Before we get started, I’m not saying that financial advisors should stop spending money on marketing. However I am saying that advisors must be more strategic with their marketing dollars or they will inevitably waste money unnecessarily.
How many advisors do you know or perhaps you (if you are an advisor) have invested in marketing technology that someone else was using? Everyone was having success with it so little thought was put into the idea, the money was spent and the results didn’t match?
Through the course of my career in the financial services industry, I have seen many “knee jerk” reactions by advisors when it comes to marketing. Often, they find out what the most successful advisor they know are doing and try to copy their efforts. This strategy (and I use that term lightly) may often lead to dollars wasted among other resources. Successful marketing efforts typically are not something that happens by accident. Copying what everyone else might be doing is not a guaranteed quality investment of your marketing dollars. Marketing success is the result of careful planning, testing, performance measurement, and ongoing changes to get it right. Whether you are starting a new marketing endeavor with e-mail newsletters, direct mail, video, content marketing (blogging), or social media strategy; you must think strategically about your efforts to maximize your results. What do I mean by being strategic?
If you can answer these questions before spending your next dollar on marketing, you are being strategic.
Defining the Objective:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the purpose of the marketing initiative (branding, lead generation, client retention, etc…)?
- How will you define success?
Research and Due Diligence:
- Have you done research on the marketing initiative?
- For which demographic is the marketing strategy most effective?
- Have you researched success stories for those using this strategy and determined why they were successful? Is it something you can replicate?
- Is the cost of this marketing strategy within your budget?
- Will this strategy compliment your other marketing efforts or will it be a replacement for one of them?
- Typically how long does it take to get a return on your investment?
- Do you or your staff have the necessary skills and adequate time to commit to this strategy for optimal performance?
- What impact might this have on the other aspects of your business?
- Are you comfortable with the risks versus the rewards for your business?
Implementation & Evaluation:
- Who will be responsible for the implementation and maintenance of this marketing initiative?
- What performance metrics will be used to measure success?
- How will you track your results?
Before you dive into your next marketing initiative, take a step back and start thinking strategically. I understand that most people will not mentally walk through each of these questions and come up with an answer before making a decision. Although, if you are able to answer half of them, you are that much closer to being strategic with your marketing and potentially saving a substantial amount of money in the future.