Identifying the gaps: Where financial adviser marketing efforts miss the mark

In the competitive world of providing financial advice, effective marketing can be the dividing line between a flourishing business and one that struggles to attract and retain clients. Despite best efforts, many financial advisers find their marketing strategies failing to deliver expected results. Here’s a look at the crucial areas that could be falling short and how to remedy them.


Know who you are trying to reach

The first potential pitfall in your marketing strategy is not having a clearly defined target audience. Without a specific demographic in mind, your messaging can become too broad or generic, failing to resonate with the people you’re most equipped to help. The key is to clarify the persona of your bullseye target, to consider the unique needs of your ideal client — be it business owners, retirees, young professionals, or high-net-worth individuals. Then you need to tailor your communication to address their specific concerns, goals, and financial situations.


Know what you’re trying to communicate

Once you know your audience, the next step is to clarify your message. What exactly are you trying to communicate to your prospective clients? Your marketing should underscore your unique value proposition — what sets you apart from other advisers. This could be your bespoke approach to financial planning, your expertise in a particular investment strategy, or your commitment to personal service. Your message should be concise, compelling, and consistently woven through all your marketing materials.


Identify the right channels to use

Selecting appropriate marketing channels is paramount. If it’s business owners you’re trying to attract, maybe business networks such as your local Chamber of Commerce or business forums are the place to be. Or are you trying to reach new clients through introducers such as accountants, solicitors or tax consultants? Or is most of your marketing effort going to be carried out online?

The platforms you choose to disseminate your message should align with where your target audience is most active and engaged. For millennials and Gen Z, this might be social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter. Again, if it’s predominately business owners you’re targeting, then LinkedIn, news publications or even traditional media like newspapers could be more effective. It’s essential to be seen where your audience goes.


Make sure your content is excellent

Quality content is non-negotiable. Regardless of the channel, your content needs to be informative, engaging, and relevant to your audience’s needs. This means providing value through financial tips, insights into market trends, or guidance on common financial concerns. Content that educates and informs, rather than just sells, will establish you as a thought leader and build trust with your audience. Invest in good design and clear, jargon-free language to make your content accessible and professional.


Know what result you’re looking to achieve

Without a clear understanding of your marketing objectives, you won’t be able to measure success or identify areas for improvement. Are you trying to generate leads, increase website traffic, or improve client retention? Each goal requires a different approach and metric for tracking progress. Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) goals to focus your efforts and help you assess the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.


Identify the right follow-up activities

Finally, the follow-up is where many marketing strategies fall flat. Engaging potential clients is just the first step; you must have a system in place for following up on leads. This could involve a series of personalised emails, a phone call, or setting up a face-to-face meeting. The follow-up should be timely and reflective of the interest shown by the prospective client. Neglecting this critical step can result in lost opportunities and a waste of your marketing efforts.

In conclusion, a marketing strategy that isn’t aligned with your practice’s goals and your clients’ needs is bound to fall short. By knowing your audience, communicating a clear message, selecting the right channels, creating quality content, setting clear objectives, and executing diligent follow-up activities, you can ensure that your marketing efforts contribute to the growth and success of your financial advice business. Remember, effective marketing isn’t just about reaching people; it’s about connecting with them, educating them, and building relationships that last.