For years, up cycles have seen dramatic increases in financial organization’s marketing budgets, while down cycles have seen dramatic decreases. It would appear that management is declaring that they do not consider marketing a productive business initiative that can make a significant contribution to the bottom line. After all, would any thinking management team respond to bad times by cutting back on an activity that they believe stimulates business and provides a meaningful return on investment?

True believers in the power of marketing will reserve funds in boom times so that they can increase marketing expenditures in down markets. This tactic enables them to increase their marketplace visibility when competitors are reducing their marketing commitments. As a result, they achieve competitive advantage by standing tall in a less cluttered marketplace.

We have long made the point that an agent’s business is not selling products or services, but rather instilling trust. The down part of every cycle naturally produces a diminution of public confidence. Agents who send reassuring promotional messages to their target markets during the more difficult times can win loyalty, incremental market share and marketplace respect. These gains are more than temporal. This countercyclical effect perpetuates the marketing cycle of success for agents that understand financial marketing dynamics and are willing to make the required short-term commitment to create long-term success.

A disciplined, differentiated marketing approach can help savvy agents cost-effectively achieve their goals and prove the adage that, “good marketing pays, rather than costs.”

This article is adapted from a new book, The Professional’s Guide to Financial Services Marketing: Bite-Sized Insights for Creating Effective Approaches (Wiley Publishing), by Jay Nagdeman. For more information, visit www.FinancialServicesMarketingBook.com.