Marketing plans are in the air. Since the start of the New Year we’ve had a lot of interest from advisors nationwide to help strategize their branding, marketing and PR goals. One common question we hear from advisors is why should they work with us instead of a marketing firm located in their city. Other than the in-person face time you might have with a local PR firm, the advantages of working with an industry-specific marketing firm far outweigh those of working with a local company.
Let me elaborate on the top 10 reasons to go industry-specific vs. local…
1) Compliance. Marketing firms, by nature, LOVE promissory statements. “The best advice in retirement planning,” or “Invest for success with ABC advisory firm.” The only problem with those statements, if you have a securities license, is that you just can’t say them. We know what compliance likes and what they don’t. We tend to get it right the first time but won’t inadvertently put anything out there until it’s approved. And the best part – you don’t have to explain what “being compliant” means to an industry-specific marketing firm.
2) Experience. When choosing the right marketing partner, isn’t it comforting to know that this isn’t their first interaction with the financial services industry? By choosing a firm that has specific experience accomplishing your marketing objectives, chances are good that they will be able to replicate their previous success for you. Additionally, they make for a great sounding board if you have ideas that you want to flush out before putting a plan of action in place. AdvisorPR has more than a decade of experience serving financial advisors, and there is a good chance we’ve “been there, done that” before. We can give you an experienced perspective for accomplishing your marketing objectives.
3) Connections. An industry-specific marketing firm has connections. Those connections could either be with other complimentary service providers, such as a direct mail house or SEO company to help carry out your marketing objectives, or with the media outlets that want to use your expertise to tell a financial story. You don’t know what (or who) you don’t know but an industry-specific marketing firm can help point you in the right direction to make your business objectives become a reality.
4) Efficiency. There is a very little, if any, learning curve when working with an industry-specific marketing firm so you don’t have to make an investment in getting their working knowledge up to speed. You may have your own way of doing things, but the fundamentals of your business are similar to the other clients the firm serves. An industry-specific marketing firm understands that and can immediately hit the ground running. You don’t have to spend your money to teach us how to best serve you.
5) Judgment. An industry-specific marketing firm knows how to make a judgment call. A general marketing firm may not. For example, just because a media outlet wants to talk to you for a story they’re working on doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right story for you. An industry-specific firm knows what questions to ask to vet the inquiry and can make a judgment on if the opportunity would be worth your while, or if it’s too iffy or off-topic to pursue.
6) Quality. An industry-specific marketing firm is going to be more familiar with your target market than a general firm, especially when it comes to how your target market prefers to receive financial offerings and literature. We won’t spend your money to try new things, nor will we take the quantity over quality approach that many traditional marketing firms do. (It’s a numbers game for them, at your expense.) Instead, an industry-specific marketing firm knows how to make your marketing stand out from the crowd through design and content, rather than by buying more media space.
7) Systems. Many industry-specific marketing firms have proven, turn-key systems for helping you to accomplish your marketing objectives, while general marketing firms may have to reinvent the wheel or try to make a more generic system to work effectively for you. In many cases, these specialized systems are strategically designed for helping you to accomplish your objectives and are also all-inclusive, making much less work (and a headache) for you and your team.
8) Cost. This is a direct connection to efficiency, experience and systems. An industry-specific marketing firm has a system for its clients, making the process to get you up and running streamlined and cost-effective. The PR programs offered by AdvisorPR are a great example. Many clients subsidize the cost for media campaign development so the full cost for creating a campaign isn’t passed on its entirety to any one client. Additionally, especially if you’re in a large market, cost of service is most often less than those of a general local marketing firm. Many industry-specific marketing firms have different levels of service and packages to accommodate most reasonable budgets, too.
9) Planning. An industry-specific marketing firm understands the financial calendar. We know when taxes are the big topic, when it’s time for estate or year-end planning, when it’s retirement planning week and more. We also know when big news stories mean big marketing opportunities for your firm. A general marketing firm does not (unless you want to invest in their learning curve, as referenced in point #4.) With an industry-specific marketing firm, you don’t have to tell them when hot financial topics or important calendar dates are coming down the pipeline… most often, they tell you!
10) Creativity. You want to think outside the box, so you think a more general firm may be the better option? Think again. By knowing what others have done in the industry before you, industry-specific marketing firms can help you really be unique, while still being effective. We can help you think big to accomplish your professional goals, and have the financial industry understanding coupled with the creative know-how to put your dreams into action.
As you can see, there are many benefits to working with an industry-specific marketing firm. Of course, some people may still want that face time. Good thing there’s Skype for that.