Design for Institutional Markets

The steps in the product development process: comprehensive business analysis; technical product design; product introduction/implementation; monitoring, evaluation, and feedback

Technical features of institutional plan design: benefits, funding, risks specific to institutional pricing,

Distinctive features of qualified/non-qualified plans and DB/DC plans

Regulatory compliance for institutional retirement plans: ERISA requirements, SEC requirements, DOL requirements

The impact of plan sponsor’s needs (required pension funding, pension buyouts, profit sharing and deferred compensation) on institutional plan design

Chapter 5: Retirement Product Design for Retail Markets

The product design process for retail products and small business plans (SEPs, SIMPLEs, SARSEPs, and Keoghs)

Technical features of retail retirement products: product profitability, risks

Regulatory compliance for retail retirement products design: impact of potential government actions, such as the creation of a new MyRA account

Distinctions between retail product design/development and institutional product design/development


Chapter 6: The Role of Promotion in Retirement Sales

Promotion tools and strategies for institutional/retail business: establishing and maintaining brand; recruiting financial sales representatives, educating customers

Integrated marketing communications

Chapter 7: Retirement Plan Sales and Installation in Institutional Markets (may be combined with Chapter 8)

The RFP process: RFP structure/content, RFP submission, producer company response, screening, presentation, provider selection/sales negotiations

Factors affecting provider/plan selection: sponsor type, corporate culture, employee characteristics, plan objectives

The role of benefits consultants, advisors, and administrators in the sales process and how each is compensated

Plan installation: participant enrollment, administrative/record-keeping/communication systems set-up – up to the point where the process is handed off to plan administrators

Plan providers’ communications: educating plan participants and plan sponsors to maintain customer relationships and “resell” the plan each year

Compliance and other regulatory issues for institutional retirement plan sales: fiduciary responsibility, due diligence

Chapter 8: Retirement Product Sales and Implementation in Retail Markets

The steps in the personal sales process: prospecting, needs analysis, sales proposal, presentation, closing the sale

Different types of financial professionals in the retail retirement market and how they are compensated

Ethical sales behaviors

Product implementation: designing promotion and training materials, creating product disclosures and customer communications, putting necessary support elements in place

Compliance and other regulatory issues related to retail retirement product sales

Chapter 9: Distribution Strategies for Retirement Markets

Channel options: direct and intermediary

Interrelationships among channels

Benefits/disadvantages of channel options

Strategies for determining appropriate distribution intensity

Managing distribution channels to avoid channel conflict


Chapter 10: Measuring Customer Value in Retirement Markets

Value of customer satisfaction efforts: price sensitivity, profit margins, revenues, new business, customer value, customer relationships, customer defection

Determinants of customer satisfaction/retention/loyalty: satisfaction surveys, customer correspondence records, new business/expanded sales

Chapter 11: Performance Measures in Retirement Markets

Marketing function success: brand image, brand equity, brand loyalty

Provider product/plan performance: profitability, risk tolerance levels, revenues, potential for improvement

Sponsor company product/plan performance: costs, participation rates, salary deferrals, account balances, sponsor contribution levels

Overall company/product success: return on investment

Sales/marketing success: revenues

Course Format

Course Portals include the following elements:

  • PDFs of the assigned course materials that can be printed or read online
  • The same interactive Practice Questions and Sample Exams currently found in LOMA Test Preparation Guides (TPGs)
  • Recommended study plans to help learners set goals and manage their study schedule
  • A variety of additional media-oriented features designed to enhance the study and review process