For financial advisor organizations, marketing is a great way to build relationships with prospective clients, showing them who you are and what kind of value you can offer, encouraging them to trust you with their hard-earned money.
But knowing you need a marketing plan and knowing how to build and execute one are two different things. In this blog post, we start with what not to do, breaking down five common marketing mistakes we typically see financial advisors make — and share with you what to do instead.
1. Not Having a Strategy
Marketing, done well, seems a little bit like magic. But the reality is every highly successful brand is built on serious marketing strategy. When you’re just “winging it,” that’s when you find yourself wasting resources with no insight into what’s working and what’s not.
Here are the key things you need to know to get started:
- When your brand reps are dispersed geographically (such as independent financial advisors under your brand’s umbrella), it’s important to preserve brand control and set marketers up for success by giving them easy access to up-to-date collateral and messaging.
- Your target audience is the heart of every piece of your marketing strategy—and each financial advisor needs to be able to tailor those strategies to their unique local audience’s needs.
- Design and messaging must be consistent across every channel. When digital and physical outreach is all part of one cohesive conversation, your audience becomes familiar with and starts to trust your brand.
- Ongoing analysis and adjustment are critical to success. Track campaign progress against key success metrics and, when you’re not hitting your goal numbers, reevaluate your strategy and make adjustments before investing further resources into something that’s clearly not working quite right (yet).
- Sustainable marketing can attract customers. Using digital asset management tools and print-on-demand, helps you save money, be green, and gives you an edge on your competitors. In fact, Forbes reports that millennials are becoming the most important consumer group, with buying power of $2.45 trillion, and Millennials care where they spend their money.
2. Targeting a Too-Broad (or Too-Limited) Audience
Your customers should be at the heart of your brand identity and marketing strategy. Who are you serving, how can you help them achieve their financial goals, and how can you communicate that to them clearly and effectively? As far as identifying a target audience goes, there are two mistakes we often see financial advisors making.
The first is simply not identifying a target audience and instead trying to market to anybody and everybody. While this may seem like an intuitive choice, the reality is that, when you try to appeal to too many people, you end up watering down your brand identity, value proposition, and unique market position.
Potential customers can’t see what differentiates you from any other financial advisors on the market, so they can’t tell whether they’re the right fit for you. As a result, you end up missing out on great prospects and reeling in plenty that aren’t a good match.
The second mistake is targeting too narrow an audience. The stats vary from source to source, but an average lead conversion rate for the wealth management industry ranges from just under 1 percent to around 5 percent. If your messaging is too narrow to reach a pretty hefty pool of prospects, that comes out to a tiny number. So as you zero in on your niche, be sure it’s broad enough to be in demand.
For example, if you want to focus on clients in their early twenties going through significant life changes—marriage, birth of a child, etc.—that’s great, but consider carefully whether that pool is broad enough. With people getting married and having children later and later, are there very many early-twenty-somethings in that group? You might be better off expanding your target age range (or some other key characteristic).
Finding that “Goldilocks” niche—the one that lets you target your messaging to your ideal client without thinning the prospect pool too much—is the first important step financial advisors need to take as they form their marketing strategies.
3. Pausing Marketing Efforts During an Economic Downturn
When the economy is in doubt and margins are thin, it can be tempting to cut costs by cutting marketing efforts first. But this is a short-sighted and likely to do more harm than good in the long run. First, simply because you’ll lose that hard-earned brand trust and familiarity. But second, because as a financial advisor, your ideal clients likely need you more than ever during a downturn.
Your conservative, risk-averse prospects are apt to be nervous about their financial footing and looking for support in protecting their assets. Your more bullish, risk-hungry prospects, meanwhile, may be looking for ways to be sure they’re in the best position to capitalize on the inevitable growth that will happen on the other side of the recession.
You are well situated to help them both, but only if they know you’re out there.
So, in a downturn, you may adjust your strategy or messaging, but if you do it right, your marketing investment is still highly likely to reap plenty of return.
4. Overlooking Digital Marketing
In an industry as highly regulated as finance, it can be easy to stick to the tried and true, traditional marketing methods. But digital marketing is a powerful tool in a financial advisor’s toolkit, enabling marketers to reach more prospective clients more efficiently on the channels where they spend most of their time.
Digital communication is easy to personalize with relevant messaging for every audience, and it opens the doors to new information-gathering and campaign-tracking opportunities that can help financial advisors hone both their marketing strategies and their offerings to their ideal clients’ tastes.
Don’t abandon traditional marketing tactics—paper and digital absolutely go hand in hand—but be sure to incorporate online efforts into your marketing plan. This includes clear, easy-to-navigate landing pages, social media posts and ads, email marketing, and search engine advertising. Your prospects are spending a lot of time online, and the more easily they can find you there, too, the more effective you’ll be at building those relationships that turn a curious lead into a long-time customer.
5. Going it Alone
A lot goes into successful national and local marketing campaigns, and the biggest mistake financial advisors make is trying to juggle it all on their own. For the corporate marketing team, supporting every independent advisor on local campaigns is a full-time job in and of itself; as for the advisors, no matter how talented they may be, at the end of the day, they’re just not marketers—they’re financial advisors.
So, savvy companies are teaming up with marketing partners that can provide the support local advisors need—and corporate just doesn’t have the capacity to give—at every phase of the marketing journey.
At OneTouchPoint, we pride ourselves on being exactly that partner. Our U.Connect platform keeps the latest assets and analytics easily accessible and makes print ordering and fulfillment a breeze. Our robust set of certifications—not to mention our rigorous quality control processes—ensure all of your clients’ sensitive data is safe in our hands from the very beginning of the campaign, and our content management system makes for easy customization without risking critical compliance details.
Learn more about how OneTouchPoint supports financial advisors in devising and executing low-risk, high-reward multichannel marketing campaigns. Then, when you’re ready, contact us or request a quote, and we’ll be happy to talk more about how we can help your team.