In this column, I look at 5 of the most common mistakes I see financial advisers making when it comes to Marketing.
1. Unclear Objectives
Since the recession really began to bite, many advisers have realised the importance that Marketing plays in attracting and retaining clients. However a lot of money has been wasted on activities that unfortunately were doomed from the outset. The main reason that I have discovered is that there was no clarity around exactly what was to be achieved from the marketing activity – was it to increase the brand presence, attract new clients or hold onto existing ones? If you’re not clear about what you’re trying to achieve, unfortunately you’ve little chance of achieving success…
2. Content – or lack of it
I think we all know this one… “Let’s do a Newsletter” says someone with a burst of enthusiasm! Two torturous months later, Issue 1 is finally sent out. Everyone is relieved but exhausted and yes, Issue 2 never sees the light of day! As a result, it becomes a nagging sore and really, you’d be better off never having started on it at all. For all your marketing activities, you need to think through the future content or indeed find a source to write the content for you. If you’re going to start a regular activity, you’ve got to commit fully to it for it to say positive things about your business and your brand. By the way, the same applies to out of date content…how up to date is your website?
3. Focusing too early on the Product
As I work with more and more financial advisers, I see another quite common theme. A huge amount of work going into presentations, brochures, websites etc. that set out in great detail the products that we want to sell without ever engaging the audience first by putting yourself in their world. Trust me; we’re all guilty of this one! The problem is that you need to engage the audience first and then slowly reel them in, instead of launching straight in to the solution. Identify their need to stimulate their interest and then engage them in the benefits to them of addressing that need. Now they’re ready and want to hear the solution – your product!
4. No Measures or Focus on Results
A good number of advisers have expressed strong views to me in relation to previous Marketing activities that they’ve carried out. However when pressed, they’ve had unclear targets set around the activities and little or no analysis of the actual results. I often hear “I think we got 10 leads out of that, but would need to check”. The actual results are often wildly different – sometimes much more positive, sometimes more negative. When I ask what result they had hoped to get, there often was no target. The problem is that if you don’t set targets and rigorously measure the results of each activity, how are you supposed to know next year which activities to repeat and which ones to ditch?
5. Poor Production Quality
Finally you get your content together – be it written content or speakers for your seminar etc. But then the newsletter goes out with typos on it or on wafer thin paper that looks and feels terrible, or at your seminar no-one can read the slides because the typeface is too small or the projector is not strong enough…we’ve all been there. Your audience disengage and in a worst case scenario, will place a big black mark against your brand. Make sure you’re really proud of what you produce – or else get an expert to look after it for you! Wow your audience, don’t disappoint them!