It’s time IN your marketing, not timing OF your marketing

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Fostering good relationships are key to marketing success.

Fostering good relationships are key to marketing success.

I know, I’ve abused a very popular axiom about investing, but as investment success is gained by time in the market, it’s exactly the same rule when it comes to successful marketing.

Advisers or their marketing staff often contact us after they’ve “tried everything” hoping that a newsletter, newspaper editorial or Facebook page will be the next answer to their marketing woes. When we ask what they’ve done in the past, we see a regular pattern.

This is an example of how it goes…

Martin, an experienced financial planner of 15 years, attended a conference in October last year where he was inspired by a panel of successful advisers talking about their “astounding marketing results”. Returning to his office with a pile of great ideas, he proceeded to overwhelm his staff by wanting to implement as many activities as they could before Christmas. After all, they were all “proven methods to grow your financial planning practice” and the past few years had been a struggle keeping clients and attracting new ones so Martin was keen to try anything – or everything.

They launched three marketing ideas at great expense in time and money (and stress) and were shocked that by Christmas they could not attribute one new client to their new marketing (their COIs hadn’t even responded). Martin’s Return on Investment was, at that point, a Loss on Investment. As he and his team reached the end of the year their enthusiasm had faltered, their energy for marketing was minimal, and they were all hoping next year would be “better”.

They decided to keep going for one more month but Martin felt worse with every additional dollar he put into each project. By the end of January they had signed up only one new client referred by a lone COI so they ceased all projects and planned to try something else when they had more time, money and energy.

That was their biggest mistake!

“You get ready and you wait…”

I spent a couple of years living in the South Pacific (that’s my hat!) and as everyone knows, islanders do things in their own time. There’s no point trying to rush or cut corners. When working on island time, there’s a simple rule – “you get ready… and you wait”. It’s quite amazing because regardless of how “late” everything seems to be running, it all ends up working perfectly in “perfect time”. Island magic…

It’s exactly the same with business marketing.

Get everything ready (plan and implement) then you wait (as you continue your marketing). If you have planned well, the marketing tool you have chosen should fit neatly into your business operations and it becomes “the norm”. You test and measure over a set period of time but without placing extra pressure on your team.

Marketing magic…

Friendships don’t happen overnight

You know that personal relationships are at the core of financial planning, and you can’t build solid relationships overnight, so persist, persist, persist.

Very few people make snap decisions these days – particularly about money – so to make your marketing work you have to stick with that activity for at least nine months (a familiar gestation period?).

Here is some proof

Some of the most successful advisers in Australia have used our services over many years. As with anything new they were wondering if their newsletters were “working” for the first couple of editions, but they stuck with it. After the third or fourth edition they started to enjoy the fruits of their persistence. Our clients discovered that this one marketing tool was helping them maintain a strong presence in their marketplace and build credibility and reliability. Their clients knew their adviser was there for the long term.

They stayed with a proven tool, saved thousands of dollars by not running up dead alleys chasing quick results, and they’re reaping the benefits.

Just like trying to time the stock market, don’t chop and change your marketing as you will never know whether you pulled out just at the crucial moment.

I hate to finish with another cliché but the saying “it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen” applies to all types of marketing (not just for shampoo!), so plan well and hang in there. It will be well worth it.

If you know of anyone who keeps mis-timing their marketing, please forward this article to them. It’s nice to share the knowledge.

Julianne Bell – www.financialarticles.com.au

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