The process of effective marketing is a puzzle that requires advisers to look beyond an isolated one-size-fits all approach, according to William Todd.
The chief marketing officer at Hampshire-based Adviser Breakthrough Solution said many adviser bosses can end up spending copious amounts of money on marketing in a bid to persuade prospective clients that their services trump those offered by rival firms.
He added: “The key to successful marketing is ‘pieces’ rather than a ‘piece’ of marketing. The marketing mix is the most powerful asset to get right for your business. It communicates your message across a number of mediums (web, mobile, print) at the same time and constantly.
“Using a mix of marketing tools will create a brand, and that is what all businesses must create in order to differentiate themselves from the competition. A single communication will largely fall on deaf ears if the recipient has no knowledge or understanding of the sender.”
An online presence is a must for advisers operating in an increasingly technologically savvy society, Mr Todd said, adding that intermediaries can effectively bolster their brand image at no extra cost by posting blogs on their website and through active engagement on social media sites.
In addition, once the brand is established and all ‘free’ marketing avenues have been exhausted, only then, he said, should advisers consider spending money on active marketing projects such as email marketing and, if the budget can take it, print, TV and radio.
He added: “These marketing projects will be successful if driven by the right people and produced with the correct branding and tone, and consistent with your passive presence online. Much of the active marketing projects can be referenced and enhanced by the free, more passive online tools, which creates the complete marketing mix.
“A company or person who wishes to spend money on marketing needs to understand that marketing today, like fashion, is never finished.”
Jill Lepre, marketing manager at Aberdeen-based Acumen Financial Planning, said: “Advisers need to have the right mix of different marketing strategies and identify what type of client they are targeting, be it high net-worth clients or millennials. Millenials are more likely to respond to online marketing and posts made on Facebook and Twitter. Anything we post on our website can be monitored and tracked – allowing us to see how many people have clicked on a particular link and how long they have spent on a particular page, which is valuable information.
“We do a mix of online advertising, advertising through the press and submitting articles to local and financial planning publications. This goes some way in showing our expertise in the advisory sector.”
She added: “Word of mouth is very important. A lot of our business is generated from this. However, it is important for advisers to remind clients what it is they actually do, because some clients might not be aware of the full scope of their service.”