A written advisor marketing plan can be quite compelling. Sure, every advisor out there has an idea of what they’d like to work upon and to be reminded of these ideas every day can be tiring if not consuming. When you take the time to articulate your strategies, goals, and tactics you are able to see things for yourself more clearly, remain constantly motivated and grounded.
When you put your ideas on paper, you release your mind from the pressure of balancing everything in your head. Additionally, your advisor marketing plan will keep you from activities that do not help you move towards your goals. You do not need distractions.
A comprehensive financial advisor marketing plan should include-
- Measurable goals and objectives
- Areas of focus
- Value (proposition/competitive advantages; what do you offer that is unique and that distinguishes you from your competitors?)
- Competitive Analysis/SWOT Analysis- what is your competition doing and what are their value proposition/competitive advantages?
- Budget- how much are you willing to spend on your marketing program?
- Marketing stance/your ideal client
- Marketing calendar- schedule your whole year upfront and stick to your dates
- Projects and action steps (plan or a broad approach for achieving what you wish to accomplish)
Why do you need a plan?
If you have business expansion goals (as most advisors do), you’d be better off with a well-defined marketing plan even if your business is not scrambling for clients today. Marketing will help you gain prospect attention, establish your position in the market, win customers while building demand for your services. You may be indulging in a shotgun marketing approach without a clearly laid out plan, a little of this and a little of that and none of it is directly targeted towards accomplishing your objectives.
To define how you will establish your position in the market
When you make a plan, you will be able to define your ideal client profile, target market and what is it about your firm that makes you better suited to serve them. Once you know these, you can easily create your identity, messaging and marketing stance to reach those ideal prospects and clients.
To outline what you will do to gain prospect attention
You will define strategies that will boost your firm’s exposure to not just existing clients but also ideal prospects. Once you identify your competition and their value proposition, you can easily work on yours and make it unique.
To determine which actions will build demand
Your plan should be able to determine tactics that will lead to conversions and win you, customers. You can do all the positioning to gain prospects but if you fail to specify actions to move prospects along the sales process, your marketing strategy is not working for you and you probably need a new one. The ultimate goal of any kind of marketing is to gather the most purchase-ready customers who are the best fit for your products/services and make it convenient for them to reach and choose you.
To ensure your marketing plan is actually implemented
Marketing should not be an item that gets pushed to the bottom of the list when there are competing priorities and time is short. Make sure your marketing plan includes hard scheduled deliverables. Once the schedule is set for the year, it is your job to stick to it. A consistent marketing plan will take some time to show results.
Financial advisors often tend to believe they are more comfortable on the “left brain” i.e. the numbers side of the business than on the “right-brain” or the more subjective feeling sales and marketing side. However, without an implementable marketing plan, you will feel like you’re spinning in a hamster wheel to figure out how to get more and more clients thereby growing your business. Do you have a marketing plan yet? If not, do you have a scalable resource to help you develop your personalized plan and deliverables? Now is the time to begin. Make this year all about results with an effective marketing plan.