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What is this thing called marketing?

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In the middle of a very fine publication called Senior Market Advisor is the word “market.” Just what does that keyword imply? It is possible there might be more to be discovered in the word “market?” Have we lost our vision of what it takes to get in front of a potential customer base? Could it be there is more intended than we sometimes take for granted?

If I can be so bold, I believe that “marketing” is at the very heart of what we do. Nothing happens until someone markets something. It can be goods, services, solutions or strategies. I like the concept of “marketing” because it sounds a little softer than the word “sell.”

Most of us work with people who have reached the age of 55 and over. These are people who are beginning to consider the question, “Just how am I going to sustain myself when the paychecks cease?”

The fact is, unless marketing occurs, no business is going to be conducted. That begs the question: How do you market your services? What works and what does not work?

The oldest historical method of marketing was mouth to mouth. Maybe it was a discussion between an advisor in a carriage seat to a prospect on horseback. Today, it might be a passenger sitting next to you on an airplane.

In recent times, you probably marketed your equity linked indexed annuities via direct mail. You either bought a mailing list of specific ages or zip code areas inviting prospects to a free meal at a local restaurant. Maybe you embraced newspaper invitations. In all of these strategies, you are dependent upon people initiating a phone call to make a reservation to show up, sometimes with friends, to your free meal seminar.

Today, many companies market using an old-fashioned but still completely relevant medium. It’s called radio. The traditional format is a one-hour program that airs once a week and is heard locally or regionally. Local independent advisors benefit from the leads that are generated from those airings each week. No more direct mail, no more seminars, no more lunches and no more full-page newspaper ads.

Marketing is the key to success in any business. It is especially so in our business. Proper marketing generates prospects who are asking you for appointments to evaluate their current dilemma. Proper marketing strategies which set you apart from the thickening crowd will produce your desired results.

Fred Cowley is the owner of Cowley Financial Group in Fort Worth, Texas. Responses and questions can be sent to [email protected].