Changes in marketing have evolved and grown at a fast pace making it difficult for most brands to keep up. Key trends are changing the scope of effective marketing, making the role for marketing professionals more challenging but at the same time exciting.
Marketing professionals and strategies need to continually adjust and respond to technology changes and consumer attitudes. This means you need to look beyond outdated marketing methods and usual channels by leveraging what works today.
Here are 7 key areas to review – “You might be marketing the wrong way if…”
You Aren’t Focused On Relationship Marketing
The goal of relationship marketing is to shift your focus away from short-term client acquisition to building loyal, long-term clients that grow your firm.
The days of mass marketing have faded as personalized, data-driven marketing takes center stage. Collect and utilize data to develop your relationships and personalize your communication. Relationship marketing will help your firm create strong, emotional ties to your brand that will increase lead generation and word-of-mouth referrals.
Firms that focus on meaningful client relationships and conversations create brand advocates and raise the bar for competitors contending for purposeful connections.
You Haven’t Differentiated Your Firm
A recent Pershing Study cites 60 percent of investors found it hard to distinguish among advisors because most said the same things and made the same promises.
Do the words holistic, fiduciary, expert, and exceptional client service ring a bell? Nearly every advisor has used these terms to describe themselves and their firm. These terms rarely resonate with prospective clients, but stories and experiences do.
Think less about a 30-second sales pitch and more about your story: “Why did you become a financial advisor?” and “How have you helped your clients?” Put your answers into words and craft your message.
Here is a great example from one of the advisory teams we work with: “People want someone that can relate to their concerns, issues, problems, and dreams. We know the pain of losing a parent and how to deal with the costs associated with caring for a loved one. We have lived those real life events and can share our experiences with you, our client.”
This message is authentic and resonates with clients. Create multiple scenarios that reflect how you have helped clients with specific challenges.
You’re Not Active on Social Media
You need to be present and active on social media. Period.
Choose one or two networks to start and stick to a consistent publishing schedule. Publishing consistently to your social channels is important for two reasons: 1) you build credibility with your online community and 2) it improves your search engine optimization which increases the probability of being found online.
One of the most common mistakes we see is the absence of using social media as a means to capture potential client information. Use social media to drive traffic to your website and offer industry reports, newsletters, or other communication that clients and prospects can download once they have provided you with their name and email address.
Once you collect this information, move prospective clients into your sales funnel and start a drip campaign.
You Aren’t Asking Clients for Feedback
Make sure you understand what your clients really want from you. Client research is one of the best ways to ensure you remain educated.
Utilize simple email surveys or ask your clients: “What are we doing that you really value?”, “What one thing could we do better?”, “What is the most important thing we have achieved in working together?” Utilize their answers and incorporate them into your story.
Assign someone in your office or a team of people dedicated to collaborate and brainstorm on ways to implement client recommendations.
You’re Not Using Video
Placing your firm’s video marketing on the back burner could be costing you more than you think. While video marketing is nothing new, many firms have been slow to incorporate this key component into their marketing strategy.
Grabbing the attention of potential clients is more important than ever in a world where consumers do their own research online before ever contacting you. Video offers you an effective way to communicate with current and prospective clients, showcase your brand and culture, and helps stir deep inward emotions that foster relationships.
You know the saying, “facts tell, but stories sell.” Video is an effective medium for storytelling. Make it a goal to create short one to two minute videos for company announcements, business updates, new products, frequently asked questions, and upcoming events.
You’re Not Focused on In-Bound Marketing
Most of us are familiar with old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, email lists, and sending batch and blast emails or newsletters. The time has come to shift to an in-bound approach that focuses on creating quality content that draws prospects toward your firm.
The inbound methodology spans the entire lifecycle of a prospect, from visitor to client. Inbound marketing doesn’t just happen, you, the marketer, have to do it. Your goal is to attract consumers, convert leads, close the sale, and provide exceptional service to retain clients. How do you do it? Align published content that appeals to your target market(s) (ideal client profile), in the right place (marketing channels), and at the right time (lifecycle stage).
You Have an Out-dated Website
No excuses for this one! Your website is one of the first stops people make to learn more about you. Visitors to your site need to receive an immediate positive impression or they are likely to move on.
Start with your homepage and ensure it focuses on your client and not on your firm. If your homepage talks about how wonderful you are and how long you have been in business, it’s time for a change. Your homepage should focus on the needs of your market and the solutions you provide.
Other key components you need on your website are:
- Opt-In Form: Provide visitors with a place to start a relationship with your firm. This is vital to growing your sales pipeline.
- Contact Information: This one sounds like a given; but, I have visited many websites where it was very difficult to find out how to contact the company. Boost your site’s credibility by making your contact information clear: phone number, physical address, and email address.
- Optimize for Mobile: Mobile internet usage has overtaken PC usage. Younger clients are attached to their smart phones while older generations are embracing mobile devices like tablets. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you are falling behind. If you are unsure if your firm website is mobile friendly, check with your web developer or visit Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to see if it passes the test.
The best way to approach marketing is to stay agile. In the past marketing plans could be developed during the last quarter of the year. Today consumer behavior, industry trends, and competitor actions change too quickly for that approach to work. An agile approach means you carry out strategies, review how your market responds, and make tweaks to your marketing style throughout the year.
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