4 Fundamentals of Effective Financial Marketing
How can I improve marketing results for my financial practice?
As the financial industry has continued to evolve toward a comprehensive, financial planning service model over the past decade, many of the advisors we speak with have developed a systematic process to review a new client’s holistic financial picture as a critical first step. The vision: aligning insurance, investments, taxes, estate planning and more can help reduce redundancies or short-comings to ultimately create an optimal financial plan, unified with clear goals.
Now, what if we were to apply the same holistic thinking to your marketing?
Comprehensive planning…for your marketing
Whether you are in the process of rebranding due to a change in partnership, RIA or B/D or have been building a brand for a number of years that has turned into a hodge-podge of ideas layered together over time—taking a step back to assess your brand can be an essential step to align and maximize your marketing investments.
Have you undertaken a critical assessment of your marketing plan for your financial practice?
Regardless of where you are in your branding journey, the following are four of the most critical areas to assess as marketing fundamentals for financial services professionals. By focusing on these areas of your brand as a first priority, you will be able to establish a strong foundation that ultimately makes all other promotional efforts more effective.
1. Visual Brand
One of the most essential elements of branding is your visual identity. People form an opinion about your business within a matter of seconds, all based on visual first-impressions. Are you sending the right one, consistently?
- Do you have a professional, unique logo that represents your company and the image you want to portray?
- Do you have scalable, vector files that translate into high-quality across all mediums?
- Is this design, fonts and colors used consistently across your materials?
- What is the first impression when contacting of visiting your office?
2. Brand Messaging
We often see advisors who have accrued marketing materials, whether from FMOs, RIAs, product carriers or third-party template providers, that while professionally designed, do not reflect the true message of the advisor’s brand. While these can be an inexpensive resource that can be beneficial to tap into, having a generic, “me-too” message or one driven by product sales may be sending conflicting messages to your clients and prospects from what you represent. Take time to consider and clearly define:
- Who do you work with?
- Why should these people work with you rather than anyone else?
- What are your process and specific service offerings?
- Can your team communicate these messages concisely and consistently?
3. Marketing Collateral
Even in today’s increasingly digital world, clients and prospects still value having tangible marketing materials to review and digest before making major purchasing decisions. Having professionally designed marketing collateral creates the impression of anticipating your prospects needs; by addressing their next question before they are even asked, you can build a subconscious trust with you and your firm.(For more on this topic, read my past blog Print Materials in a Digital Age).
- If someone contacts your office for more information, how do you respond?
- What materials facilitate your sales process from the first impression to onboarding? Do they tell a clear, consistent story with a cohesive design?
- Are you over- or under-communicating at any key points of your sales cycle?
4. Website Functionality
It is undeniable that before a prospect ever reaches the point of picking up the phone or attending one of your events, they are almost certainly going to Google you or visit your website. Therefore, your website needs to create a strong first impression and reason for them to easily take the next step.
- Do you have a professional design that builds credibility and connects with your audience’s needs?
- Is it mobile responsive and easy to navigate?
- Does it provide clear and compelling ways to take action with your firm?
- Does it feature unique, original content of value or generic calculators and resources?
By treating your marketing holistically and bringing together these pieces to work in unison toward your goals, you will have the essential branding building blocks in place to make all future promotional efforts more effective. This can help to gather more leads and, the ultimate goal, more clients and new business.
Interested in an objective, third-party analysis of your marketing?
AdvisorPR is an independent marketing communications firm dedicated to serving financial professionals. Let us provide a fresh perspective and share our industry expertise through a 10-point review of your marketing to identify gaps, opportunities and an action plan for your brand! Call (866) 888-5333 or contact us to learn more today.
Courtney Browning, vice president of marketing for AdvisorPR, is an experienced financial marketing professional having established integrated marketing communication plans and provided consulting on coordinated marketing and branding initiatives for hundreds of financial advisors over the past decade, as well as firsthand experience as an insurance and securities licensed advisor. Established in 2005, AdvisorPR is a branding, marketing and public relations firm dedicated to providing custom and turnkey marketing communications solutions exclusively to financial professionals and the corporate companies that serve them.