Don’t add another marketing piece until you do this…
Why too much marketing material dilutes the message
This industry is consistently evolving and reinventing itself. Advisors are fortunate to have so many “middlemen” vying for their business. From RIAs to B/Ds to IMOs—many of them will do anything to get your clients’ assets. Often, this means providing you with marketing materials and strategies to help you… wait for it… sell more of their products!
And, whether right or wrong, many advisors “borrow” ideas from guest speakers, icons and other top advisors within their respective network. But, there’s a problem—just because a marketing piece “sounds good” doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you and your business. Often layering new pieces with your established pieces starts to be counterproductive. If you fall into this category, here are four reasons you might want to rethink this approach.
Four Reasons to Rethink Template Marketing Materials
1) The “middle man” may have ulterior motives.
Time and again we’ve seen “comprehensive advisors” using well-designed brochures provided by their upline; however, these brochures or collateral pieces aren’t always consistent with the advisor’s “comprehensive” message. As a hypothetical example: an IMO had a beautiful brochure for their affiliated advisors to use with prospective clients when discussing retirement. However, when you look closer, this brochure was highly skewed to their insurance products as the fundamental need for all retirement plans. As a comprehensive advisor, using this piece in all first appointments dilutes your “holistic planning” message.
2) They use different language.
From the names of your appointments to the planning process to the call to action, often, these template-like brochures use language that applies to other products or systems they offer, not you.
Think about the analogies you might use during the meeting or planning process, and then how confusing it may be for a prospective client if you’re switching these analogies or referring to different planning processes throughout your materials.
3) They’re too generic.
These materials are often written for the masses, and somewhere between the 6th- and 8th-grade reading level. (This is a standard practice in marketing.) Now think about your clients—do you specialize in a niche? Do they have to have a certain amount of wealth, reside in a specific location or are they similarly employed?
Generic information about financial, investment or retirement planning, written to a mass audience does nothing your message or build your brand. Generic collateral pieces do not connect with nor educate or motivate your prospective client to take the next steps. May as well not waste your money or their time; you might actually get further. (Check out our blog on why substance sells and generic repels!)
4) Mixed messages.
On a very basic level, when you layer other people’s work on top of your own, you cannot guarantee that their approach is consistent. Do they reference an X-step planning process? Do they say something will happen in the second appointment when it actually happens in the first at your firm? Do they reference the “director of first impressions” calling you to schedule the next appointment, when that’s not even a title in your firm?
Often advisors get so caught up with the big picture of the piece that they fail to review the details. These inconsistencies lead to confusion, which leads to inaction. Don’t become your own hurdle a prospective client has to overcome.
The bottom line: If you want to be a successful financial advisor, you need to act like a successful financial advisor.
Take the time to create and/or maintain your own repository of collateral. Don’t count on other people’s materials to help you stand apart and get ahead. However, if you are still not convinced—at a minimum when opting to use someone else’s materials to grow your business… please at least update your name and address. Getting your name right might help.
Learn more about how we can help develop high-impact, custom marketing materials for your financial firm, or complete a Marketing Optimization Report for an expert audit of your existing materials for detailed feedback on how to improve. Contact us today to learn more!
Alana Kohl, founder and president of AdvisorPR, is an accomplished publicist, published author, brand strategist and trusted marketing consultant to financial service professionals and the corporate companies that serve them. To learn more about implementing our custom branding services for your financial firm, give us a call at (866) 888-5333.