The Five Keys to Effective Marketing

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Kristen Luke

Marketing-planning season for 2015 is upon us. Advisors are planning what they are going to tackle next year to bring in more clients and meet asset and revenue goals. Some firms may be thinking about refreshing their websites and marketing materials. Others may be taking a first stab at social-media marketing. And others are planning the events they are going to host over the next year for clients, prospects, centers of influence and the general public.

The best-laid marketing plan will not be 100% effective unless some foundational items have already been established. Even the most adept marketers will fail to achieve stellar results if they lack focus and a clearly defined direction for the company. (This is an issue affects allareas of your business. To learn more, read “Investing in Yourself: Successful advisory businesses need a strong foundation.”)

To set yourself up for success in the coming year, put these five foundation items on the top of your list before developing your marketing plan.

  1. Vision. Your vision (not to be confused with your mission, which I discuss below) defines the kind of company you want to become. Do you want to be a small firm with just one or two employees, working with only a select group of clients that provides enough cash flow and flexibility in your schedule to create a comfortable lifestyle? Or do you want to aggressively grow to a $1-billion firm with a partnership track that will last beyond your career and transfer to the next generation? How you envision your business will dictate the messaging and tactics for marketing the business.

  2. Mission. Your mission is the purpose of your company. Is your company’s purpose to guide and empower your clients to make good financial decisions on their own by providing hourly-fee planning? Or is your purpose to help your clients leave a legacy for future generations? You need to be clear on what you are trying to achieve for clients if you expect your messaging and marketing to accurately reflect your mission.

  3. Target market. Your target market is a broad definition of who you help. For example:

    • Young, high-earning technology professionals who are starting to build their nest egg.

    • Retired professionals who need to optimize their retirement-income distribution strategies to have enough money last through their life.

    • Close, multi-generational families with a strong sense of responsibility to future generations.

    If you want your marketing to attract the right client, you need to know who the right client is. Defining your target market will help focus your marketing message, provide a direction for your brand and guide your marketing campaigns.