Taking a strategic approach to your marketing is the most efficient way for you and your staff to find great prospects, build your brand and grow your book of business. Once you implement a strategic marketing system it will use fewer resources, require less effort—and will consistently deliver better results than one-off marketing campaign.
Working strategically isn’t hard. In fact, the whole point of it is to lessen the workload on you and your staff, while increasing the effectiveness of your marketing. All it takes is a few minutes of planning and a good tech solution to take the admin work off your hands.
Here are three steps great financial advisors take to implement a strategic marketing system.
Step One: Set your marketing priorities
Taking a strategic approach means coming up with a clear overall direction for your marketing over the next twelve months. Begin by identifying your top three marketing priorities—the ones you believe are most important to growing your practice. Sample priorities include:
- Define and find more ‘A’ clients
- Retain current clients
- Build your brand
- Develop a new niche
- Make more sales to current clients
- Promote a new service or area of expertise
- Increase your geographical reach
Focusing on three key priorities will increase your efficiency, maximize your marketing ROI and eliminate distractions.
Step Two: Define your marketing strategies
For each of your priorities, identify the marketing strategies you will implement to reach your objective. For instance, if your goal is to increase the number of products per client you may decide to run direct email campaigns for DI products to clients who have that need.
The trick to making your strategies run effectively and efficiently is to take a few minutes to map out the steps involved in implementation. For example, if you’re going to run a direct mail campaign for DI, steps might include:
- Define the ideal client for the product
- Find all current clients who match that profile
- Create an email (or direct mail) template introducing the concept, why it benefits the client, and asking for a call or meeting to discuss
- Schedule calls
- Schedule Meetings
- Hold meetings
- Begin the application process
- Follow-up with client
For each step identify who completes the step and when it should happen.
Step Three: Use technology to automate your marketing system
Once you have identified the steps involved in implementing each strategy the big win comes from using technology to automate as many of them as possible. This will reduce frustration, free up staff to work on higher value tasks, and give you more time to spend in front of clients.
In the past, managing the workflow of a marketing campaign was often done with paper and pen or some ad hoc combo of Word docs and Excel spreadsheets. Too many times this resulted in campaigns falling apart because they were difficult to manage.
Today there are great CRM solutions that will automate many of the steps in your process. In the case of our sample DI email campaign, the right technology will:
- filter your client contacts to find exactly the right candidates
- enable you to create email (and/or direct mail) templates,
- automatically send emails to the right clients
- alert you to upcoming calls, meetings and follow-ups
A good CRM solution like Equisoft/connect will not only automate much of the process—it will track your results as well. In the case of a direct mail campaign for instance, you’ll be able to see what your response rate to the emails was, how many calls and meetings were booked, and ultimately how many clients bought the product.
If these metrics show your campaigns are not working as effectively as you’d hoped, you can make revisions to your marketing materials, your process and your approach to calls and meetings.
Taking your marketing to the next level means thinking about it strategically rather than as a series of one-off campaigns. Define the goals you hope to achieve and identify the strategies that will get you there. For each strategy map out the workflow—and then use a good tech solution to automate as much of the process as possible. Get these steps right and you’ll find that implementing a strategic marketing system will make you become more effective, clients will be better served, and you and your staff will be freed up to work on the highest value activities to grow your business.